Sydney's new race day to overshadow Melbourne Cup carnival
The head of Racing New South Wales Peter V'landys says he is unrepentant at the prospect of one of Victoria's most important racing days, the Caulfield Guineas meeting, losing its Australia-wide prestige due to a lavish meeting being planned for the same day in Sydney.
With feelings between Sydney and Melbourne racing executives already strained, V'landys defended his stand on building New South Wales' October 14 meeting into a world class day.
Peter V'landys is going full steam ahead with the plan for a big meeting in Sydney that will clash with Caulfield Guineas day. Photo: Getty Images
V'landys said his sole aim was to present the best racing product he could for the NSW industry.
"The last time I looked, I wasn't being paid by Victorian Racing, I'm paid by NSW and I'm just doing my job. My Job isn't and has never been working for Victoria.
"I don't think the president of the Collingwood Football Club would be ringing the president of the Carlton Football Club to tell them the new initiatives they're bringing in.
"We were thrilled with the outcome of the championships and equally thrilled with the response from the Everest and the early discussions on having the Craven Plate moved to October are all things we are looking at ," V'landys, said.
If the Craven Plate is moved from its position in September to October 14, it will directly rival the weight for age Caulfield Stakes run on the same day in Melbourne.
However the real impact will be that great race mare Winx could then remain in Sydney to run in the Craven Plate and only come to Melbourne for the Cox Plate, leaving Victorian racegoers only one opportunity of seeing the world's best race mare this spring.
The Caulfield Guineas, the $1 million three-year-old classic, and the rich weight-for-age Caulfield Stakes now face being overshadowed by the richest race meeting in the southern hemisphere being run in Sydney.Traditionally, the Caulfield Guineas meeting is one of the most important venues in early spring, underpinning all of the Group One races going forward during Australia's richest carnival.However, NSW have announced that they will hold their $10 million Everest sprint race against the Caulfield Guineas.
As well, Sydney will stage the $750,000 Spring Champion Stakes in direct opposition to the Caulfield Guineas.
With Winx already being embraced by the Australian sporting public, combined with the Everest and three-year-old Spring Championship race all in one day, it will indeed take the shine off the Caulfield Guineas meeting and the opening of the Victorian Spring Carnival.
Fairfax Media understand that senior Racing Victoria officials looked at creating a $1 million bonus to be paid for a horse to win the Caulfield Stakes, Cox Plate and Mackinnon Stakes, as a means of tempting Winx to Melbourne.