Monday, 19 March 2012
: One of Australia's favourite thoroughbreds Takeover Target took to Bondi Beach this morning to launch the 2012 BMW Sydney Carnival with some of the country's leading racing stars.
| Takeover Target|
Photo by Bronwen Healy
The NSW Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Hospitality and Racing, and Minister for the Arts, George Souris launcehd the carnival.
“Sydney Carnival is a highlight on Australia's racing calendar, held in the birthplace of Australian racing in Australia's leading events and tourism city,” Souris said.
“The NSW Government through Destination NSW has joined with Racing NSW, the Australian Turf Club, Tabcorp and Inglis to reconfigure the BMW Sydney Carnival as a signature event on the NSW Events Calendar.
“Together with our partners, we are working to make our Carnival the best thoroughbred racing and sales event in the Southern Hemisphere.
“It is events like the Carnival that ensure that Sydney, the gateway to Australia and NSW, remains number one when it comes to hosting major events in this country.”
Assisting the Minister to launch the event were Racing NSW Chairman John Messara and Australian Turf Club Chairman John Cornish as well as sponsors, ambassadors and leading racing identities.
ATC Chairman John Cornish said there were exciting times ahead for Sydney racing with major developments at its two flagship tracks.
Cornish said the largest super screen in the southern hemisphere would be ready for Rosehill Gardens in time for the AAMI Golden Slipper on April 7 and the $150m grandstand and “Theatre of the Horse” redevelopment at Royal Randwick would be ready in time for the 2013 Carnival.
“Let's make no mistake about it - on the completion of these works in time for next year's BMW Sydney Carnival we will have event racing facilities as good as any in the world,” Mr Cornish said.
“This will see Sydney racing back at our rightful place as a world leader in our industry and challenging like never before to be the number one racing destination in Australia.”
Leading jockeys Corey Brown and Kathy O'Hara and premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller discussed the serious side of the Carnival with their upcoming prospects on the turf.
Brown took the opportunity to climb aboard the legendary sprinter Takeover Target
who came out of retirement to add some equine class to the launch at the scenic and iconic Bondi Beach.
The popular Takeover Target
, 21 wins from 41 starts, won sprinting crowns in five major Australian cities and the United Kingdom, Japan and Singapore.
He last raced during the Sydney Carnival at Royal Randwick in 2009 as a nine-year-old, producing one of his best performances to thrash five Group 1 winning rivals including Apache Cat and Northern Meteor to win the $500,000 Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in record time.
The 2012 BMW Sydney Carnival is a world-class thoroughbred racing festival showcasing a staggering total of 40 Group races and more than $20 million in prize money on offer at Rosehill Gardens and Royal Randwick.
Sydney's premier racing Carnival covers six weeks of world class racing, stunning fashion and fantastic entertainment in Australia's global city and begins with Myer Ladies Day at Rosehill Gardens.
Held between 24 March and 28 April, it encompasses the richest race in the world for two year-olds - the $3.5m AAMI Golden Slipper and weight-for-age showcase the $2.25m BMW at Rosehill Gardens and the legendary $1.5m David Jones Australian Derby and the $2m BMW Doncaster Mile at Royal Randwick.
Carnival stakeholders, The Australian Turf Club (ATC), Racing NSW, Destination NSW, TAB and Inglis have united to bring to life the Carnival's unique entertainment proposition, racing tradition and the fun and fashion of the events on and off course.
The Carnival starts at Rosehill Gardens with Myer Ladies Day, Flinders Lane Rosehill Guineas Day, and finally arguably Sydney's racing event of the year, AAMI Golden Slipper Day, before moving on to Royal Randwick with the elegance of David Jones Australian Derby Day, BMW Doncaster Day, and the Carnival finale, Schweppes Sydney Cup Day.