A healthy rivalry can inspire both sides to put their best hoof forward in an attempt to dominate the competition. Sydney has recently evolved their racing scene in an attempt to overtake Melbourne as the premier horse-racing destination in Australia. Here are five reasons why Sydney’s racing scene may rise to eclipse Melbourne in popularity.
Investment in Horse Racing in Sydney Today From the New South Wales Government
A concerted effort has been put forth by the New South Wales government to grow the Sydney Racing Carnival. Racing minister George Souris declared a $10 million grant to develop The Championships, an integral part of the revamped racing event. According to Destination NSW, investment in The Championships is expected to return $41 million to the economy. Despite being a one-year grant, the expectation is to grow off the success of the 2014 carnival, justifying further government investment.
The Birth of the Australian Turf Club
The merger between the Australian Jockey Club and the Sydney Turf Club, both of which boasted long, impressive histories, resulted in the creation of the Australian Turf Club on February 7, 2011. Combining their clout into a singular entity has resulted in significant changes and growth throughout the Sydney racing scene.
Biggest Purses in the World
The investment in the Sydney Racing Carnival, especially The Championships, resulted in some of the biggest purses in the world of horse racing, increasing the intensity of the competition. The Queen Elizabeth Stakes has now grown into the richest 2,000-metre race, with a purse of $4 million. The Doncaster Mile has the biggest purse for a mile sprint, with $3 million up for grabs. TJ Smith Stakes has the largest winnings for an open sprint race, with a total purse of $2.5 million.
Renovations at the Royal Randwick
Recently finished renovations at the Royal Randwick Racecourse have rejuvenated the historic facility, transforming it into a world-class place to enjoy the Sydney races and social festivities. The grandstand has been completely redone and luxurious new VIP areas cater to top-flight events and socialites. A brand-new, monolithic, 440-square-metre LED screen—the biggest in the southern hemisphere—literally can’t be missed.
Events That Cater to All Fans
These changes have led to events that cater to all types of horse-racing fans, from casual observers to hardened punters. Socialites have the opportunity to flaunt their fashion during events such as Cellarbrations Ladies Day by competing in the MYER Fashion on the Field Contest. Bigger purses draw the best horses, trainers, and jockeys from around the world, resulting in the more intense competition and more exciting betting.
A plethora of changes to the Sydney horse-racing scene has resulted in growth thanks to investment and collaboration from a variety of authorities, especially the NSW government and the Australian Turf Club. Newly renovated infrastructure allows fans to experience the rush of some of the best racing and biggest purses in the world. These changes have fans of Melbourne’s racing scene looking over their shoulders as Sydney swings around to make the pass.