Fresh racing line-up on SEVEN ready to put the focus on SYDNEY after 10 steals the MELBOURNE CUP

Bruce McAvaney
image source - The West Australian

SEVEN is striking back against its new racing rival with a renewed focus on NSW Racing this Spring

One of Australia’s most decorated jockeys, Corey Brown, will give race fans the inside running on the big races at this year’s Spring Carnival after joining the race-day commentary teams of Seven and Racing.com.

Saturday marks the start of a huge Spring of racing for Seven with the network broadcasting the San Domenico Stakes from Rosehill, and the Memsie Stakes from Caulfield.

On Seven, fans will enjoy both the awe-inspiring tradition of the Melbourne Spring and the unmistakable excitement of Sydney’s bold new race calendar, while Racing.com will broadcast every day of the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival.

A dual Melbourne Cup winner, Brown debuts as an expert commentator on Saturday when Seven and Racing.com kick off their Spring Carnival coverage with a jam-packed day of racing that includes the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse and the San Domenico Stakes at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse.

Few can match Brown’s racing resume, which features 49 Group 1 wins – including his Melbourne Cup triumphs on Shocking in 2009 and Rekindling in 2017, and five victories aboard Apache Cat – as well as riding five winners at a meeting twice and a remarkable total of 2467 career wins. 

Brown is sidelined after fracturing his back in a fall in the Queensland Derby in June, but the 43-year-old says joining the Seven and Racing.com commentary teams for the upcoming Spring and Autumn Carnivals will be the next best thing to riding.

“It’s going to be very different this year sitting on the other side of the fence, but I just love the good racing and the good horses. It’s exciting when you’re riding, but it’s an exciting time regardless and I’m really looking forward to being involved on the commentary team,” Brown said

This year will see the Melbourne Cup Carnival move to 10 after the CBS owned network shocked the market and invested $100 million over five-years for Digital/Broadcast rights to the four-day race meeting. A dramatic increase on what Seven had been paying in the past. 

Seven intends to “throw the kitchen sink” at its Sydney Racing coverage this spring, with particular focus on the Golden Eagle. This years Golden Eagle will be held on Saturday November 2, the same day as 10 launches its new racing coverage with Derby Day in Melbourne.

The move means Horse Racing will be broadcast on two different free-to-air channels for the first time.

Seven’s focus on Sydney racing will also feature an increased coverage of The Everest event on October 19. An event which is held on the same day as the Caulfield Cup in Melbourne. SEVEN holds broadcast rights for both events. It’s understood the network will now anchor its coverage from Sydney, in a move that has angered Victorian racing authorities.

While 10 now holds the rights for the Cup Carnival, SEVEN still holds broadcast rights for a number of key racing events including the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, Caulfield Cup, Caulfield Guineas, Cox Plate, The Everest, and the Magic Millions.

As previously revealed by TV Blackbox, the 10 Network has also taken the extraordinary move to single out high profile Seven Network presenters Bruce McAvaney and Hamish McLachlan as it looks to protect its new investment in the Melbourne Cup carnival

From 2019, 10 will become the new host broadcaster for the Melbourne Cup carnival, however it will not have exclusive rights after agreeing to allow the dedicated industry multi-channel Racing.com to produce its own coverage of the event.

Racing.com is a joint partnership between Seven and Racing Victoria, its product is broadcast nationally via Free-to Air, Digital Streaming and Foxtel.

The arrangement between 10 and Racing.com includes a specific legal clause that prevents Seven’s two highest profile presenters Bruce McAvaney and Hamish McLachlan from hosting the Racing.com coverage of the Melbourne Cup Carnival over the next five years.

The contract restriction effectively brings to an end Bruce McAvaney’s association with the Melbourne Cup, an event he has hosted on Seven since 2002. The beloved broadcaster also called the event for 10 between 1985 to 1988.

TV Broadcast times: Saturday August 31

Rosehill – San Domenico Stakes
Caulfield – Memsie Stakes

12.00pm LIVE on Channel 7, 7plus and Racing.com