11/12/2013 2:12PM

Australia to hold year-end championship races in 2014


Australian racing authorities announced Tuesday the creation of a lucrative Breeders’ Cup-style, year-end race meeting to be called The Championships.

The two-day event, scheduled for Saturday, April 12, and Saturday, April 19, in 2014, will include 10 races with purses worth a combined $16.8 million and will be held at Royal Randwick Racecourse in suburban Sydney.

Eight of the races at the new meeting are established fixtures with Group 1 status that will undergo calendar changes and get a purse boost. The Star Doncaster Mile will offer a purse of about $2.8 million, making it the richest one-mile race in the world. The purse for the Darley TJ Smith Stakes has been raised to about $2.3 million, making it the richest sprint stakes in the world, while Queen Elizabeth Stakes, at 1 1/4 miles, will offer a purse of $3.7 million.

The Championships were formed through a partnership between the Australian Turf Club, which operates Royal Randwick, and Racing New South Wales. The New South Wales government contributed $10 million to the event, according to a news release.

The first day of The Championships comes just two weeks after the Dubai World Cup meeting, which has regularly attracted top horses from Australia and New Zealand.