Australian Horse Racing has a rich history in the state of New South Wales but the introduction of the Golden Eagle really put a mark on the map globally becoming the fourth richest horse race on turf behind The Everest, Melbourne Cup and further afield the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
What is the Golden Eagle?
The inaugural running of the Golden Eagle race was held in 2019 after Racing New South Wales announced the introduction of the race to the Spring Racing Carnival.
With a prize money pool of $7.5m the Golden Eagle was designed to rival and compliment other races in and around spring. Money had been injected by Racing NSW in recent years with the launch of the Everest however the Golden Eagle was designed to bring in a different dimension to racing.
The Golden Eagle was only open to 4 year olds and was to be run with set weight conditions over a distance of 1500m. The design of the Eagle was so that young stars of the sport could be retained and race for big money in the Golden Eagle rather than be retired to stud
Another difference to the Golden Eagle Prize Money compared with other major races was that 10% of the prize purse was to be donated to a pre-nominated charity. Charities were therefore able to win up to $750,000 in prize money alongside the winnings for there runner.
The race marked the first race in Australia exclusively for the 4 year old age group making the Golden Eagle completely unique.
Alongside being able to expand the Spring Carnival in Sydney the Golden Eagle gave competitors the chance to complete the freshly named ‘Golden Slam’.
Competitors looking to complete a ‘Golden Slam’ would have been the winner of the Golden Slipper as a two year, a winner of the Golden Rose as a three year old and now the winner of the Golden Eagle as a four year old.
In the two years of the race being held there is yet to be a Golden Slam winner with it extremely rare already for runners to win the Slipper and the Rose in back to back years.
All three of the races are run at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse with the Golden Eagle held two weeks after the TAB Everest on the same day as the Victorian Derby.
Where is the Golden Eagle Held?
As mentioned alongside its 2 year old and 3 year old siblings the Golden Eagle is run at Rosehill Racecourse each year. The race extends and expands the NSW Spring Carnival deep into the start of Victorian Racing Club Spring Carnival.
Rosehill Gardens are prominent hosts for high quality racing throughout the Spring with the likes of the Golden Rose at Group 1 level and The Theo Marks and Stan Fox at Group 2 level run at Rosehill Racecourse.
The Gardens Racecourse has held racing in Sydney’s Inner West since for nearly 150 years with its first official meeting recorded in 1885.
In 2011, still 8 years before the Golden Eagle was created, the Rosehill Racecourse fell under new ownership when the Sydney Turf Club and Australian Jockey Club merged to form The Australian Turf Club.
This meant that going forward Rosehill Gardens and it's now partner in the East, Royal Randwick Racecourse would full under the same management umbrella and bring racing as a unified force in the state.
Past Winners Of The Golden Eagle
In its inaugural running in 2019 The Golden Eagle was won by Chris Waller trained Kolding owned by Neville Morgan in what proved to be an extremely thrilling finish for the first ever running of the $7.5m feature.
Before the jump there was a host of huge names in the field with multiple Group 1 winners including Arcadia Queen, Behemoth, Classique Legend and Sunlight all competing to win the debut edition of the Golden Eagle.
It would be the Waller trained Kolding though who would swoop late in the race to claim an unlikely win.
During the race, jockey Glen Boss who was piloting Kolding, was forced to switch inside and out finding nothing but rump until the final 100m when a gap emerged and he was able to push the 4 year old through and win the race.
The second year of the race didn’t disappoint either as Godolphin trained Collette narrowly beat the heavily fancied Icebath in a head bobbing finish.
Given the heavy conditions of the Rosehill track Icebath was backed into a short priced $2.70 favourite at the jump and it could be said that the 4yo in the Red, White and Blue silks may have saluted if not clipping heels at the 250m.
With Collette being allowed clear air on a stand side run, Icebath was forced to navigate traffic and narrowly missed by a nose to give James Cummings Group 1 victory and Collette the Golden Eagle title in 2020.
How Can I Bet On The Golden Eagle
Odds for the Golden Eagle can be found all year round with All In Markets available across most bookmakers including TAB, Ladbrokes and Sportsbet.
If you are looking to place a bet on the Golden Eagle why not check out one of recommended bookmakers below:
The final field for the race is confirmed the week before the race with the barrier draw completed on the Tuesday before the race.
Conclusion For Racing NSW’s Golden Eagle
The concept of a race specifically for 4 year olds in itself is unique but the reasoning and design behind the Golden Eagle is extremely clever.
Carrying a significant incentive in prize money to keep young horse racing talent on the track gives all parties involved a win, from racing connections right through to the consumers.
With an added bonus that charities are also able to benefit from the race, the whole concept of the Golden Eagle Horse Race brings great value to the racing industry.
A great chance to see young talent and always extremely competitive. We strongly recommend watching the Golden Eagle.
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