SYDNEY (Reuters) - Favourite Classique Legend, ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, won the richest horse race on grass in the world, The Everest, at the Royal Randwick racecourse in Sydney on Saturday, while Verry Elleegant won the Group 1 Caulfield Cup in Melbourne.
The five-year-old Classique Legend stormed home in the final 300 metres of the weight-for-age 1,200-metre sprint to seal the A$6.2 million ($4.4 million) first prize in front of a raucous crowd that had been subject to COVID-19 restrictions.
Bivouac finished second, with Gytrash third.
The total prize pool was about A$15 million.
The world’s richest horse race is the US$20 million Saudi Cup, which is raced over 1,800 metres on a dirt track in Riyadh, with first place receiving US$10 million.
“It’s all in the genes,” Classique Legend trainer Les Bridge said of the gelding. “Some horses just get all the good genes.
“This horse has just got a big V8 motor.”
Eduardo led from the start and held on until the final 300 metres when McEvoy, who has now won three of the four The Everest races contested, piloted the big grey to the outside and stormed home by more than a length.
The Everest is not classed according to traditional horse racing conditions.
Investors buy one of the 12 slots available for A$600,000 and they can then nominate their own horse or approach other owners to enter a horse and then share the prize money.
In Melbourne, Verry Elleegant, ridden by Mark Zahra, held off Epsom Derby winner Anthony van Dyck with The Chosen One finishing third in the A$5 million Group 1 handicap over 2,400 metres.
The race, one of the premier events in Victoria’s spring racing carnival, was held with no crowd with the state still under strict COVID-19 lockdown conditions.
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by William Mallard and Raju Gopalakrishnan
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