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Rekindling, Melbourne Cup

The prize money for the $6 million Melbourne Cup will increase this year, although the Victoria Racing Club insists there is no competition with The Everest in Sydney.

VRC chairman Amanda Elliott says there will be movement on the Cup prize money, which will be announced when the board has decided the size of the increase.

Elliott said there is no competition with the world’s richest race on turf, The Everest.

“It’s not about a competition,” she said on Tuesday.

“We don’t do anything in response to what happens across the border.

“Good luck to them. I hope they survive 158 years.”

The prize money for The Everest has been boosted to $13 million this year from $10 million for the inaugural race, held at Randwick in October.

Sydney-based trainer Gai Waterhouse, who is a VRC ambassador, also does not believe there is any competition between the 3200m Cup and the 1200m Everest.

“The Everest is a very new race and the Melbourne Cup’s been going over 150 years.

“Victoria has a public holiday. Over 100 countries watch the race. It’s basically the race that stops the nation.

“So I don’t think you really can compare them.”

Waterhouse, who won the Cup in 2013 with the previous year’s runner-up Fiorente, does not believe the race needs a prize money boost.

“Four or five million looks pretty good when you win it, I can tell you.

“We paid a lot of money for Fiorente when we bought him. When we ran second on the first Tuesday in November he paid his purchase price, running second.

“I don’t know if they have to increase their prize money any more.

“It’s a lot of prize money and people come from all over the world to be able to win that prize money and take away the coveted prize.”

Car maker Lexus has signed on as the fourth principal partner of the Melbourne Cup in a five-year sponsorship deal, replacing 2004-2017 Cup sponsor Emirates airline.

The VRC staged a “race” between racehorse and car down the Flemington straight. The horse won.

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