The Everest prizemoney purse set to increase to $20 million

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Peter V’landys’ dream of a $20 million Everest is set to come true in October after slot holders agreed to a deal to run Australia’s richest race for the eye-watering prize pool.

The prizemoney increase is set to be announced within days, slot holders and owners confirmed to this masthead. The Everest will become the second richest race in the world, behind only the Saudi Cup.

Giga Kick takes out The Everest last year and is favourite to do it again in 2023, when the prize pool will be $20 million.Credit: Getty

The prizemoney increase continues the monumental rise of The Everest, which was first run just six years ago as Australia’s first $10 million race and has since become the focal point of the sport in this country.

Slot holders have been asked to lift their investment to $700,000 for a place in the race, but in return they will see a $5 million increase to the 2022 purse, with the prizemoney for last place to cover the slot fee in a change to the way the purse is distributed.

Giga Kick’s trainer Clayton Douglas and jockey Craig Williams with The Everest trophy.Credit: Getty

“It’s a ridiculous amount of money and something I never thought I would see in Australian racing, but Peter V’landys and his team have done it,” a source with knowledge of the situation told this masthead. “The way they are going to do it, everyone wins.”

Racing NSW has always maintained slot holders had a lifetime option on the slot they bought when the race was first run in 2017, but had to ask them for an extra $100,000 to make the $20 million prize pot viable.

V’landys targeted the younger generation with The Everest, and its brash nature has disrupted racing’s traditional calendar. In a mark of its lavish nature, the winner receives a diamond-encrusted trophy worth more than $600,000.

It has become the biggest race in Australia, exceeding even V’landys’ lofty expectations. But the Racing NSW CEO has always been open about when asked about how big the event could become.

“Our aim has always been to make it $20 million,” Peter V’landys said on Brisbane radio the day after the 2022 edition.“Whatever the prizemoney increase, it won’t be a million or two million – it will be a massive increase.

“The Everest has been a platform for improving NSW racing and we need to keep improving The Everest.”

The race has become a year-round talking point for punters and any horse that wins a big sprint race anywhere in the world is talked about as an Everest contender. The winners – Redzel, Yes Yes Yes Nature Strip – become household names.

A record crowd of 46,221 turned out at Randwick last year to see Giga Kick win The Everest, and the Clayton Douglas-trained gelding is favourite to do it again on October 15.

He will again run in the James Harron Bloodstock slot, with Mazu – which ran third last year – the only other confirmed runner in The Star and Arrowfield slot as part of a two-year deal

Racing’s biggest players have invested in The Everest, including Coolmore Stud, Aquis and the big spending Yulong Investments. Chris Waller has a slot, as does the TAB and auction house Inglis, and all are still looking to lock in a sprinter for October’s race.

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