Additional prizemoney for the Caulfield Cup, the creation of a $1 million race known as the Caulfield Classic and the rescheduling of the Thousand Guineas were among the changes for the 2014 Caulfield Cup Carnival that were announced by the Melbourne Racing Club this morning.
The Caulfield Cup will now be worth $3 million in prizemoney, with prizemoney paid down to tenth position, and the Melbourne Racing Club also announced that changes will be made to the recruitment process and the balloting conditions for the Group 1 event.
Melbourne Racing Club Chairman Mike Symons said that he was delighted to announce the increase in prizemoney to the Caulfield Cup and believes that the overall changes will help the race maintain its status as one of the four biggest races on the Australian calendar.
“The enhancements to the Caulfield Cup represent a dedication to continuing the growth of the race on both local and international levels,” Symons said in a statement.
“While we had made recent developments to the Cup through, for instance granting the Mornington Cup winner ballot exemption, it had been almost a decade since our flagship race had enjoyed an expansion of this nature.
“Along with these immediate changes, we have refined our recruitment strategy and are in the process of strengthening our resources to that effect.”
It isn’t just the Caulfield Cup that has been revamped; with the entire three-year-old program during the 2014 Caulfield Cup Carnival set to receive a shake-up.
The Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) will now be run on the same day as the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and the winners of both races will receive significant bonuses if they can go on and win the Norman Robinson Stakes, which will now be known as the Caulfield Classic, on Caulfield Cup Day.
The Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) will now be worth $750,000 in prizemoney and the Melbourne Racing Club is offering a bonus of $250,000 to the winners of the Caulfield Guineas and the Thousand Guineas, if they are able to complete the double the following weekend.
The $250,000 Blue Sapphire (1200m), that was won by Lion Of Belfort, will now be the feature race on the Wednesday meeting leading into the Caulfield Cup on Saturday.
“The changes to the three-year-old program characterise our desire for Caulfield to be considered the springboard for Australia’s elite young talent,” Symons said.
“We saw an opening to create another classic race, and we hope the significantly bolstered Norman Robinson will develop into that and the Blue Sapphire is a race with enormous potential.
“It’s important to note that this refurbishment of our carnival is not a short-term commitment, and is the result of careful planning and investment from the club over a lengthy period.”