Spring Spring Series
Waller confirmed that the worlds best sprinter Nature Strip is likely to campaign in Sydney for longer this campaign in order to chase additional bonuses being offered by Racing NSW.
The states racing governing body announced a host of new initiatives as part of a new funding package designed to increase prize money and bonuses including a new path designed to keep runners in Sydney in the lead up to the $15m Everest.
Spring holds a well worn path for Nature Strip who usually rounds out his Spring Campaign in the Champions Sprint at Flemington during carnival week however he has now admitted the new funding on offer will be hard to ignore.
“It’s a big incentive to have the best horses racing in Sydney,” Waller said.
“I’m like every other trainer and owner in respect that I will have to weigh up the options, it is a lot of money.
“These are once-in-a lifetime horses and when you are trying to explain to a 10 per cent owner they could win a big bonus over an historical race, normally they will take the prizemoney.
“But each owner is different so I will consult them (Nature Strip’s ownership group) before making a decision.”
Racing NSW’s new $6m Sprint Series, sponsored by Sportsbet, requires eligible sprinters to contest at least three designated races – Concorde Stakes, The Shorts, Premiere Stakes, The Everest, Sydney Stakes and Nature Strip (Winner’s) Stakes – with points awarded to the top five placegetters in each sprint.
The Nature Strip Stakes (1300m), run on Golden Eagle Day (October 29), carries double points as an added incentive for the top sprinters to contest the Rosehill race. The overall Sportsbet Sprint Series winner earns a $2.5m bonus.
In addition all the races before The Everest have received significant prize money boosts with the Concorde Stakes now worth $500,000 (up from $160,000), and The Shorts and Premiere Stakes both totalling $1m (up from $500,000).
The Everest consolation, the Sydney Stakes goes from $500,000 to $2m and the Nature Strip Stakes is now worth $3 million (up from $1m).