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Posted 2021-11-09 11:06:14  
Golden Eagle bigger than Melbourne Cup prize

Sydney’s spring racing carnival now boasts the two richest races in the nation with the Golden Eagle receiving a prizemoney boost to $8 million from next year.

The Golden Eagle becomes the second richest race in the southern hemisphere, behind only The Everest which is valued at $15 million.

The Melbourne Cup has been the nation’s leading prizemoney race for most of its 161 years but is now ranked third with total stakes of $7.75 million.

I'm Thunderstruck wins the third running of the Golden Eagle at Rosehill last month. Picture: Grant Guy

I'm Thunderstruck wins the third running of the Golden Eagle at Rosehill last month. Picture: Grant Guy

Racing NSW chairman Russell Balding said the decision to increase the Golden Eagle prizemoney by $500,000 to $8 million is “befitting of its position as Australia’s premier four-year-old race and one of the highlights of the Sydney spring racing carnival.”

“The Golden Eagle has been a stunning success both on the track and through wagering, with this increase reflecting what an instant hit the race has been,” Balding said.

“The race has clearly resonated with the racing public and has cemented its place in our expanded Sydney spring carnival.”

The unique aspect of the Golden Eagle is that 10 per cent of all prizemoney goes to various, nominated charities.

This means that a total of $800,000 will be donated by owners of Golden Eagle runners next year to charities of their choice next year.

When I’m Thunderstruck won the Golden Eagle late last month, Camp Quality, the nominated charity of the winner’s connections, received $410,000 towards is services and programs that support children living with cancer and their families.

Racing NSW’s annual report released last week illustrated that The Golden Eagle attracts the second highest wagering turnover of any NSW race, behind only The Everest.

Remarkably, The Everest and the Golden Eagle have only recently been added to the Sydney spring carnival program but have quickly established themselves as elite level races.

The Everest, run over 1200m at Royal Randwick, was introduced in 2017 and is now recognised as the world’s richest turf race.

Nature Strip, rated the best sprinter in the world, won The Everest last month in a thrilling climax to the race, holding off the fast-finishing Masked Crusader and Eduardo.

The Golden Eagle was introduced in 2019 as part of Sydney’s enhanced spring carnival race program. It is a 1500m race restricted to four-year-olds and held at Rosehill Garden.

Kolding won the inaugural Golden Eagle, then Colette in 2020 before I’m Thunderstruck took this year’s edition.

All three winners of the race were Group 1 winners prior to their Golden Eagle triumphs. Kolding and Colette trained on to win again at racing’s highest level and I’m Thunderstruck seems to also win more Group 1 races next year.

The prizemoney increase for The Golden Eagle comes after last week’s announcement that the Golden Slipper would be worth $5 million (up from $3.5 million) next year.

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