- Everest is planning a Kentucky Derby-style plan
- Organizers want to bring racegoers to the track
- The plan calls for the participation of an additional 5,000 players
organizers of Everest are planning a major change to the event that would allow the race to be held in front of 50,000 people and break the attendance record at the Royal Randwick.
The stage is set for an exciting seventh running of the Everest this weekend and Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club have revealed they are discussing opening the infield to players, just like they did at the famous Kentucky Derby.
The move, which could come as early as next year, means the world’s richest turf race could be played in front of 50,000 participants – 5,000 more than the crowd expected this Saturday.
The Kentucky Derby, one of the world’s premier horse races, offers racegoers the chance to watch the competition from the middle of the Churchill Downs track – and Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys and ATC chairman Peter McGauran believe the Everest could do something similar.
“We want it, but we didn’t want to rush it this year,” McGauran said Sydney Morning Herald.
Everest plans to break attendance records in Randwick with a Kentucky Derby-style plan (pictured: spectators at last year’s Everest)
At the Kentucky Derby (pictured), racegoers can watch the action from the infield of the famous Churchill Downs track
“We’ve looked closely at the Kentucky experience and there’s definitely scope for it because it’s relaxed.” You can wear sneakers, jeans and a shirt. It’s less expensive.
“Even if we run at a loss, but bring together 4,000 or 5,000 people who wouldn’t otherwise come to the races, then it’s a worthwhile exercise in audience development.”
“We’ll work on it and I think it’s more likely that we’ll have an audience in the infield in time.” “It’s all possible and we’d like to have it.”
The setup at Royal Randwick will present some difficulties, including the availability of training tracks and a car park within the track.
The Australian Turf Club also has an LED screen running along the inside of the straight. This means that an elevated structure must be installed so that spectators in the infield can see the action.
Officers are also making plans on how best to move crowds into the area as they cannot access it from the Alison Road side.
“It makes it difficult, but nothing is impossible,” V’landys said.
“We have already built the Winx stand, which can hold up to 6,000 people, and if we can get more people on the track by using the infield, we will definitely do it.”
The move means the world’s richest turf race could be held in front of 50,000 competitors (pictured Giga Kick winning Everest 2022).
Officials say the Kentucky Derby-style plan could be implemented as early as next year (Pictured: Fans at Everest 2022)
The Everest is expected to be held on Saturday in front of a crowd of around 45,000 fans (pictured, happy spectators leaving last year’s race).
Meanwhile, racing icon John Singleton says he will buy 40,000 fans a drink at Randwick Racecourse if his horse wins Everest on Saturday.
Advertising guru whiner Hawaii Five Oh pays $12 to finish the race – and when the stallion salutes in the $20 million contest, he’ll be left with a bill of more than $300,000.
Singleton is no stranger to pushing the bar for players and his latest pledge is in response to a similar move by the Australian Turf Club.
The ATC invites its members to a drink if Overpass, another front-runner in the race, takes the title.