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New $2 million race 'The Invitation' leads Spring Carnival changes

July 16, 2021

Racing NSW has today announced that a new race – “The Invitation”, will be run in October 2021, headlining several enhancements to the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.

“The Invitation”, carrying prizemoney of $2 million, will be run for fillies and mares over a distance of 1400m at Royal Randwick on Saturday, 23 October 2021.

The field for “The Invitation” will exclusively comprise 12 starters invited by a panel convened by Racing NSW. Invitations will be extended to fillies and mares from across Australia and New Zealand. The race will run under a set-weight and penalty scale.

The Sydney Spring Carnival will also be further boosted with the following prizemoney increases and additional new races:

– George Main Stakes rises from $500,000 to $1 million

– Hill Stakes increased from $500,000 to $1 million

– New 2300m handicap on The Hunter raceday with prizemoney of $300,000

– New 1000m handicap on The Gong raceday with prizemoney of $300,000

“As we head towards “The Everest” and “The Golden Eagle,” “The Invitation” will provide a further highlight to spring racing in Sydney with a unique formulation of the field by invitation only,” said Racing NSW Chairman, Mr Russell Balding AO.

“The Invitation” also provides the Sydney Spring Carnival with a marquee race for fillies and mares.

“The addition of “The Invitation” and further targeted prizemoney increases consolidates and capitalises on the development and enhancement of spring racing in Sydney over the past five years.

“The Hill Stakes will be run for the 100th time and it is fitting that this race be commemorated with prizemoney of $1 million where we are confident of attracting some of the best middle-distance horses in Australasia.

“Further, running the George Main Stakes at $1 million recognises this race in its own right and also provides a superb progression for horses stepping up in distance to 2000 metres or contesting the Epsom for record prizemoney in 2021,” Mr Balding added.

The Hon. Kevin Anderson MP, Minister responsible for Racing, said: “The Invitation” is another exciting development in the Sydney spring.

“As Minister responsible for Racing, I’m extremely proud to oversee the significant growth of the NSW Thoroughbred Racing Industry both in popularity and profile in the past few years.

“Its growth is nothing less than extraordinary, however, as this announcement has shown, its even going to get better,” Mr Anderson added.

Australian Turf Club Chief Executive, Jamie Barkley said: “The introduction of “The Invitation” and other strategic prizemoney increases to traditional races has significantly added to the Sydney spring racing program, which will now host an amazing eight straight weeks of $1 million-plus races.

“These enhancements will take the Everest Carnival prizemoney to a record $50 million, again proving Sydney is among the leading racing jurisdictions in the world.

“ATC welcomes the increase to the George Main Stakes and the Hill Stakes, races which will attract the best horses in the country to Sydney.

“This maintains Sydney’s foremost position in delivering high value world-class races to our owners and participants.

“This period is Sydney’s time to shine in spring with a globally recognised racing carnival,” Mr Barkley concluded.

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