When Millions are not enough: Qld’s biggest race gets huge boost

Queensland’s biggest horse racing event, the Magic Millions Carnival on the Gold Coast, will be amped up with millions of dollars more pumped into prizemoney over the next two years and racegoers treated to the thrills of new feature races under lights.

Jan 09, 2023, updated Jan 09, 2023
Gold Coast's Magic Millions has won a $63m boost for extra prize money and new events (File image)

Gold Coast's Magic Millions has won a $63m boost for extra prize money and new events (File image)

The two-year plan will expand the global Magic Millions footprint in Queensland throughout summer and winter – and day and night – on the back of a $63 million upgrade of the Gold Coast Turf Club.

The prizemoney boost, revealed by Racing Minister Grace Grace, will increase the total prize pot of the feature race day being held at the Gold Coast this Saturday from $11.75 million to $14.25 million next year and then a jump to $14.75 million in 2025.

It means that by next year, the two marquee races that are run on the day – the two-year-old Classic and three-year-old Guineas – will both increase by $1 million to be run for $3 million apiece.

The race day will continue to be the only event in the southern hemisphere to stage eight million-dollar plus races on the one card.

By 2025, a new $5.25 million race meeting will run on the Friday evening ahead of the feature Saturday race day. This new race meeting will include a $3 million, 1100m slot race for three-year-old sprinters.

Between the Friday and Saturday meetings, the total 2025 Magic Millions prizemoney pool will be worth $20 million.

The expansion of the event will also introduce a new Magic Millions winter race under lights that will be held for the first time in May next year to coincide with the Gold Coast National Weanling, Broodmare & Yearling Sale. That event will be headlined by a $1 million Magic Millions National two-year-old Classic race, run over 1000m.

Racing Queensland Chairman Steve Wilson said the Magic Millions Carnival continued to capture the imagination of racing fans across the globe.

“We are unwavering in our commitment to maintain its standing amongst the nation’s premier racing events,” Wilson said. “The incentive to buy, breed and back in the Sunshine State has never been better, and these innovations are a testament to the strength of the Queensland racing industry.”

The 14-day 2023 Magic Millions Carnival has so far included national sales, show jumping and polo, with the feature race day on this Saturday 14 January.

The Magic Millions injects around $42 million into the Queensland economy, bringing 19,000 unique visitors from interstate and overseas to the Gold Coast and bookings for more than 84,000 bed nights over the 14 days of the carnival and national sale.

Late last week, the State Government also committed to a further five-year funding deal through Tourism and Events Queensland to extend the government’s support of the event through to 2028.

Magic Millions co-owner, Katie Page-Harvey, said the Magic Millions partnership helped ensure the event would continue to be on a winning streak for years to come.

“The ongoing success of the Magic Millions’ partnership with Tourism Events Queensland is based on a mutual focus for growth – growth in the Magic Millions’ event offering, overall attendance, national and international profile and aiming for the broadest possible appeal for visitation,” she said.


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