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By Graham Potter | Friday, October 16, 2020

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the column these articles are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

Australia, or more specifically the Australian Turf Club, will host the world’s richest race on turf at Royal Randwick this weekend … the $15 million The Everest.

To give you an idea of what the world’s richest race on turf translates to in hard money terms and what type of financial reward the connections of the twelve runners involved are chasing, consider this.

The first prize is $6.2 million. Given that the race can be expected to be run in around 68 to 69 seconds, that means that the winner will earn approximately $90 510 per second. Or, if you like, as the race is over 1200m that means that the winner will earn $5 166 per metre covered.

For those who narrowly miss out on the glory, second place is worth $2.4 million. Third place comes in at $1.3 million and for fourth connections would still have scaled the $1 million return on investment barrier. In fact, the fifth place prize money of $750 000 will also leave that slot holder in profit.

As grand as this prize-money is, it is all about a return on investment because getting a run in the race is not an inexpensive exercise.

Twelve slots are purchased at $600 000 a time and those slot holders can then select a horse they want to run in their interests. To secure their horse of choice, they then have to come to a financial arrangement with the connections of that horse as to how prize-money won will be split.

Where-ever you are in that roundabout, it is a big stakes game … and not everybody will emerge unscathed.

The $600 000 slot price purchase tag means that the ‘connections’ of all of runners finishing sixth to twelfth will have a negative return on investment. Sixth place is worth $500 000 ($100 000 down on the slot investment), while seventh to twelfth place all pat $450 000 ($150 000 down on the slot investment).

Most of the slot holders, the likes of Godolphin, Coolmore, Aquis, understandably, given the outlay needed to get into the game, are wealthy enough to be able say it s not about the money. It’s about the thrill of involvement, the challenge of the competition and, of course, finding that magical moment of elation that success brings if you get the right result.

And it has been a six month or more road travelled that has brought them to this race-day … with all of their individual horse selection processes taking days and months to finalise … before the negotiation of ‘who gets what’ came into play with hard core deals having to be struck.

So, while members of the general racing public will be hoping to scream home the horse they selected for some to get a return on their own humble investment, there will be plenty going on both on the track and in the grandstand at Randwick at 4.15pm on Saturday.
Both in the action on the track and the tension amongst the horse’s connections, things do not get more intense than this.

But remember not to blink.

After months and months of planning, the cut and thrust of negotiation and the fine tuning of the horse's preparation … it will all be over in 70 seconds!

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