The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) has announced they will provide a generous $100,000 bonus to the connections of any horse that wins the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) after being balloted out of the 2010 Melbourne Cup final field.
Run on Saturday November 6 on Emirates Stakes Day, the closing day of the coveted Melbourne Cup Carnival, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington is a quality handicap event worth $150,000-to-the-winner.
Should a horse be balloted out of the Cup and subsequently win the Queen Elizabeth, it will collect a total $250,000 in prizemoney and bonuses as a lucrative consolidation for missing out on a start in the world’s richest handicap.
This year the Emirates Melbourne Cup is worth a record $6 million, and so connections will obviously be aiming for the Cup as their primary spring target although only 24 top class stayers will make the cut.
“It is arguably every owner’s dream to have an Emirates Melbourne Cup runner and to get as close as having a Cup final acceptor,” the VRC’s Chief Executive Dale Monteith said.
A distance change for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes has also been approved by the VRC, increasing 100 metres from 2,500 metres to 2,600 metres, presenting an increased staying challenge for the starters.
The consolation bonus is aimed to encourage connections of those horses that miss out on a spot in the Melbourne Cup to stay on with their horses and contest the Cup Carnival’s other terrific feature events.
“The Club’s offer will also act as an incentive for connections to continue to participate in the Melbourne Cup Carnival program,” Monteith said.
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes will be run four days after the 150th Melbourne Cup, and is one of four group race features run on the carnivals ‘Family Day’.
The headline race will of course be the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), and other highlights include the $500,000 Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) and the $300,000 Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m).