The Labor Opposition today outlined a three-point plan to grow The Everest into the biggest racing event in the world, following the outstanding success of the first running of the $10 million race on the weekend. 

First, Labor is promoting a switch to a night-time running of The Everest, under lights at Randwick.

Second, under a Foley Labor government the barrier draw for The Everest will take place on the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the Sunday evening prior to the race.

Third, Labor would designate The Everest as a ‘major event’ putting it on the same footing as the NRL Grand Finals.

Taken together these three initiatives would make the world’s richest race on turf an even more spectacular event, and showcase Sydney to the world.

Approval for the installation of lights at Royal Randwick – the venue for last weekend’s Everest – would be fast tracked so The Everest can be staged on a Friday night.

The Everest race day meeting at Randwick attracted 35,000 people and Racing NSW estimates it contributed $100 million to the Sydney economy.

Night-time racing at Randwick could open up a new market for racing and deliver a significant fillip to the local tourism economy by boosting overnight stays. Racing already contributes $1.9 billion to the state economy and supports around 50,000 jobs.

Mr Foley has long recognised the importance of racing and the thoroughbred industry to the NSW economy: his first act upon being elected as Labor Leader in early 2015 was a pledge to bring wagering taxes for the NSW racing industry into line with Victoria – a policy the Government was then forced to adopt.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“There is a golden opportunity to turn The Everest into something bigger and better that showcases Sydney to the world.

“We should build on the success of The Everest and make it into the biggest racing event in the world. It has the potential and we would be mad not to tap into that.

“Labor’s plan to switch The Everest to a night-time event, stage a spectacular barrier draw on the Harbour Bridge and designate the event as a special event could inject extra jobs and tourism dollars to the Sydney economy.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Gaming and Racing Michael Daley

Our vision is to see The Everest become the biggest racing event in the world.

“We will work with Randwick Council to make sure the lights are turned on for night racing.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Major Events Penny Sharpe

Designating The Everest as a major event is the first step to making it a truly international occasion that will draw people not just from interstate but possibly from around the world.

“The state government needs to do everything in its power to promote The Everest to a wider audience.”