The Australian Turf Club (ATC) announced on Friday that the Sydney Autumn and Spring Carnivals will continue as usual at the Royal Randwick next year despite a $150 million redevelopment project constructing world-class new facilities at the iconic racing venue.
The Sydney Autumn and Spring Racing Carnivals are host to many of Australia’s premier Group 1 races and the ATC has confirmed that all of the elite level showdowns including the Doncaster Mile, AJC Australian Derby and Epsom Handicap won’t be relocated to another track in 2012.
Advancements and construction at Randwick are expected to last 16 months, but stakeholders have been assured that the best option was to keep the key Sydney Carnival meetings at the course.
Among the primary works to be conducted at Royal Randwick are a new grandstand and theatre, with work starting in November and an expected completion date being in March of 2013.
“This is perhaps the largest sporting construction project seen in Sydney since the 2000 Olympic Games,” ATC Chairman John Cornish said.
“The board is unanimous in its view that this plan delivers the best results for members, sponsors, corporate partners, trainers and race goers,” Cornish said.
“The decision is the result of extensive and detailed analysis of a variety of options that impact on training, barrier trials, weekend and mid-week racing, Carnivals and non-race day events.”
While Carnival features will remain, there will be 19 Saturday and 26 mid-week meetings transferred from Randwick to other surrounding ATC and provincial tracks.
“Obviously, construction of this magnitude will cause some inconvenience but we believe this approach has minimised disruption to the widest cross section of our stakeholders while helping to prepare the Club for an exciting future in the shortest possible time,” Cornish said.
Awaiting ARB Pattern Committee approval is also a revised Sydney Spring Carnival racing programme.
The ACT has put forward a revised carnival schedule with the desire to stage four successive Group 1 race days across Rosehill Gardens and Royal Randwick throughout the spring season.
The key carnival programme change would be to the date of the Group 1 Golden Rose, proposed to be run two weeks later than in previous years, tentatively scheduled for Saturday September 10, 2011.