Pony Club: What's new at this year's The Everest
This year The Everest introduces new precincts, more fun and a Palm Springs-inspired playground with bars, cabanas and even pools, writes Julie Snook
Imagine the sun on your face and the sound of Champagne popping; the scent of freshly cut grass lingering in the air while your friends laugh nearby and the bookmakers shuffle cash in and out of their big old-fashioned book bags.
Thundering down the straight of the evergreen Royal Randwick are some of the country’s finest thoroughbreds.
And let’s not forget your reflection — the outfit is on point, just like the celebrities and style stars spotted in the buzzing crowd.
This is spring at its finest. This is The Everest Carnival. And Sydney, the wonderful news is that it’s happening in our own backyard.
From September until November, Royal Randwick and Rosehill Gardens host eight weeks of world-class racing, headlined by the third annual The Everest, run this year on October 19.
In 2019, The Everest features a new precinct, called The Estate. This high-end, corporate entertaining and hospitality precinct — think chandeliers, Champagne towers, velvet chaises — will be the ultimate in race-day luxury. It comes with a concierge service, custom-designed catering, uninterrupted views of the Randwick track, private betting facilities and live entertainment.
“We wanted to create something that was really unique to Sydney but also offered incredible prestige and glamour.” says the Australian Turf Club’s executive general manager (commercial), Corina Black. “We've looked the world over but really created something we think is our own.:
As well as The Estate, expect three more new zones — The Conservatory, The Manor and Pony Palms.
“Playing to the name Royal Randwick, the names The Conservatory and The Manor lend themselves to that beautiful, elegant and prestigious design,” Ms Black says.
For partygoers, Pony Palms will be constructed upon Leger Lawn.
“We're also looking to create a whole new precinct for our general customers coming through, really wanting a great day, really appealing to those younger audiences as well,” Ms Black says. “So it will be a Palm Springs-inspired precinct including bars; we’re putting in a pool, cabanas, it'll be just a great place to hang out, listen to fantastic music while you watch the racing.”
The Everest is the world’s richest race on turf, carrying a prize pool of $14 million and a rather remarkable trophy to boot. Sydney jewellers Cerrone created the handcrafted piece, which contains almost 500 carats of black and white diamonds, two rubies, seven kilograms of silver and carries a value of more than $500,000.
Also worth marking on your calendar is The Golden Eagle, which will be run at Rosehill Gardens on November 2. It is Australia’s third richest race, worth $7.5 million.
With such lucrative prize money on offer, it’s safe to say spring racing has been reinvigorated in New South Wales, with particular thanks to The Everest.
“What it's brought to racing here at Royal Randwick, and to Sydney, is quite incredible,“ says Ms Black.
“We've seen an unbelievable growth since its inception and now heading into the third year, even more so. It's fantastic for racing in Sydney.”
The Australian Turf Club says general ticket sales have increased 20 per cent on last year, while hospitality sales for The Everest Day sold out two weeks after release.
“I think we can thank Winx for that, Winx brought in an incredible new audience and they want to come back for more,” says Ms Black. “We're having to look at every experience across the entire customer journey. Where we're seeing that strong growth is across hospitality. We’re needing to create new experiences.”
From the Harrolds Fashion Chute, where the best-dressed ladies and gents flock, to the Moët & Chandon experience and the endless trackside entertainment, there’s something for all comers this spring.
The Estate is a luxurious racing destination located on the rails, comprising the Manor, a premium contemporary structure, and the Conservatory, an atrium-style glass panel marquee.
A new free experience in the general admission area, Pony Palms will be located on the Leger Lawn, and will be inspired by the golden age of Palm Springs. There will be racetrack views with poolside glamour, cocktails, food vendors and background beats by the hottest DJs.
HARROLDS FASHION CHUTE
The renowned fashion and style competition will return to the Everest, where ladies are invited to show off their best race day look. The most elegant attendees will be photographed on the day and be able to enter the contest. Finalists will be chosen and invited to attend the final presentation on the day, and be eligible to win major prizes.
EVEREST CARNIVAL FASHION LUNCH - OCTOBER 10
This pre-Everest day lunch will play host to Sydney’s most prosperous fashionistas at Royal Randwick and aims to to celebrate all things track-side fashion. VIPs, celebrities and iconic designers will be in attendance to see the magic unfold. Tickets are open to the public. Indulge in an afternoon of champagne, cocktails a d a two-course luncheon at the Moet & Chandon Garden, Royal Randwick. Harrolds will present a spring fashion runway, an inspiring “Women in Power” panel and entertainment. Thursday, October 10
Julie Snook co-hosts Racing Dreams Saturday 11am on Sky News