Billy Slater Saddles Up for Magic Millions January 2019
Recently retired Rugby League superstar Billy Slater has signed as an Ambassador for the 2019 The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival.
Slater, a former trackwork jockey for trainer Gai Waterhouse, will play in the Celebrity v Jockeys game ahead of fellow Magic Millions Ambassadors Zara Phillips MBE, international Polo legend Nacho Figueras and former leading Australian player Rob Archibald playing in the feature game at Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo on Sunday 6 January.
He’ll saddle up again on Tuesday 8 January to ride in the thoroughbred beach run ahead of the Barrier Draw for The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday. This is a stunning event that sees Australia’s leading jockeys thundering along Surfers Paradise beach from 6am with thousands of people watching on.
On Tuesday night Slater will join the who’s who of Australian and international racing at the Magic Millions Launch Party on the Surfers Paradise foreshore and from Wednesday it will all be about business, with Woodside Park Stud presenting a yearling on behalf of Slater Thoroughbreds at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for the first time.
Slater joined Magic Millions co-owners Katie Page and Gerry Harvey at the official launch of the 2019 Carnival on the Gold Coast today, with Page saying they wasted no time approaching Billy about becoming an Ambassador following his retirement from Rugby League.
“Billy is the perfect fit for Magic Millions and we’re delighted to welcome him as an Ambassador for 2019. Billy’s life-long love of horses is now his post-footy career. Billy has always read the play, and this could be his best move yet,” Page said.
“I think many people are aware of Billy’s history with the thoroughbred industry, but few have seen him ride. We can’t wait to see his extraordinary athleticism and instinctive competitiveness kick in when he joins some of the best in the business during the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo and during the beach race at The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Barrier Draw.
“We’re also thrilled to help kick start his career as a breeder of thoroughbreds. Gerry and I love the horse business – Billy and Nicole are perfect examples of the fabulous people this industry attracts.
“With Billy’s involvement, with the record number of lots for the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and with some exciting prospects for the $10 million The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday it is really shaping up to be one of the best Carnivals yet.”
2019 will be Slater’s first Carnival and he’s looking forward to joining the action.
“I’ve always had two great passions in life – Rugby League and horses – and now that my footy career is over, breeding horses has taken over my drive to succeed,” Slater said.
“I really am so excited to become an Ambassador for The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival and my family can’t wait to go – it’s such a great event.
“I didn’t ride much while playing footy so I’m a bit nervous about getting back in the saddle. I’ve got a strong competitive streak, so I’ll be fitting in a few lessons before playing in the Polo and to prepare for the beach race.
“With our first yearling going through the sales I’ll also be taking a very keen interest in all the auction ring action – keeping an eye on what prices are and working out our own values.”
The Star Gold Coast is naming rights partner of the Carnival for the first time in 2019. The Star Entertainment Group Managing Director and CEO Matt Bekier says the foundations are in place for a compelling 10 days.
“Magic Millions is a quintessential Gold Coast event,” Mr Bekier said.
“It continues to grow as a major drawcard on the national events calendar and has multiple points of appeal, from the yearling sales to the polo and, of course, The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday on January 12.
“The appointment of an Australian sporting superstar, Billy Slater, as an Ambassador for The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival will further amplify that popularity.
“We look forward to welcoming visitors to the Gold Coast, and to our Broadbeach property, where a range of thrilling and unique experiences will complement the excitement of the Carnival.”
Queensland Minister for Tourism Industry Kate Jones says Magic Millions is a unique event that they are proud to partner.
“It’s great to see the addition of a great Queenslander, in Billy Slater, to a great Queensland event like the Magic Millions,” she said.
“This is a festival that not only boosts the state’s racing industry but showcases the Gold Coast’s stunning beaches and amazing hinterland.
“The Magic Millions is crucial when it comes to growing Queensland’s major events calendar which will pump $780m into the state’s economy this year and continues to enhance our reputation as Australia’s best destination for major events.”
2019 The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival Calendar
Sunday 6 January: Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo, Doug Jennings Park, The Spit
Tuesday 8 January: AM The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Barrier Draw, Surfers Paradise foreshore – PM Magic Millions Launch Party (invitation only)
Wednesday 9 January: Opening day of the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale (Book 1) (888 lots), Magic Millions Sale Complex, Bundall
Saturday 12 January: The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday, Gold Coast Turf Club
Sunday 13 January: 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale Book 2 commences (234 lots), Magic Millions Sale Complex, Bundall