Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys revealed the success of new races like The Everest, Golden Eagle, The Hunter and The Gong has breathed life into Sydney spring carnival racing.
V’landys said increases in field sizes, betting turnover and punter interest that has been generated by having these huge prizemoney races has justified the decision to extend Sydney’s carnival deep into November.
“The biggest thing for us — and what people don’t understand when they say we are taking on the Melbourne spring carnival — is that before we introduced these spring carnival changes our field sizes for October and November were the lowest of the year,’’ V’landys said.
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Kerrin McEvoy on Classique Legend after taking out his third The Everest.Source:Getty Images
“We were dying, it was like Sydney racing didn’t exist for those two months and our revenues fell by more than 50 per cent.
“That was the whole point of it, we wanted to have a presence in these months and stop the revenue losses.
“What did people expect us to do, starve to death? We didn’t go out to hurt Victoria, we were just trying to stay alive.’’
The Golden Eagle is now the third richest race in Australia.Source:Getty Images
The TAB Everest, the richest turf race in the world with prizemoney of $15 million, has taken less than four years to establish itself as the world’s premier sprint while the $7.5 million Golden Eagle has almost immediately found a niche as an exclusive race for four-year-olds.
Racing NSW has extended their vision to include the provincials with the successful introduction of $1 million spring carnival races at Newcastle and Kembla Grange last year, despite criticism primarily from Victoria about these so-called “pop-up’’ races.
“Every race that is new they call it a ‘pop-up’ race but that’s a derogatory term and it just shows the superiority complex they have got in Victoria,’’ V’landys said.
“Each race was new at some stage of their establishment. At some point, the Melbourne Cup was a ‘pop-up’ race.
“We are ecstatic with both The Hunter and The Gong. These races have charisma, they will only get bigger and bigger in the years to come. We are looking to put new (support) races on both programs because they are such a success.’’
At Kembla Grange on Saturday, the second running of The Gong has attracted an outstanding field of 16 starters including three individual Group 1 winners and another 10 who have won at Group or Listed level. In total, the race meeting attracted a bumper 130 final acceptors (including emergencies).
The Gong is shaping as a very competitive race with the John Thompson-trained Purple Sector early TAB Fixed Odds favourite at $4.60 just ahead of the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Dawn Passage at $4.80.
Purple Sector (right) takes out the Furphy Plate at Flemington on November 3.Source:Getty Images
Purple Sector could provide Thompson with a second $1 million race win in a week after the trainer prepared Sweet Deal to win The Hunter at Newcastle last Saturday.
“We had 118 starters at Newcastle for The Hunter but for the corresponding meeting at Rosehill two years ago, we had 77 runners,’’ V’landys said.
“The betting turnover at Newcastle was up 56 per cent compared to that city meeting. We are expecting similar punter interest for The Gong on Saturday.’’
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Sky Racing News Update: 19th November 2020
Sky Racing News Update: 19th November 2020.
Originally published asThe Gong for best spring carnival goes to… NSW
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