The Australian Turf Club and Racing New South Wales have announced significant prizemoney increases to the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival; with over $18 million in prizemoney now available over two days of the carnival that will be known as The Championships.
The first day of The Championships will be held at Royal Randwick on Saturday April 12 and will feature the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m), the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) and the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m), which have all received a major increase in prizemoney.
The Doncaster Mile is now worth an incredible $3 million, confirming its status as the richest mile race in the world, while the $2.5 million T.J. Smith Stakes is now the world’s richest open sprint race and the $2 million Australian Derby has become the richest Derby race in Australia.
The second day of the Championships will also feature four Group 1 events as well as the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Princess Stakes (1200m) that will be considered ‘Championship Races’ for three-year-old sprinters and two-year-old fillies respectively.
The main event of the meeting on Saturday April 19 will be the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) that is now the richest 2000 metres turf race in the world after having its prizemoney increased to an amazing $4 million.
Rounding out the Group 1 events will be the $1 million Sydney Cup (3200m), the $1 million Australian Oaks (2400m) and the $1 million Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) that will now be held at Royal Randwick after previously being contested at Rosehill Gardens.
New South Wales Minister For Racing George Souris was on hand to announce the prizemoney increase and said that he believes The Championship will have a positive effect on the state’s economy.
“The NSW Government is pleased to have contributed $10 million to the event,” Souris said in a statement.
“The Championships will generate more than $41 million to the economy of NSW, increasing further as the event gains momentum.
“We have chosen this path to help ensure funds accumulated from race fields fees are preserved for use in country and provincial areas.
“We have selected three iconic races and enhanced them to make them the richest of their type in the world, these are the Star Doncaster Mile, the world’s richest mile race now worth $3 million, the Darley TJ Smith Stakes, the world’s richest open sprint race at $2.5 million and on day two the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, at $4 million becoming the world’s richest 2000 metre turf race.
“Sydney is our global city and offers a stunning backdrop to any sporting event so there’s no better place to stage The Championships.”
Racing New South Wales Chairman John Messara said that a great deal of thought was put into which races would receive an upgrade and be included amongst ‘The Championship Race’ and is confident that these events will eventually draw the best horses not only from Australia and New Zealand but around the world.
“We have identified ten Championship races across various age and distance ranges which are the highlight of these two days; some of these races become the richest of their category in Australia and the world,” Messara said.
“Eight of those races are already Group One events and with the injection of almost $10 million, this program will lure the finest horses from Australia and New Zealand and from other countries across the globe.
“Our goal is for this to become the greatest event for racing in the Southern Hemisphere.”
It isn’t just the Royal Randwick of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival that has received a substantial boost; with the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) now a $1 million race and the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) retaining its place as the richest juvenile race in the world.