The TAB Queensland Summer Carnival has been officially launched on the Gold Coast today.
Staged across nine action-packed weeks, more than $20 million in prize money and bonuses will go on the line with the path to the Magic Millions paved by the new-look ‘Queensland Summer 5.'
While the Summer Carnival officially commenced at the weekend as The Candy Man saluted in the inaugural Mooloolaba Cup, the Summer 5 features three consecutive weeks of racing at Eagle Farm before an expanded Magic Millions Carnival on the Gold Coast culminating in Queensland’s richest raceday.
In 2020, The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival will continue to grow, with Racing Queensland (RQ) announcing the introduction of three new $250,000 races on the Gold Coast in the week preceding the $10 million Raceday.
Staged under weight-for-age conditions for 3YO and 4YO horses over 1800m, The Wave will headline Aquis Raceday and will offer the winner a wildcard to the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy and a $200,000 Magic Millions bonus if nominated to its Race Series.
Queensland Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said this year’s summer carnival was shaping up to be one of the best, with record-breaking prize money and incentives to invest in Queensland.
“The introduction of The Wave and the new Magic Millions races alongside the new Magic Millions Racing Women’s Bonus mean the eyes of the nation and the world will be on Queensland racing,” he said.
“It’s a tremendous tourism drawcard and that means jobs in the hospitality industry on top of the 11,000-plus jobs associated with racing across the State.”
A recent economic report commissioned by RQ found the Magic Millions generated an incredible 91,104 total visitor nights and $49.8 million of total economic impact, with Queensland’s richest raceday and the yearling sales in January and May contributing to the tourism windfall.
In addition to the Magic Millions, the Queensland Summer 5 will commence with the return of the popular TAB Origin Jockey Series at Doomben and Eagle Farm, along with the inaugural running of The Gateway - a new $250,000 race exclusively for four-year-olds with the winner securing a guaranteed berth in the time-honoured Stradbroke Handicap.
At today’s launch, two of the state’s finest riders, Jim Byrne and Matt McGilvray, were unveiled as the Queensland representatives for the Origin Jockey Series.
Fresh off winning his sixth Queensland Trainer of the Year Award, Tony Gollan said he was looking forward to the enhanced Summer Carnival.
“They’re all great initiatives by Racing Queensland which has made this Summer Carnival bigger and better,” Mr Gollan said.
“It’s just really evolved over the last six years.”
Following The Gateway, the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes has been moved from its traditional winter timeslot to December 21, while the Road to the Magic Millions Raceday on December 28 will offer five up-graded black-type races and four Magic Millions wildcards.
Among those riding on the Gold Coast will be the world’s premier jockey, Frankie Dettori, who will serve as a Magic Millions ambassador.
“I’m looking forward to riding at The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday,” he said.
“See you on the Gold Coast.”