An announcement will be made today revealing the enhancements to Australia’s richest raceday at Randwick on October 14 and the Sydney spring carnival as The Everest continues to take shape.
It is expected more than $1 million will be added to a variety of races forming stepping stones to the new $10m sweepstakes for sprinters. The much-touted Craven Plate increase from $175,000 to $500,000 — anticipated to provide Winx with a final Cox Plate lead-up in her home state — will be confirmed.
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys always anticipated The Everest would stimulate plenty of discussion and publicity, but it has exceeded his expectations.
“The Everest is exceeding everyone’s expectations. The publicity it is receiving is unprecedented, not only in Australia but internationally,” V’landys said. “At Ascot, the talk was all about The Everest and (Australian jockey) Blake Shinn has done a tremendous job with The Everest all over his breeches while riding for Wesley Ward, a trainer we’re trying to attract, in the United States.
“We are going to have some surprises ahead that will even take it to a higher level.”
V’landys added that the inquiries from the connections of international candidates outweighed the number of slots available.
“We’ve been inundated with requests to reopen and extend the selling of slots but we won’t be doing that,” V’landys explained. “We have had people prepared to pay even higher amounts than originally asked to buy a slot, but we’re leaving it at 12 slots. Our aim is to make it worth $15 million within three years and we want to grow it to $20 million at some point. This is only the start.”
Half the field has been tentatively finalised, with several more to be confirmed in the next month.
The TAB has this week locked in English to run for 10 lucky customers, who will enjoy the raceday experience with the Kelly family who own the mare.
Australian Turf Club chief executive Darren Pearce was thrilled to have English join the horses that finished each side of her in the past two Group I TJ Smith Stakes — Chautauqua and Fell Swoop.
The ATC own a slot and have received 25 applications from those associated with local and overseas gallopers. They will announce the horse they align with by the end of this month.
“Most of the horses are well known to us. Some of the internationals we need to understand a little more about their history and suitability,” Pearce said. “There are also a few up and comers that have been put into the mix by trainers that haven’t got to that superior racing level but have the potential. We’ll work out our shortlist and then pick the horse that best helps us promote the race. It is tremendous to pull together the Golden Slipper winner and the Magic Millions winner with the TJ Smith trifecta and a Royal Ascot winner from just what we know now.”