Why the $ 7.5 million Golden Eagle has become one of Sydney’s most important races


It is well known that the Sydney Races have grabbed the headlines in the spring in recent years, with the introduction of huge races that clashed with traditional Victorian races.

Everest has become the most exciting sprint race on the calendar, while races like The Invitation last weekend and The Four Pillars this Saturday are two other big additions.

But perhaps what has been underestimated during the recent wave here in Sydney is how important the $ 7.5 million Golden Eagle has become for a myriad of reasons.

Yes, the prize is absolutely fantastic for connections and it pits amazing horses against each other to create a great show for fans at Rosehill or to watch at home.

But according to Racing NSW COO Graeme Hinton, it’s also a great opportunity for horses to compete at a high level while they are at their peak of power.

“When we established the race, what we wanted to identify is that when a horse hits four, it actually hits the peak of its ability,” he said. Great sporty breakfast Thursday morning.

“He’s at his best, he’s matured, he’s flying and he’s the healthiest.

“We found the Golden Eagle to be the perfect opportunity to find these four year olds at their best, to bring them all together over 1,500m, which is that good middle distance distance.

“And then you have the pitch we have on Saturday, which again is absolutely fantastic.”

Saturday’s field at Rosehill will be littered with quality horses, with Group 1 winners I’m Thunderstruck and Private Eye headlining, looking to emulate Colette and Kolding’s excellent performances over the first two years.

It will also feature a stack of international horses, which Hinton says is proof of just how well established he is already.

“We love to see them come out,” he said.

“We don’t prepare these races to attract internationals, we like to organize them as they are and if the internationals choose to come, so much the better.

“What’s exciting is that some of these internationals are now here to stay which adds to our pool of horses in NSW and there are some very high quality ones.”

The other thing that makes the Golden Eagle so special is the charity aspect of the race.

Each runner will be linked to a different charity and 10% of all winnings will go to the charity of their choice, meaning a total of $ 750,000 will be donated to different organizations.

“There is $ 7.5 million in prize money for the race, and what we do is associate each horse with a charity and 10 percent of the horse’s prizes go to charity,” said Hinton.

“The first prize is $ 4.1 million, so this horse’s charity gets $ 410,000 and until last place. We give each charity at least $ 1,000.

“The race does a lot behind the scenes for charity. We don’t brag in this space, we contribute and always help give to these organizations.

“What we found with the Golden Eagle was just a chance to take it onto the bigger stage and give these charities something to cheer on.

“When providing the list of charities, we found some really heartwarming stories in the group of owners of these horses.

“They also have a real connection to these charities, which adds another layer of it and makes them feel like they’re personally giving something back.”

The introduction of these great races in recent years is in large part thanks to Peter V’landys.

And when Hinton was asked if more additions were coming, he thinks the ARLC boss might have a few tricks up his sleeve.

“You never get bored at Racing NSW,” he said.

“I think if we leave Peter V’landys alone for a little while, he will offer us something special.”

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