Channel 7 to show Sydney racing for next five years


Sydney racing will be shown of free-to-air after a deal was struck between the racing industry and Channel 7.

Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club have negotiated a five-year deal with free-to-air broadcaster Channel 7 to showcase Sydney racing to wider audience.

The agreement means Sydney race meeting will be televised on a dedicated mainstream and digital channels 52 weeks a year until 2027 and complements the existing coverage on Sky Racing and Sky Thoroughbred Central.

All of Sydney’s major race days will be featured in the free-to-air deal including the Epsom Handicap meeting at Royal Randwick on Saturday, the $15 million The TAB Everest and $7.5 million Golden Eagle later this month, and next year’s Golden Slipper and The Championships during autumn.

Racing Confidential understands the free-to-air agreement was finalised in time for the start of this year’s $50 million Everest Carnival at Royal Randwick.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said the deal “reflected the standing of Sydney’s world-class racing”.

“Sydney has the world’s best horses, jockeys and trainers who now will be further showcased right around Australia,” V’landys said.

“We are delighted with this deal for the benefit of the entire industry in Sydney and NSW and which continues a strong relationship with Channel 7 forged over many years.

“In coming weeks more people will see some outstanding racing including the event being talked about around the world, the richest race on turf the TAB Everest.”

ATC chief executive Jamie Barkley said for those who can’t be at Randwick or Rosehill during the spring the “great excitement and colour of Sydney racing is now brought even further into their loungerooms.

“Racing in Sydney has never been stronger and this deal with our great partner Channel 7 helps to further grow and share our racing with even more eyeballs,” Barkley said.


Tommy Berry’s 2012 Epsom-Metropolitan double with Fat Al and Glencadam Gold remains one of his most cherished moments in racing – but not just because of his dual Group 1 triumphs.,

“I was very confident about Glencadam Gold’s chances and when I won the Epsom earlier on Fat Al, I knew I could get the double,” Berry said.

“I remember walking back into the jockeys room after the Metropolitan and (late twin brother) Nathan jumped out of the shower and gave me a big hug. It was a special day.

“All those memories I was able to celebrate with Nathan really stand out to me because I don’t get to do that anymore.”

Meanwhile, Tommy Berry is having success in another racing code – as a greyhound owner.

Berry and fellow Sydney jockeys Brenton Avdulla, Kerrin McEvoy, Nash Rawiller, Regan Bayliss, Tom Sherry, Winona Costin, Jason Collett and jockey manager Tye Angland share in the ownership of Best On Ground, a brilliant winner of her only two starts.

Leading trainer Darryl Thomas sourced Best On Ground for owner Brad Canty before the jockeys bought shares in the promising greyhound.

Avdulla, who is currently on the injured list, has a passion for the greyhounds and formed the jockeys’ syndicate.

McEvoy, rider of three winners of The Everest and Melbourne Cup, said Best On Ground is his first foray into greyhound ownership.

“Best On Ground is showing a lot of promise and it’s been exciting “ McEvoy said.

“It was funny the other night when they gave all the jockeys a shout out on Sky after she won they left Brenton out so we have been winding him up about it since.”

Best On Ground is being prepared for the heats of the prestigious Peter Mosman Opal at Wentworth Park in a couple of weeks.


Think It Over has firmed into $2 favouritism after the scratching of champion mare Verry Elleegant from the 100th running of the Group 2 $1 million Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

The return clash of Verry Elleegant and Think It Over was shaping as one of the highlights of the Epsom meeting after their thrilling showdown for the George Main Stakes two weeks ago when the mare was a narrow winner of her ninth Group 1 race.

Instead, Verry Elleegant has been sent to Melbourne to contest the Group 1 $1 million Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.

But it is hoped Racing NSW and Australian Turf Club continue to invest in the Hill Stakes as Sydney lacks for a premier weight-for-age middle distance highlight race in spring.

In time, the Hill Stakes could fill that void as the race and potentially push for Group 1 status as the race’s honour roll already reads like a who’s who of Australian racing including Phar Lap (1930-1931), Peter Pan (1932, 1935), Bernborough (1946), Redcraze (1956-57), Gunsynd (1972), Super Impose (1991), Saintly (1996), Tie The Knot (1999), Desert War (2004-05) and Verry Elleegant (2019).

Meanwhile, Racing NSW stewards have agreed to allow four jockeys to ride overweight in the $1.5 million The TAB Epsom on Saturday.

Tim Clark will ride Sky Lab at 52.5kg or 2kg over the allotted weight, Ashman’s jockey Jeff Penza rides his mount at 52kg (1.5kg over) and Regan Bayliss is on Private Eye at 52.5kg (1.5kg over). Hall of Famer Glen Boss (pictured) is chasing a fifth win in the Epsom on Reloaded who he rides at 52.5kg (1.5kg over). If Boss is successful on Reloaded, he will equal one of the oldest records in Australian racing. Don Nicholson rode his fifth Epsom winner in 1884.


Cessnock Racecourse will receive a $11.5 million upgrade as part of the NSW Government’s $67 million investment in regional racing.

The Minister responsible for Racing, Kevin Anderson said the upgrade means Cessnock will soon have access to first class training facilities with new stables for 300 horses and a synthetic training track.

Anderson said the Cessnock allocation comes in the $20 million spend budgeted for Scone racetrack and $4.2 million worth of improvements at Muswellbrook.

“Earlier this year the NSW Government announced the single biggest investment in regional racing and I am pleased to announce that Cessnock racecourse will receive significant upgrades as part of that funding,” Anderson said.

Racing NSW chairman, Russell Balding said the Cessnock announcement will “ensure the ongoing sustainability of racing in the Cessnock region.”

“Importantly it will allow local trainers to compete with provincial and city-based trainers on an equal footing in respect of access to modern training infrastructure and facilities and allow country horses to be more competitive.” Balding said.

Originally published as Sydney racing on free-to-air for next five years in new deal with Racing NSW, ATC and Channel 7

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