Racing Victoria’s chief executive says the traditional features in Melbourne will retain their prominence despite Racing NSW announcing another new rich race for Sydney’s spring program.
RV’s chief executive Giles Thompson issued a statement in reaction to Wednesday’s announcement by Racing NSW that a new $7.5 million race, the Golden Eagle, would be run for the first time at Rosehill on November 2 for four-year-olds.
It will be on the same day as the Victoria Derby program at Flemington in Melbourne.
Two other $1 million races were also announced for Sydney on the Saturdays either side of the Golden Eagle, adding to Sydney’s spring carnival.
Thompson said it would be in the best interests of Australian racing if the bodies could act more collaboratively.
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“We hope that New South Wales’ programming initiatives do serve to grow the overall fan base of racing by encouraging new people into our sport and we wish them well in their endeavours to achieve that,” Thompson said.
“On face value, it would appear that there will be an impact on the existing Australian Pattern of races as a result of this announcement and we will be working to understand this over the coming period.
“This announcement has not changed our focus on ensuring that Victorian racing remains successful and continues to deliver nation-high attendances, wagering, field sizes and international participation.
“The marquee events of the (Victorian) Spring Racing Carnival have been built over more than 150 years and retain an important place in the heart of Australians. This announcement is not going to change that.”
The Golden Eagle purse is slightly higher than the current Melbourne Cup prize money so Wednesday’s announcement means Sydney will have Australia’s two richest thoroughbred races with The Everest and Golden Eagle.