Sydney's bold new $2m race on Melbourne Cup day

4 months ago 99
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Racing NSW chief Peter V'landys has announced a lucrative new Sydney race to be held immediately after the iconic Melbourne Cup.

'The Big Dance' will be run at Randwick on the first Tuesday in November - a recognisable date for Australians thanks to the 3200m race that stops a nation at Flemington at 3pm every year.

The prizemoney for The Big Dance will be $2 million, making it one of Australia's richest races. But it's still well short of the $8 million the Melbourne Cup is now worth, with $4.4 million going to the winner of the country's favourite equine event.

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It is, however, significant as it continues V'landys' obsession with making Sydney racing as popular with punters and pundits as that of his major rival's - Racing Victoria.

Under his watch, Racing NSW installed Australia's richest horse race - the $15 million Everest - as well as the $8 million Golden Eagle into the spring racing calendar, in an attempt to make Randwick the premier track in the country.

The crowd at Royal Randwick to watch Art Cadeau win the Kosciuszko in October. (Getty)

V'landys' new attempt to grab a piece of the Melbourne Cup day pie will be met with some criticism, but leading racing reporter Andrew Bensley believes The Big Dance can only be good for the sport.

"Forget all this state against state," Bensley told SEN radio.

"If you were an owner of a horse, that could quite possibly run in a $2 million mile race, you wouldn't hesitate. It is fantastic. It's just great for racing.

"What's stopping Racing Victory or the VRC (Victoria Racing Club), if they feel that is the case, why don't they up their prizemoney? The VRC and Racing Vic aren't going bad you know. I'm upset with this Victoria vs NSW, it's crap.

"Go and talk to the racing participants, who actually play a role in this game putting horses into races, they don't care (about the state feud).

"If you don't want to run in a $2 million race over a mile because it's in NSW, then get out of the sport.

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"You night think Peter V'landys is doing it for fun, but he knows what the Melbourne Cup is.

"A strategy of putting a race on after the Melbourne Cup that's worth $2 million is a positive one. There is nothing stopping Racing Victoria saying 'we're going to put a $5 million race on half an hour after The Everest'."

A second new $2 million race - The Five Diamonds - has also been added to the calendar by Racing NSW as they announced a $27 million prizemoney splurge ahead of next season.

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