The biggest spring carnival in Sydney’s racing history officially starts at Royal Randwick this Saturday with the running of the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes on a huge day of racing and trackside entertainment.
Australian Turf Club’s spectacular seven-week Everest Carnival features world-class racing, award-winning hospitality and a host of new precincts across Royal Randwick and Rosehill Gardens.
On a super nine-race card this Saturday which also includes boom filly Libertini shooting for the third leg of the Darley Princess Series, the Group 2 $500,000 Bowermans Office Furniture Shorts has assembled another “mini Everest” field.
Two-time winning Everest champion Redzel ($4.80 on TAB fixed odds), Santa Ana Lane ($8), Pierata ($4.60), Classique Legend ($4.20), In Her Time ($18) and Sunlight ($12) – all slot holders for the world’s richest race on turf the $14 million The TAB Everest – will clash on Saturday.
They are joined by the James Cummings prepared trio Osborne Bulls ($6.50), Viridine ($41) and Home Of The Brave ($19) who are all potential runners for Godolphin’s slot in The TAB Everest at Royal Randwick on 19 October.
The Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes features some of Australia’s best weight for age gallopers, including one of Royal Randwick’s all-time greatest Happy Clapper ($5).
The Pat Webster trained Happy Clapper to be ridden by Glen Boss has won almost $7 million in prizemoney and is the only horse in history to have won Royal Randwick’s three biggest miles – The Star Doncaster Mile, TAB Epsom and Villiers Stakes.
A Colgate Optic White Stakes victory would create further Royal Randwick folklore.
Godolphin’s Avilius for jockey Kerrin McEvoy is the $3.60 favourite for the Colgate Optic White Stakes ahead of the highly-consistent John Thompson trained Dreamforce ($4.20) for leading jockey Nash Rawiller.
Rising star Libertini is an early $1.95 favourite to win the third leg of the Darley Princess, the Group 2 $200,000 Darley Tea Rose Stakes, for trainer Anthony Cummings and jockey Tommy Berry.
She is followed in the market by Chris Waller’s Funstar ($4.40) and jockey James McDonald and the promising Godolphin filly Flit ($7.50) with jockey Tim Clark.
Two other black type races – the Group 3 $160,000 Bill Ritchie Handicap and Group 3 $160,000 The Agency Real Estate Kingston Town Stakes – feature wide-open betting races.
The huge line-up of racing stars comes as the Australian Turf Club launches the Everest Carnival – offering seven weeks of racing worth more than $40 million in prizemoney, including 28 Group and black type events at Royal Randwick and Rosehill Gardens.
Among the new precincts from Saturday at Royal Randwick is a new general admission area Pony Palms on the Leger Lawn, featuring a trackside pool and DJs throughout the raceday with views along the home straight.
Entry to Pony Palms is free for all general admission ticket holders. Other spaces on course include TAB Country Club featuring croquet, custom-built Heineken bars and a big screen and Harrolds Fashion Chute featuring a photography studio and glam beauty touch-ups by Runway Room.
Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Jamie Barkley said Royal Randwick and Rosehill Gardens would be Sydney’s favourite places to play this Spring.
“The Australian Turf Club is incredibly excited to launch the 2019 Everest Carnival, with a lucrative new spring racing program and many new features for racegoers.
“We are much more than just horse racing, we are a destination that offers a complete entertainment experience, including world-class racing, hospitality and fashion like no other in Sydney.
“The Everest Carnival has experienced significant growth year-on-year since inception three years ago and we look forward to welcoming all guests trackside.”
The Royal Randwick track was rated a Heavy 9 on Thursday afternoon. An updated track report and video will be recorded with Royal Randwick Racecourse Manager Michael Wood tomorrow morning.
Valid pre-purchased tickets to the races include travel to and from Royal Randwick Racecourse on train, Metro, bus, special event shuttle buses from Central, ferry and light rail services.
For all racing, general and ticketing information go to theraces.com.au