Australian Turf Club CEO Darren Pearce believes that the rearrangement of the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival will help Golden Slipper Day return to its place as one of the biggest race days on the Australian racing calendar.
There was plenty of criticism thrown at Racing New South Wales and the ATC when the Golden Slipper was not included in The Championships last year and a number of Group 1 events were removed from Golden Slipper Day; with critics arguing that the decision took away from the prestige of what had previously been New South Wales biggest raceday.
The ATC and Racing New South Wales have done their best to rectify that in 2015 and Golden Slipper Day will feature five Group 1 events including the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m), Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m), Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m), which Pearce believes will help Golden Slipper recapture its position as the biggest day of Group 1 racing in Australia.
“We are going back to promoting the Golden Slipper Festival independent of the Autumn Carnival and The Championships,” Pearce told Racing Ahead this morning.
“Slipper Day now has five Group 1’s on it and it is just an outstanding day of racing.
“Slipper Day has an amazing opportunity with five Group 1’s now to really stand on its own as Australia’s largest Group 1 race day.
“We think that Slipper Day of day two of the Rosehill Carnival will attract a mass audience and be an exciting race day.”
While the ATC will be placing more focus on Golden Slipper Day in 2015, The Championships will still be the feature event of the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and Pearce believes the event is on track to be bigger and better than it was 12 months ago.
Pearce expects that the depth of talent in the Australian sprinting ranks will guarantee that the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) is one of the best races of the year, while the presence of Japanese visitors as well as the likes of Cox Plate winner Adelaide and Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist will strengthen the middle distance and staying ranks.
“We learnt a lot from year one of The Championships and I think it can go from strength to strength in year two,” Pearce said.
“There is an amazing crop of horses coming through; the sprinters have amazing depth and quality which we saw through the Melbourne spring.
“We hope to see those horses follow through in the autumn and we have managed to attract some high class internationals and that is not to mention internationals that are now trained in Australia like Adelaide and Protectionist that we would like to see in our feature races.
“I think the horses are there and moving it forward puts us in a better position weather wise.”
Golden Slipper Day will be conducted at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 and The Championships get underway at Royal Randwick on April 4.