Redzel winning the 2018 Everest (Image: ATC)

Racing NSW has launched an assault on Melbourne’s grip of spring racing by announcing it intends staging million-dollar features across Cox Plate Day and the two Saturdays that book-end the Flemington Carnival.

In a gloves-off announcement on Wednesday morning, Racing NSW chairman Russell Balding announced Sydney racing will boast a feature race each Saturday over the heart of the spring.

The highlight of the announcement is a new $7.5 million race for four-year-olds called the Golden Eagle, which will be run over 1500 metres at Rosehill Gardens on Victoria Derby Day on November 2 next year.

Balding also announced the $1m Bondi Stakes for three-year-olds over 1600m at Randwick on Cox Plate Day on October 26, while the $1m Golden Gift (1100m), which was first run by the ATC in 2015, will be run at Randwick on November 9 and clash with final day at Flemington.

Balding said the Golden Eagle will be funded by new revenue streams, which will be announced at a later date.

At $7.5m, the Golden Eagle will be the third-richest race on turf in the world, with 10 per cent of the prizemoney to be re-directed to charities chosen by the connections of the placegetters.

The Golden Eagle, Balding explained, was an easy concept for administrators to come up with as a race solely for four-year-olds. He said that as Rosehill already stages the Golden Slipper for two-year-olds and the Golden Rose for three-year-olds, the Golden Eagle was a simple fit for Sydney racing.

He also said a $5m bonus will be paid to connections of any horse that can clinch the Golden Slam across the two, three and four-year-old races.

“The Golden Eagle strengthens our Spring Carnival and provides a further highlight for spring racing in Sydney,” Balding said. “It also opens up the possibility of attracting runners from diverse form lines including The Everest, the Sydney Stakes and the Epsom Handicap.”

“The Golden Eagle will be entirely funded by new revenues to the NSW Racing Industry,” Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said. “I am delighted that this enables The Golden Eagle to be added as an important feature race at Rosehill and will also distribute $750,000 to charities.

“We want to bring another major event to the western suburbs of Sydney. In The Golden Eagle, we have provided a race that is also a celebration of the west of Sydney.

“Now having the third-richest race on turf in the world behind The Everest and the France’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Sydney’s west has the perfect day to celebrate.”

Balding said the Bondi Stakes will provide a new spring target for three-year-olds in Sydney and follows on from races such as the Golden Rose and the Flight Stakes.

The Golden Gift will provide a focal point for two-year old racing in the spring, with the prizemoney on offer enough to ensure that the first and second placegetters will gain a berth in the Golden Slipper.

Australia’s richest spring races:

1 – $13m The Everest (1200m)
2 – $7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m)
3 – $7.3m Melbourne Cup (3200m)
=4 – $5m Cox Plate (2040m), Caulfield Cup (2400m)
=6 – $2m Caulfield Guineas (1600m), Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), Victoria Derby (2500m)

Richest 2YO races during spring:

$1m: Golden Gift (1100m) at Rosehill on November 9
$500,000: Inglis Banner (1000m) at The Valley on October 26
$200,000: Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) at Ballarat on November 23
$160,000: Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) & Breeders Plate (1000m) at Randwick on October 5
$150,000: Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 7, Bumble Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on November 5
$120,000: Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 12, Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on October 5, Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) at Sandown Hillside on November 16

Richest 3YO races during spring:

$2m: Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12, VRC Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 2
$1m: Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 2, Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on September 28, Bondi Stakes (1600m) at Rosehill on October 26, VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 7
$500,000: Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12, Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on October 5, WA Guineas (1600m) at Ascot on November 23, Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 12


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