The Australian Turf Club has declared that it is thrilled with the “quality and quantity” of nominations for three of its biggest races over this year’s Everest Carnival.
The $1.5 million Epsom Handicap (1600m), $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) and $750,000 Flight Stakes (1600m) will all be run on October 2 at Royal Randwick at Group 1 level, with nominations for each race closing this Tuesday.
The Epsom and the Flight Stakes have received respective prizemoney increases of $500,000 and $250,000 for the 2021 Spring Carnival, leading to an uptick in nominations.
Some 90 runners were nominated for the Epsom Handicap, with the likes of boom horse Ayrton, dual Group 1 winner Mo’unga, up-and-coming star Private Eye and Doncaster Handicap winner Cascadian amongst them.
The Metropolitan has a total of 85 nominations, including She’s Ideel, Harpo Marx and Montefilia, as well as a number of progressive stayers such as Grand Promenade, Realm Of Flowers and Knights Order.
While numbers are high for the two open-age Group 1 races, only 59 three-year-old fillies have been put forward for the Flight Stakes in a pool that includes Saturday’s Furious Stakes winner Jamaea, Silver Shadow winner Swift Witness, and the likes of Argentia, Four Moves Ahead and She’s All Class.
“It is pleasing to see such quality and quantity across the feature races including outstanding quality nominations in the TAB Epsom which supports the continued focus by both Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club on the 1400-1600m program in this spring in Sydney,” said the ATC’s Executive General Manager of Racing and Wagering, James Ross.
“It is always encouraging to see so many of Australia and New Zealand’s biggest stables represented with significant numbers from leading stables including Chris Waller, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, and Hawkes Racing.
“The Sydney racing program continues to go from strength to strength each year with the addition of new races, enhanced prizemoney and bonus incentives to reward participation.
“This year’s extended Everest Carnival promises to be one of our most exciting with world-class racing and nearly $50 million in prizemoney on offer through September to November.”
Racing NSW will release the weights for the Epsom Handicap and Metropolitan Handicap on September 13, while the fillies will race on level weights in the Flight Stakes.