The chairman of Racing Victoria has hit out at the Melbourne Racing Club’s involvement in the $14 million Everest in Sydney.
The MRC, one of three metropolitan racing clubs in Melbourne, struck a deal with the Australian Turf Club for its slot in the 2019 Everest at Randwick on October 19, the same day as the Caulfield Cup.
A week earlier, the winner of the Schillaci Stakes at the MRC meeting at Caulfield was guaranteed a spot in The Everest.
Godolphin’s Trekking won the Schillaci and went on to finish third in The Everest.
“It wasn’t something I was in favour of personally,” RV chairman Brian Kruger said on RSN927 on Wednesday.
“I think there were pros and cons for it for the Melbourne Racing Club.
“I guess my concern, and I have expressed it directly to them as well, was I feel like the fact they bought the slot in The Everest sort of endorsed the whole New South Wales encroachment onto spring racing from a Victorian racing perspective.
“So I understand why they did it, trying to promote the Schillaci and obviously they did OK, I think their horse ran second or third in the race.
“But it was just that, to be seen as an endorsement of what I felt was NSW, from a Victorian perspective, encroaching on our spring carnival it wasn’t something I was personally comfortable with.”
Asked if he would expect the MRC to have the same Everest slot this year, Kruger replied: “I think we’ll have some more discussions about it before they make that call.”
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’Landys is on record saying Victoria does not own the spring and his job is to do the best for NSW during a period when there is clear air after the end of the NRL season.
Last year, NSW introduced new races to bolster the Sydney spring, including the $7.5 million Golden Eagle, and increased the prize money for several existing races.