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$1 million is on offer for the sprinters in Victoria with the launch of a the Summer Sprint Series

A tweak to the dates to allow a better flow of races will see the inaugural ‘Summer Sprint Series’ staged by Victoria’s three metropolitan clubs.

In total, $1 million in prize money will be on offer for four races, starting with the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on December 11.

That race will flow into the Listed Christmas Stakes, shortened from 1200m to 1100m, at Caulfield on Boxing Day, followed by the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on January 15, moved from New Year’s Day, and the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on January 29.

Prize money on the four races has increased $360,000, giving a prize money pool of $1 million.

As an added attraction, the winner of the Christmas Stakes will receive a ballot exemption into the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield in February with the Standish Handicap and Australia Stakes winners to get a start in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington in March.

The Robbie Griffiths and Mathew de Kock stable have already earmarked Halvorsen, a winner during Melbourne Cup week, for the Flemington legs of the series.

Greg Carpenter, Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager – Racing, said the sprint series will hopefully bring with it larger field sizes over the summer period.

“There are now a million reasons to target these four races, and the added incentive of a place in two of the autumn’s feature sprint races should ensure that the Summer Sprint Series captures the attention of trainers and owners,” Carpenter said.

“We would like to thank our three metropolitan clubs for their support and assistance in launching this new initiative, and we look forward to seeing some of the country’s fastest horses in action in Melbourne across the summer.”

Replacing the Standish Handicap on Flemington’s New Year’s Day fixture will be the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) which moves from its date on January 15 to feature alongside the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m).

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