A ground-breaking two-year plan to expand the global Magic Millions footprint in Queensland throughout Summer and Winter has been unveiled.
A raft of new innovations and enhancements designed to broaden the distribution of prize money returns, grow iconic racing events and increase on-course participation will be rolled out during 2024 and 2025.
In 2024, The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday’s two time-honoured marquee features – the 2YO Classic and 3YO Guineas – will both increase by $1 million to be run for $3 million apiece.
A second division of the popular Magic Millions Maiden of $250,000 over 1400m will also be introduced to the Summer Carnival in 2024 amongst further enhancements.
As a result, total prize money for The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday will soar to $14.25 million in 2024 and $14.75 million in 2025 (up from $11.75 million in 2023), while maintaining its standing as the only raceday in the Southern Hemisphere to stage eight million-dollar plus races on the one card.
“The 2023 Magic Millions will be the best yet, and I’m excited to announce it will get better and better in 2024 and 2025,” Racing Minister Grace Grace said.
“This is an event that supports good jobs and enhances the great lifestyle we live here in Queensland.
“I’m thrilled to see crowds converging on the Coast for all the great events, like today’s polo and showjumping, the barrier draw, the yearling sale and – of course – The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday on Saturday.
“The Magic Millions has an economic contribution of more than $42 million. It brings in 19,000 unique visitors from interstate and overseas and more than 84,000 bed nights are booked over the 14 days of the Carnival and National Sale.
“I’m also excited to announce enhancements to future editions of the Magic Millions, with more prize money and more racing on the horizon in the coming years, off the back of a $63 million upgrade to the Gold Coast Turf Club that includes broadcast-quality lighting for night racing.”
As part of the enhancements, Magic Millions will boast a winter footprint as part of next year’s Queensland Racing Carnival, with a new race meeting to be staged under lights at the Gold Coast Turf Club for the first time in May 2024.
Headlining the new feature evening will be a $1 million Magic Millions National 2YO Classic (1000m), coinciding with the Gold Coast National Weanling, Broodmare and Yearling Sale in May.
Feature night racing will continue to play a significant role annually as part of the 2025 The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival, with the unveiling of a new $5.25 million, six race program to take place from Friday, January 10, 2025, the evening prior to the renowned raceday.
The program will also see the introduction of a new $3 million slot race exclusively for three-year-old sprinters over 1100 metres, and in the process, will become Australia’s most lucrative night meeting.
The addition of a feature meeting under lights in 2025 will in turn create an incredible 24 hours of racing, with an astounding $20 million on offer across the two cards with the Magic Millions Cup doubling to $2 million from 2025 and the Racing Queensland Magic Millions QTIS Open increasing to $1.5 million courtesy of a $500,000 increase.
“The Magic Millions Carnival captures the imagination of racing fans across the globe, and we are unwavering in our commitment to maintain its standing amongst the nation’s premier racing events,” RQ Chairman Steve Wilson AM said.
“The Gold Coast Turf Club has solidified its position as one of the state’s most important training and racing facilities on the back of the $63 million upgrade that is presently underway, and that redevelopment has been a catalyst for the introduction of these program expansions.
“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.”
In Central and North Queensland, prize money uplifts will also be introduced in Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns with the following races increasing from $50,000 to $75,000 in 2023. They are:
- Magic Millions Capricorn Guineas;
- Magic Millions Whitsunday Guineas;
- Magic Millions Townsville Guineas; and
- Magic Millions Daintree Guineas.
Today’s announcement is the latest in enhancements for the famous Magic Millions Carnival, following the inception of both The Syndicate and The Debut, which will be run for the first time next Saturday.
The Syndicate – for horses owned by a minimum of 20 individual registered owners and/or syndicate members, including micro-syndication – will be run for $1 million for horses aged three-years-old and up, creating the world’s largest ownership experience in the process.
Meanwhile, The Debut will be run for $500,000, restricted to 2YO first starters, and will become the richest two-year-old maiden in the world.
“Thoroughbred industry sustainability is strengthened by delivering wide-reaching prizemoney opportunities to all racing participants,” Magic Millions co-owner Katie Page-Harvey said.
“Whether you are a syndicate member, a first time owner, live in the country or the city, everyone should be able to qualify for prize money returns from Magic Millions races.
“Today’s announcement from Magic Millions and Racing Queensland creates and builds those compelling opportunities through the introduction of new races, prize money increases and greater options for participation.”
Magic Millions enhancements:
- Total Magic Millions Raceday prize money increases to $11.75 million.
- Total Magic Millions Raceday prize money will increase to $14.25 million with the Magic Millions 2YO Classic and Magic Millions 3YO Guineas both individually increasing to $3 million in prize money; and
- The new $1 million Magic Millions National 2YO Classic to be run on the Gold Coast during the Magic Millions National Sale in May.
- Introducing Friday night racing, which will see the total prize money across the Magic Millions weekend increase to $20 million.