Senior administrators from two Melbourne race clubs have applauded the concept of a new $10 million race in Sydney.
Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club announced on Wednesday The Everest, a sweepstakes race with a $600,000 buy-in, would be run over 1200m at Randwick on October 14.
Mike Symons, chairman of the Melbourne Racing Club which hosts the Caulfield Guineas meeting on the same day, said the Sydney concept was terrific.
“From a Caulfield Guineas day perspective I think it enhances the race day throughout Australia,” Symons told Melbourne radio station RSN927.
“The global focus of racing will be on Australia. Both Sydney and Melbourne will have feature races and I think that only enhances the product globally.”
Symons says this latest initiative coupled with recent prize money hikes which include a minimum $100,000 for Saturday metropolitan races, places NSW racing ahead of Victoria.
“We believe Racing Victoria should be matching that and ultimately it will impact field sizes and wagering outcomes,” Symons said.
Victoria Racing Club chief executive Simon Love doesn’t see The Everest having an impact on the Melbourne Cup which, with $6.2 million prize money, was Australia’s richest race before Wednesday’s announcement.
He said if the VRC put $10 million prize money into the Melbourne Cup they would still attract a similar field.
“From our perspective we are better off investing that incremental $4 million into other parts of our operation,” Love said.
“When Magic Millions was conceived there was healthy scepticism of that concept back in the day but that now is a very successful event for racing and the state of Queensland.
“I applaud the ATC and Racing NSW for coming up with this innovative concept and if it is successful it can only benefit the whole racing industry in Australia.”