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Horse Racing Australia: Sydney to host $18 million racing carnival

By Caryl Williamson


Sydney will reclaim autumn racing with a revamped and rebranded carnival aimed at attracting international runners to some of the richest races of their kind in the world.


The state government has kicked in $10 million for The Championships at Randwick in 2014 to be run on two consecutive Saturdays in April and culminating in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes, making it the richest 2000-metre turf race in the world.


Randwick's traditional flagship race on the first day, the Doncaster Mile, will be worth $3 million while the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) will become Australia's richest open sprint at $2.5 million.


Racing NSW chairman John Messara made the announcement on Tuesday along with NSW racing minister George Souris and Australian Turf Club chairman John Cornish.


Messara said the two-day meeting offering $18.2 million prize money would put Sydney on the world stage and on a par with the Melbourne spring.


"This is not some sort of competition with the Melbourne Cup or the Melbourne Cup carnival," Messara said.


"Ours will be more of a Sydney style. It's a different culture but we hope to have the same impact over a period of time.


"Victoria has done a wonderful job to develop their carnival. Ours will be very much different.


"Every major racing jurisdiction has a major racing carnival that stimulates the economy. This will become the catalyst for a destination week for horse fanciers from around the world and people coming to the races for the first time."


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