SPRING racing in Sydney is set to be expanded with the recent announcement of a new race The Golden Eagle.
Carrying prizemoney of a mammoth $7.5 million, The Golden Eagle is scheduled for Rosehill on Saturday November 2 next year.
It will be run over 1500 metres and is only open only to four-year-olds at set-weight conditions.
“The Golden Eagle is the first feature race on the Australian Racing calendar exclusively for four-year-old horses,” Racing NSW chairman Russell Balding AO said.
“We believe The Golden Eagle will be attractive in retaining our top three-year-olds to race on as four-year-olds and benefits the racing industry.”
Of the $7.5 million prizemoney for The Golden Eagle, 10 per cent will be donated to charity, with connections of each runner nominating a charity that has been accredited with Racing NSW, and that charity will receive 10 per cent of prizemoney won by their horse.
According to the Racing NSW announcement $750,000 will go to charity, but for example as prizemoney for first place which is $4.1m, the charity nominated by the owners of the winning horse would receive $410,000.
The Golden Eagle has also been elevated to being the third leg of the new “Golden Slam” at Rosehill.
There is a $5m bonus offered to any horse that can win the Golden Slipper as a two-year-old, the Golden Rose as a three-year-old, then taking out The Golden Eagle as a four-year-old.
To win any one of these races is a major event, but a galloper that would win all three would indeed have to be a super champion, however is possible.
While The Golden Eagle headlines changes for Sydney spring racing, in addition there will be two new $1m races - one for juveniles and another for three-year-olds.
The new $1m Bondi Stakes will be run at Randwick for three-year-olds over 1600 metres on Saturday October 26.
This race provides a new spring target for the age group in Sydney which follows from races including The Golden Rose and the Flight Stakes.
The Golden Gift – a 1100 metres race for juveniles which was first run by the ATC in 2015, will be now run for $1m on Saturday November 9.
This race provides a focal point for spring two-year-old racing with prizemoney on offer enough to ensure that the first and second placegetters gaining a start in the following year’s Golden Slipper.
Vale Errol French
ONE of country racing’s most prolific owners – Errol French who passed away following illness, was appropriately fare-welled with a service to commemorate his life at the Tamworth racecourse recently.
For over 30 years, Mr French raced horses around the State, numerous of them named with the word “Blinkin” in it.
The majority of his horses were prepared by veteran Taree conditioner Ross Stitt.
However in recent times he spread his horses over a number of trainers in varying districts.
Other trainers who had horses for Mr French in recent times included Sue Grills, Stephen Dixon and Craig Clegg at Tamworth, and Clint Lundholm at Dubbo.
Home-bred Cosmic Kingdom gelding Blinkin Quick who had 83 starts for 16 wins, nine seconds and 12 thirds (for over $128,000 prizemoney) and Clan McClymont (by Danzig’s Mull Of Kintyre) won 12 races and over $140,000 were trained by Ross Stitt.
Another was the Moonbi trained by Ruth Cooper galloper Blinkin Easy, an Easy Rocking gelding who had 103 starts for 14 wins, 11 seconds and 13 thirds for returns of over $237,000.
Steve Brem remembered
THE recent win by Snippetspeed at Warwick Farm was another reminder of the loss to the Australian Thoroughbred industry of Sydney resident Steve Brem.
Brem passed away following a battle with cancer at age 69 in September.
Born in New Zealand, Steve had journalist stints before becoming the first national secretary of the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association.
In 1999, Steve moved to Sydney. It was here where he joined Gai Waterhouse’s stable as her racing manager and yearling sales’ consultant.
He assisted in many of her purchases among these including Group 1 winners Dance Hero, Excellerator and Theseo.
A three-year-old filly by Snippetson, Snippetspeed is Steve’s more recent purchases (via the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale).
Steve’s other recent assisted purchases includes this year’s Group 1 winner D’argento, and Group 2 winning filly Fiesta.
The Barman retires
POPULAR 10-year-old galloper Who Shot Thebarman has been retired.
A New Zealand bred gelding of Yamanin Vital (by Sir Tristram), Who Shot Thebarman arrived in Australia in 2014 as an Auckland Cup-G1 winner, but went on to win 11 races and over $4.5m.
Such was his toughness, Who Shot Thebarman competed in five Melbourne Cups and six Sydney Cups (all over 3200 metres).
This included the horse winning the latter in front of a huge cheering crowd at Randwick last April.
We believe The Golden Eagle (the first feature race on the Australian Racing calendar) will be attractive in retaining our top three-year-olds to race on as four-year-olds and benefits the racing industry.