One Million Dollar World Cup for Sydney
The suburb of Menangle Park is located approximately fifty kilometers from the central business district of Sydney, in Australia. In 1914, the racecourse was opened in Menangle Park and due to its association with the suburb the racecourse changed its name officially a few years after its opening to Menangle Park Racecourse. After years of hosting live horse racing action, Menangle Park Racecourse is set to become home to the harness racing $1 million World Cup.
As a racecourse that hosts both flat racing and harness racing events, Menangle Park Racecourse is viewed as a world class venue and the ideal host for the $1 million World Cup. To ensure the race remains an international event, two local horses from Australia will be included in the field, as well as two from the northern hemisphere and two from New Zealand. Not to take attention and interest away from the Brisbane InterDominion racing event, organizers of the World Cup have decided that horses can qualify for the big event at the Brisbane InterDominion. International interest in horse racing events in Australia has increased, with horses such as Mr. Feelgood, who already qualifies for the Brisbane InterDominion and has been extremely successful in Canada, being keen on entering the World Cup.
Of course there are a few other issues to look at. With the date for the World Cup being the 19th of April 2009, organizers will have to look at quarantine periods for international competitors and the fact that North American horses are permitted to race with phenylbutazone and lasix in their systems, whereas in Australia the use of these racing drugs are outside the regulations and rules instilled by the Australian horse racing authorities.
The date of this extravagant harness racing event was carefully chosen so that it falls in at the end of the autumn racing carnival and that it does not interfere with the flat racing schedule of the racecourse. Organizers are confident that all the small issues will be ironed out before the event, and that being able to host the $1 million World Cup will not only be a positive influence on the Menangle Park Racecourse, but on harness racing in Australia as a whole.