The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and Patinack Farm have introduced a revolutionary new Global Sprint Challenge bonus and increased prize money for a major Group 1 race in the hopes of attracting the world’s best sprinters to Aussie shores for the Flemington’s famous Melbourne Cup Carnival.
One of the most anticipated sprint showdowns of the annual Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic, a weight-for-age race held down the 1200m Flemington straight on Emirates Stakes Day on the first Thursday of November.
The latest edition of the feature was won by superstar Melbourne mare Black Caviar who thrashed her rivals by an easy four lengths on November 6, 2010 to score her opening Group 1 win.
Black Caviar continued on to win five more elite level races this year before trainer Peter Moody made the decision to spell the superstar ahead of a spring campaign.
With Moody stating on Thursday that major spring plans for Black Caviar would include her defending her Patinack Farm Classic title, the to-date undefeated Caviar could face a field of the highest class.
Prize money for the Patinack Farm Classic will increase from $750,000 to $1 million for this year, the winner now guaranteed a lucrative $600,000.
Not only will the boost in stakes work to attract overseas raiders, but the VRC have also established a unique incentive for the connections of Global Sprint Challenge winners in the overseas legs of the challenge.
A generous bonus of $600,000 will be awarded to the Patinack Farm Classic winner should the horse have previously claimed victory in any of the current 2011 Global Sprint Challenge series events.
With the enhanced stakes and bonus combined, a star could potentially bag a massive $1.2 million for winning the 2011 Patinack Farm Classic on November 5, which is the richest payment on offer for any sprint race in the world.
“The Club has for some time been exploring the development of other races in the Melbourne Cup Carnival to attract international participation,” VRC Chief Executive Dale Monteith said.
“The Patinack Farm Classic offers such an opportunity, and we believe the announcement today (Thursday) will incentivize the connections of the world’s best sprinters to hopefully take on Black caviar and Australia’s best sprinters.
“The increased internationalisation of the Melbourne Cup Carnival will bring significant benefits to the Victorian Racing Industry.
“The Club is most appreciative of Patinack Farm’s strong commitment to the race and its internationalisation, with a three-year extension to its sponsorship.”
The bonus does not apply to winners of any Global Sprint Challenge race in Australia, but is open to Australian-trained horses that travel out of the country to race and win overseas.
Champion sprinters that are currently eligible for the bonus to date are South Africa’s star JJ The Jet Plane who won the 2010 Hong Kong International Spring, the Hong Kong-trained Ultra Fantasy for their victory in Japan’s 2010 Sprinters stakes and the Japanese-prepared Kinshasa no Kiseki – winner of the 2011 Takamatsunomiya Kinen.
Thoroughbreds have three upcoming Global Sprint Challenge legs this year to win eligibility for the bonus with the Krisflyer International Sprint on May 22 (Singapore), the King’s Stand Stakes (UK) in on June 14, the Golden Jubilee Stakes (UK) on June 18 and the July Cup (UK) on July 8.
Patinack Farm Chief Executive Officer Peter Beer was happy to be part of the exciting new era for Australia’s major racing carnival.
“Patianck Farm is delighted to support the VRC with its excellent initiatives to make the Patinack Farm Classic one of the world’s most exciting races, by extending our sponsorship commitment by a further three years,” Beer said.
“The increase in prize money reflects Patinack Farm’s commitment to be Australia’s leading locally owned racing and breeding operation.”