The Australian Rugby Union and the Australian Turf Club today announced a strategic partnership that will see the two parties work closely across future events and activations.
The alliance will kick off during the Bledisloe Cup Festival, when the Bledisloe Cup Festival Race Day takes place at Royal Randwick on Saturday, 9 August.
The iconic trophy will be on display for the public during the day and at a VIP function in the ballroom of the Queen Elizabeth II Grandstand.
The ARU has partnered with the ATC to stage an Australian/New Zealand-themed race day that celebrates the great rivalry that exists between the two countries on the race track and on the Rugby field. Race-goers will also directly benefit from the new partnership, with those who already have tickets to the Bledisloe Cup clash at ANZ Stadium (16 August) gaining free entry to the course.
The partnership will also extend to Australian Rugby’s night of nights, the John Eales Medal with Royal Randwick set to host the prestigious awards ceremony for the first time on Thursday 23 October. The event recognises the players and members of the Rugby community that have excelled in 2014.
Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said: “The ARU is delighted to be partnering with the ATC, a brand that enjoys an iconic status across the Australian sporting community. There are natural synergies between both organisations that we will look to exploit and leverage over the months – and hopefully years – to come.”
Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Officer Darren Pearce was excited about the new partnership.
“The Bledisloe Cup is one of the truly great events in Trans-Tasman sport and to be hosting a game in Sydney gives us a great chance to get up and close with the stars of the game,’’ Mr Pearce said.
“At the same time fans will also see the other stars on the turf – the magnificent Australian and New Zealand thoroughbreds that Sydney highlights each week.
“Sydney racing is renowned as the strongest and most competitive in Australia, and each week features some of the home-grown stars of the sport in trainers Gai Waterhouse, the Snowden and Cummings families, as well as jockeys Nash Rawiller, Tommy Berry and Hugh Bowman, just to name a few.
“And with the likes of Sydney’s champion trainer Chris Waller, one of the all-time great Group 1 jockeys in Jim Cassidy, star jockey James McDonald on the verge of a Sydney premiership, and Bjorn Baker from that famous New Zealand racing family all holding their Kiwi heritage very dear, I am sure we will see some patriotic battles on the track as well as the footy field.’’
The two parties have also agreed to investigate future opportunities to develop the partnership beyond 2014.