Spring car­ni­val gets $2m boost

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Ray Thomas

THE Aus­tralian Turf Club has pro­vided a $2 mil­lion fea­ture race prize­money boost to re­vi­talise Syd­ney’s spring rac­ing car­ni­val.

This in­cludes dou­bling the stakes for Syd­ney’s big­gest spring race, The Star Ep­som Hcp to $1 mil­lion.

All of Syd­ney’s other Group 1 spring races have re­ceived a prize­money boost, with the ex­cep­tion of the Golden Rose, al­ready worth $1 mil­lion and re­stricted to three-year-olds.

The Metropoli­tan is worth $750,000 (up $350,000), while the Flight Stakes, Spring Cham­pion Stakes and Ge­orge Main Stakes are all up at least $100,000 to $500,000.

For more than 20 years, stakes for Syd­ney’s Group 1 races dur­ing spring has stag­nated and, in some cases, de­clined.

Last year’s Ep­som won by He’s Your Man was worth the same amount as when Navy Seal won in 1994.

The ATC also cut train­ing fees at its race­courses by 10 per cent from Au­gust 1. SEA­SON NEARS END THE 2014-15 rac­ing sea­son comes to a close with the fi­nal two metropoli­tan race meet­ings at Can­ter­bury on Satur­day, July 25, then again next Wed­nes­day, July 29.

NSW coun­try rac­ing’s win­ter car­ni­val of fea­ture meet­ings swings to Coffs Har­bour on Sun­day, July 26 with the run­ning of the $20,000 Sawtell Cup, an im­por­tant lead-up race to the $85,000 Coffs Har­bour Cup at that track on Au­gust 6. FOL­LOW MCDON­ALD MY TIP for this week­end is to fol­low Godol­phin jockey James McDon­ald at Can­ter­bury.

McDon­ald re­turned home early from his English sum­mer work­ing hol­i­day in a bid to de­fend his Syd­ney jock­eys premier­ship bat­tle against ri­vals Blake Shinn and Hugh Bow­man.

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