Will The Everest climb to the top of the Australian racing ranks?

The Everest
Will the field at Randwick for the $10 million The Everest look as impressive as the real Everest?

RACING NSW and the Australian Turf Club have launched The Everest, which will carry a purse of $10 million to make it the world’s richest turf race.

The Everest will be run over the sprinting distance of 1200m at Randwick on October 14, in the hopes to attract overseas interest during the Sydney Spring carnival.

The race will be open to local and international buyers to purchase a place in the field at a hefty price of $600,000 – similar to what the Pegasus World Cup offered last Sunday at Gulfstream Park.

12 spots will be open for The Everest and the owners of these spots will be able to trade their position or alternatively partner with owners not holding a spot to enter the field.

Despite already hosting The Championships in April, Racing NSW Chairman Mr Russell Balding believes The Everest will put Sydney racing on the map.

“The Everest will be a game-changer for racing in Sydney and provide a stage for showcasing the best Australian sprinters against leading international contenders,” Balding said.

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Australian Turf Club manger, Laurie Macri echoed the thoughts of Balding in stating that Randwick is the perfect track to host a 1200 metre global event.

“The Everest is a joint venture between Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club, who share a vision to see more Sydney racingon the world stage,” Macri said.

“Royal Randwick itself is an international landmark, and it will now rightly showcase the world’s richest sprint over one of the best but most testing 1200m courses anywhere in racing.”

Racing NSW Chief Executive, Mr Peter V’landys said The Everest represents an innovative concept, despite the Pegasus World Cup executing a similar idea in the United States.

“This represents an innovative concept and a tremendous new event to promote thoroughbred racing to a broader audience,” V’landys said.

“Being a sprint over Royal Randwick’s testing 1200m circuit, The Everest is tailored to Australian racing.”

Our thoughts on The Everest

We are finding it hard to feel excited about The Everest, despite the alluring $10 million purse.

Finding Australian owners to fork out $600,000 of their hard-earned money to enter a sprint race will be tough, and it seems as though the major stud farms will have a mortgage on the race.

Much of the racing in Sydney is dominated by the same public figures and we don’t think The Everest will create the kind of overseas interest that Racing NSW is hoping for.

It falls into an awkward time of the year and the Sydney Spring Carnival has never been able to attract the big players. Asking owners to put in $600,000 to ensure they come is asking a big much in our opinion.

That’s not to say it won’t attract a full field of 12 runners, because it likely will, but is sharing the wealth among the wealthy good for Australian racing?

The Pegasus World Cup gained plenty of international viewership because of its aggressive media campaign, so if Racing NSW are wanting UFC star Conor McGregor to jump on one of our best thoroughbreds, they better have plenty of cash in hand.


It’s arguable whether the Pegasus World Cup was a success. The race attracted only two horses worthy of the attention and the race went as many thought it would – with the hot favourite scoring an easy win.

But what kind of field can Australian racing fans expect to see come October? With the Melbourne spring carnival attracting overseas interest in the staying ranks, is this Racing NSW’s answer to attracting the overseas sprinting talent?

Will they come? Hong Kong hosts the Group 2 Premier Bowl (1200m) just over a week after The Everest is scheduled to run and the likes of John Moore, John Size and Tony Cruz might opt to stay on home soil.

This also has ramifications on the Golden Slipper and the Melbourne Cup. Trying to steal attention from events synonymous with Australian racing could backfire.

The Melbourne Cup is no longer Australia’s richest race and the Golden Slipper is no longer Australia’s richest sprint. While history is being made with the announcement, forgive us if we’re not excited.

Peter V’landys also stated that the concept would be a great promotion for the horse racing industry.

“This represents an initiative concept and a tremendous new event to promote thoroughbred racing to a broader audience,” Mr V’Landys said.

“It fits into the calendar when there is no rugby league or AFL to compete with and it is in between Melbourne’s major sprint races.

“It may one day be the first major race held on a Friday night under lights at Randwick, but not this year of course.”

It does however clash with the Caulfield Guineas in Melbourne and we’re picking most of the top jockeys will commit to the time-honoured Guineas, as opposed to The Everest – which we’re predicting will only lose altitude with time.

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