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Royal Randwick rises in style

Royal Randwick grandstand exterior
The Australian Turf Club (ATC) officially launched the new Royal Randwick grandstand with a gala spectacular last night (Thursday 10 October), attended by VIPs from across the racing, government, business and social spectrums as Sydney’s newest landmark sparkled and amazed the city during Spring Carnival celebrations.

Opening with an arena performance in the Theatre of the Horse followed by a sit down Royal feast for 550 guests, the launch transformed into the ultimate party — a fitting celebration of an important milestone in the Australian horse racing and event industry.

A once-in-a-lifetime experience of Royal Randwick was the first point of the guest journey, one normally reserved for the equine stars.

After entering via the day stalls, guests moved through an underground tunnel to the Theatre of the Horse — a new amphitheatre where racing’s best thoroughbreds normally parade pre-race — to enjoy champagne cocktails served from “muck-out” wheelbarrows.

Leading events producer Rizer helped to unveil the biggest sporting investment in New South Wales since the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

A team of more than 120 people worked behind the scenes to dazzle a guest list including the cream of the Australian racing fraternity.

A bespoke performance piece was created in The Theatre Of The Horse to celebrate some of the greatest horses to ever grace the world-famous Royal Randwick turf, including Phar Lap, Tulloch, Kingston Town, Gunsynd, Octagonal and the mighty Black Caviar.

The performance, which included a “race’’ of horses at liberty (no riders), was a collaboration of artistic and design directors with such credits as Olympic opening and closing ceremonies.

Performed without jockeys, the act was choreographed to an original musical composition before a spectacular digital backdrop projected onto the grandstand. The show culminated with a magnificent choral, lighting and fireshow.

Following the official opening formalities, a Royal feast showcased Royal Randwick’s gourmet catering. Tables spilling with turf and flowers created a grand setting for the 550-person banquet of champagne, seafood and braised wagyu beef.

The end of dinner signaled the commencement of even more festivities in the Royal Randwick ballroom. The party of the season saw the ballroom transformed into three distinct venues, transporting guests to a carnival of circus acts, a surreal parlour of performers and a whiskey bar with live music and DJs as invitees celebrated into the night, among the first to experience the stunning makeover.

Darren Pearce, the Chief executive Officer of the Australian Turf Club said: “The launch event was a momentous occasion, not just for Australia’s racing industry but for Sydney itself, and something that only happens once in many generations.

“We felt it was important to celebrate a facility that has been built with a vision for fifty years ahead, not only for race days, but also for any type of event, seven days a week.

“With our unique views of the Sydney city skyline, Harbour Bridge and over Centennial parklands, combined with the first-class service that the ATC has become renowned for at all types of events, we are looking forward to Royal Randwick becoming known as a Sydney landmark, and an iconic part of this city.’’

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