Wed, Nov 13, 12:40pm by Dominic Ciconte
Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club declared the momentous change yesterday, heralding in a new age for Sydney racing in what will be a grand finale to the southern hemisphere’s thoroughbred racing season.
The Championships will be run annually by the Australian Turf Club at Royal Randwick. They will comprise 10 ‘championship races’ across two Saturdays, beginning on April 12 and culminating on Easter Saturday, April 19. There will be a total of eight group one events over the seven-day stretch – a mix of established races and relocated races from other dates.
With a combined $18 million in prize money on offer, the Championships will be one of the richest and enticing racing carnivals in the world. The program is expected to attract the best horses, trainers and jockeys from around the world, boosting the NSW economy.
The first Saturday of the Championships will feature four group one races. The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) will be worth $3 million, The Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) will be $2.5 million, the BMW Australian Derby (2400m) is a $2million race and The Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) will reward $1 million for the winner.
The second Saturday and final day of the Championships will also have four group one races. The Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) is the richest of all the races in the carnival, with $4 million on the line. The Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m), The Australian Oaks (2400m) and the Queen of the Turf Stakes (1600m) will all be worth $1 million.
Chairman of the Australian Turf Club, John Cornish, said that Royal Randwick was primed to host what will become one of the biggest racing carnivals in the world.
“What an exciting trifecta. The Championships, Royal Randwick and Sydney being showcased to the world,” Cornish said.
The NSW State Government contributed $10 million to the event, something Minister for Racing, George Souris, was proud to be involved in.
“The Championships will generate more than $41 million for the NSW economy, increasing further as the event gains momentum.
“We have selected three iconic races (The Star Doncaster Mile, the Darley TJ Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes) and enhanced them to make them the richest of their type in the world.”
This is fantastic news for the Australian Racing industry and everyone who loves thoroughbreds. Big prize money and big events will attract the best horses from around the world and provide an incredible boost to the NSW economy. Bring on the big dollars and the big races next April!
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