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$1m Melb Cup Bonus To Attract US Star
In a "bid to globalise the Gr1 Melbourne Cup further & attract a 1st US starter, Racing Victoria is planning to exempt the winner of a Gr1 race in Chicago from all ballot conditions for Australia's greatest race," reported The Australian newspaper. The Victoria Racing Club "is also working with Churchill Downs (owner of the Gr1 Kentucky Derby & Chicago's Arlington Park racetrack) on a sponsorship that would provide a US$1 million (A$1.36m) bonus to an American horse winning the Arlington Million-Melbourne Cup double. The bonus "is regarded as essential to persuade connections of the winner of the Gr1 Arlington Million (2000m on turf) to head to Flemington for the Melbourne Cup rather than stay in the US for November's rich Breeders' Cup meeting".