Rac­ing NSW should tweak for­mat to at­tract in­ter­na­tion­als

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - NEIL EVANS Good Luck @NeilE­vans­mail

BE­FORE insert­ing a del­i­cate scalpel, let’s get one thing clear, I’m a big fan of The Ever­est and its fu­ture. But next time I would tweak the buy-in for­mat sig­nif­i­cantly — firstly to em­power greater pub­lic trans­parency, and sec­ondly to at­tract In­ter­na­tional play­ers the ta­ble.

š The Ever­est is here to stay, es­pe­cially now Rac­ing NSW has hung their hat on the “world’s rich­est turf race.”

š The Date is good, forget RVL and RNSW in a chest-beat­ing “bun­fight” over who was here first. Yes, the 15mins be­tween races is a night­mare, but pun­ters have been putting up with sched­ul­ing train­wrecks for years, so they won’t care.

š Of course there’s room for both — Oc­to­ber 14, 2017 is now one of the great­est days on the planet. Four Group 1s a ter­rific 10-race card at Caulfield and The Ever­est Show­down at Rand­wick. Ego­driven spats have been around since Phar Lap, and they’ll be around in 100 years time. Em­brace the day. The horse­flesh on show is spec­tac­u­lar.

š But I’m sure when PVL set out to launch The Ever­est, he was bank­ing on a true In­ter­na­tional flavour and new big busi­ness en­ter­ing the equine ring. That hasn’t hap­pened, but it will. And I’m sure es­tab­lish­ment was bank­ing on a greater spread of “slot” money in­vest­ing in the race rather than the prop­ping up nearly half the field it­self.

š Still, this is a su­per­class show­down, and when the starter lets them go, the pun­ters won’t care who owns what. My daugh­ter is going to Rand­wick on a party bus of 70. None of them no any­thing about rac­ing, but who cares, that’s the so­cial cut-through The Ever­est has gen­er­ated.

So what could change? Next year, I would have an early and pro­vi­sional tele­vised live auc­tion (with In­ter­na­tional hook-up) where horses are nom­i­nated and bought — above a pre­de­ter­mined Re­serve Price.

Of course, you only pay if you run, and the field could be stretched to 14, but up to 25 sprint­ers al­ready paid-up if they’re ul­ti­mately good enough make it. What­ever the fi­nal “slot” fig­ure, Rac­ing NSW and broad­cast rights cover bal­ance to reach $10m. Who knows it might make $12m.

Let’s face it. When you buy-in at the poker ta­ble, it’s all from the one deck of cards. It seems log­i­cal the likely $4 Ever­est favourite should cost way more than a $51 shot. Sched­ul­ing and plan­ning im­proves greatly, then we at­tract Euro­pean po­ten­tial Amer­i­can en­tries.

Of course, pro­vi­sional slot hold­ers can on­sell their stake at any time lead­ing up to the fi­nal field dec­la­ra­tion. All food for thought, but as for Edi­tion 1, who’s going to win?

Put it this way, I’ll be crying in my beer un­til 4am if Vega Magic ($6.50 to $5) doesn’t salute, he’s a star-moulded pow­er­house who races best on the fresh side, and whose ex­cep­tional abil­ity even as a three-year-old in WA has pro­gressed many lengths un­der David Hayes.

I only see two dan­gers — the three-year-old She Will Reign ($4.60 to $5.00) who is a star and scream­ing out un­der the WFA scale, and Redzel ($7.00 to $8.00), al­most now the com­plete sprinter from bar­rier to box.

My EVER­EST Tips:

1. VEGA MAGIC; 2. She Will Reign; 3. Redzel; 4. Chau­tauqua

ˆ A SU­PER day at Caulfield of­fers deep and com­pet­i­tive fields, with one of the best re­newals of the Group 2 Schillaci in years. Here are my Value Tips:

CAULFIELD GUINEAS: 1. CATCHY; 2. Ke­men­tari; 3. Royal Sym­phony

THOU­SAND GUINEAS: 1. AL­IZEE; 2. Shoals; 3. Leather ‘n’ Lace

TOORAK HCP: 1. EGG TART;

2. Comin’ Through; 3. Tom Mel­bourne

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