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The Championships: ATC announces $18.2 million two-day racing series in Sydney

The Australian Turf Club has unveiled plans for an $18 million racing championship to be run across two Saturdays in Sydney next April.

Dubbed The Championships, the two days will feature eight Group One races as part of a reorganised autumn carnival headlined by the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The NSW Government has contributed $10 million to the series, which Racing Minister George Souris
predicts will raise more than $40 million for the state's economy.

"We have selected three iconic races and enhanced them to make them the richest of their type in the world," he said.

The Championships

April 12, 2014
  • $9.6 million Doncaster Mile (1,600m)
  • $3 million TJ Smith Stakes (1,200m)
  • $2.5 million Australian Derby (2,400m)
  • $2 million Sires' Produce Stakes (1,400m)
  • $1 million plus Chairman's Quality, Adrian Knox Stakes, Kindergarten Stakes, PJ Bell Stakes, Carbine Club Stakes
April 19, 2014
  • $8.6 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2,000m)
  • $4 million Sydney Cup (3,200m)
  • $1 million Australian Oaks (2,400m)
  • $1 million Queen Of The Turf (1,500m)
  • $1 million Royal Sovereign Stakes (1,200m)
  • $500,000 Princess Stakes (1,200m)
  • $500,000 plus Sapphire Stakes, South Pacific Classic, Fernhill Handicap.

"These are the Doncaster Mile, the world's richest mile race now worth $3 million, the TJ Smith Stakes, the world's richest open sprint race at $2.5 million, and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, at $4 million becoming the world's richest 2,000-metre turf race."

Racing NSW has landed a decisive blow in its bid to own Australia's autumn racing spotlight.

It is understood discussions about a prize money surge for the Sydney autumn carnival had been ongoing for some time, but an announcement was held over until after the Melbourne Cup carnival.

Racing NSW boss John Messara believes The Championships will be able to attract a strong contingent of overseas runners, helping lift its global profile.

"We have identified 10 championship races across various age and distance ranges which are the highlight of these two days," he said.

"Eight of those races are already Group One events, and with the injection of almost $10 million, this program will lure the finest horses from Australia and New Zealand and from other countries across the globe.

"Our goal is for this to become the greatest event for racing in the southern hemisphere."

A further $2.3 million has been provided to boost prize money for support races in key lead-ups to The Championships.

Among them, the George Ryder Stakes will be moved forward a week to Rosehill Guineas day and is now worth $1 million.

The Sydney autumn carnival now boasts two of Australia's richest three races; the $4m Queen Elizabeth and $3.5m Golden Slipper trail only the $6.2m Melbourne Cup.

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