THE Caulfield Cup prize money purse will be raised to $3 million and a second $1 million three-year-old race installed within October’s Caulfield Cup Carnival as part of a raft of developments announced by the Melbourne Racing Club today.

The enhancements form a key plank of a broader strategy by the club, incorporating investments in its core product of racing and returns to participants, as well as capital projects to benefit its members.

The purse increase is one of several modifications to the Caulfield Cup, which includes an extension of prize money payment from eighth to tenth position, an increased, independent focus on recruitment, and a change to balloting conditions, designed to further elevate the status of the race considered one of Australia’s four “grand slam” contests.

 

The three-year-old event, to be called the Caulfield Classic and run on Caulfield Cup day, revitalises the Group Three Norman Robinson Stakes.  Carrying prize money of $750,000, it will offer a further $250,000 bonus to the winners of the BECK Caulfield Guineas (Group One, $1 million, 1600 metres) and Schweppes Thousand Guineas (Group One, $500,000, 1600 metres) if they can complete the double.

Accordingly, the Schweppes Thousand Guineas will advance from its traditional position on the Wednesday bisecting the club’s three-day festival, to BECK Caulfield Guineas day four days earlier, to enable fillies the opportunity to run in both classics. 

BECK Caulfield Guineas day is set to become one of only five race meetings on the national calendar boasting four group one races.  Meanwhile, the feature of the Wednesday meeting will become the $250,000 Blue Sapphire, previously run on Guineas day.

Melbourne Racing Club Chairman, Mike Symons, heralded the developments as emblematic of the club’s constant commitment to improving its racing product, part of a broader strategy incorporating significant capital investment in member amenities, and the general offering to racegoers, at Caulfield.

“The enhancements to the Caulfield Cup represent a dedication to continuing the growth of the race on both local and international levels,” Mr Symons said.

“While we had made recent developments to the Cup through, for instance, granting the Mornington Cup winner ballot exemption, it had been almost a decade since our flagship race had enjoyed an expansion of this nature.

“Along with these immediate changes, we have refined our recruitment strategy and are in the process of strengthening our resources to that effect.

“The changes to the three-year-old program characterise our desire for Caulfield to be considered the springboard for Australia’s elite young talent. We saw an opening to create another classic race, and we hope the significantly bolstered Norman Robinson will develop into that. Likewise the Blue Sapphire: we believe it is a race with enormous potential.

“It’s important to note that this refurbishment of our carnival is not a short-term commitment, and is the result of careful planning and investment from the club over a lengthy period.

“Throughout the last five years, the Melbourne Racing Club has focused heavily on developing non-racing income streams, the proceeds of which were designed to be reinvested into our member services and core product. The next capital expenditure project is a $1 million facelift to our member-only Medallion Bar, with more to be revealed in the coming months.”

Changes to the Melbourne Racing Club’s Caulfield Cup Carnival racing program are outlined as follows:

Caulfield Cup

2014 date: Saturday 18 October

What’s new:

-          Prize money increased to $3 million plus trophies (was $2.5 million);

-          Prize money paid to tenth position (previously paid to eighth); distribution as follows:

o    1st:        $1,750,000 (was $1,500,000)

o    2nd:      $425,000 (was $375,000)

o    3rd:       $225,000 (was $200,000)

o    4th:       $125,000 (was $110,000)

o    5th:       $100,000 (was $90,000)

o    6th:       $75,000

o    7th:       $75,000

o    8th:       $75,000

o    9th:       $75,000 (not paid previously)

o    10th:     $75,000 (not paid previously)

-          Horses deadlocked in order of entry to be decided by highest international rating figure of previous twelve months (previously MRC Committee discretion).

 

Caulfield Classic

2014 date: Saturday 18 October (Caulfield Cup day)

What’s new:

-          ‘Caulfield Classic’ race name (was Norman Robinson Stakes);

-          Prize money increased to $750,000 plus $250,000 bonus component (was $150,000);

-          $250,000 bonus offered to any horse that can win the race having won either the BECK Caulfield Guineas or Schweppes Thousand Guineas the Saturday prior;

-          Run under set weights conditions (previously set weights and penalties).

 

Schweppes Thousand Guineas

2014 date: Saturday 11 October

What’s new:

-          Run on same day as BECK Caulfield Guineas (was run on subsequent Wednesday to 2013);

-          Winner eligible for a $250,000 bonus should she win the Caulfield Classic the following Saturday.

 

BECK Caulfield Guineas

2014 date: Saturday 11 October

What’s new:

-          Winner eligible for a $250,000 bonus should he or she win the Caulfield Classic the following Saturday.

 

Blue Sapphire

2014 date: Wednesday 15 October

What’s new:

-          Feature race of the Wednesday meeting bisecting the Caulfield Cup Carnival (was previously run on the first Saturday of the Carnival, BECK Caulfield Guineas day).

 

Schweppes Thousand Guineas Prelude

(Also known as Tranquil Star Stakes)

2014 date: Sunday 28 September

What’s new:

-          Run on Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes day (previously run on Carnival Preview Day/Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes day).

MELBOURNE RACING CLUB MEDIA RELEASE 

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