TURF WAR: Melbourne summit to counter jealous, big-spending Sydney
Melbourne’s horse racing clubs have called a summit to discuss Racing NSW’s escalating attack on Victoria’s spring carnival.
The VRC, MRC and MVRC are joining forces in a major bid to mount a counter-attack from jealous Sydney.
Racing NSW triggered the war by doing what Sydney does best — splashing cash to get its way; they’ve laid out $45 million in prizemoney for the next spring carnival.
That includes the $14 million Everest, pitted against the Caulfield Cup, and the $7.5 million Golden Eagle, which be run in Sydney on VRC Derby Day.
There will be nine consecutive weekends in the Sydney spring featuring a race of at least $9 million.
That’s a change from convention, which has previously seen Melbourne and Sydney give each other’s biggest days clear air.
While crowd numbers will remain strong in the short term, the fear is that racing fans will be turned off by dilution of high quality races as trainers split their best charges across two states.
In response, the Melbourne racing clubs have called a summit, sparked by threats from high-profile owners that they will bypass Melbourne and head north of the border.