As expected, the support program for the $10 million Everest will include a major prize money boost for the Group Three Craven Plate as well as the re-introduction of the St Leger with both races worth $500,000.
Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club announced on Thursday the Randwick race meeting on October 14 would also host a $200,000 Anniversary Highway to celebrate two years since the introduction of the races for country-trained horses.
The $500,000 Listed City Tatt’s Lightning (1200m) has been brought forward a week to October 14 to accommodate horses that miss out on a spot in The Everest.
There have been several other changes to the Sydney spring carnival which runs from September 9 to October 14.
In a joint press release, Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club said the changes supported the strategy to develop The Everest and spring carnival into a world recognised event.
“Saturday October 14 will be an historic event for thoroughbred racing in Australia and will reinforce Sydney’s position as a leading global event city,” Racing NSW chairman Russell Balding said.
“The Everest is creating unprecedented interest both inside and outside racing, from within Australia and internationally. It is timely to modernise and strengthen the racing program during the spring in Sydney.”
The programming changes will deliver four consecutive weeks of Group One racing at Rosehill and Randwick leading into The Everest meeting.
ATC chairman Laurie Macri said the revised three-year-old program presented a more streamlined pathway towards the Group One Golden Rose.
“This also allows a better progression for three-year-old sprinter-milers aimed at feature races in Melbourne later in spring,” Macri said.
The Golden Rose (1400m) has been moved two weeks later to September 23 with the Group Two Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) taking its original spot.
The conditions for the St Leger (2600m) are set weights and penalties while the Anniversary Highway will be run over 1400m.