Racing in Queensland will ride The Wave this summer with the introduction of a new $250,000 feature race on the Gold Coast and an expanded Magic Millions program for 2020.
Staged on January 4 as part of ‘Aquis Raceday’, The Wave will be staged under weight-for-age conditions for 3YO and 4YO horses over 1800m and will also 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.
In total, six Magic Millions wildcards will be offered throughout the TAB Queensland Summer Carnival – an increase of two from four last year – with a wildcard to the $1 million Magic Millions QTIS Open also available through the QTIS Handicap at Eagle Farm on December 28. While The Wave is expected to headline the newly implemented Aquis Raceday, the QTIS 2YO Handicap – most recently won by Houtzen, Sunlight and Exhilarates – has been split into same sex divisions through the creation of the $125,000 Aquis Gold Nugget 2YO C&G (1100m) and the $125,000 Aquis Gold Pearl 2YO Fillies (1100m).
Further enhancements include three exclusive Magic Millions races – two of those new – totalling $750,000 in prize money. They are:
– The new $250,000 Magic Millions Rising Stars 3YO & 4YO C&G (1300m);
– The new $250,000 Magic Millions Rising Stars 3YO & 4YO F&M (1300m); and
– The relocated $250,000 Magic Millions Country Cup (1200m)
“To have two major Saturdays during the Summer Carnival has always been our plan and it’s fantastic that we can truly bring this to life,” Gold Coast Turf Club Chairman Brett Cook said.
“It’s great to have Gerry Harvey and Katie Page’s extra involvement with the club through their Magic Millions brand; these types of new initiatives continue to help us progress towards our long-term goal of becoming a regular metropolitan race club in Queensland.” GCTC Chief Executive Officer Steve Lines added that he was delighted with the Aquis Raceday enhancements including consecutive meetings on the Gold Coast. “Having Aquis on board as the major sponsor – and with the ongoing support of Magic Millions and Racing Queensland – it’s a two-day carnival that would be the envy of any race club in Australia.”
Staged on January 11, The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday has also been bolstered through a range of initiatives including the introduction of the $250,000 Magic Millions Open Handicap (1800m).
The popular Magic Millions Racing Women’s Bonus, which offers a $500,000 bonus on The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic, has been expanded to include a new $250,000 bonus on the $2 million Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas. The $1 million Magic Millions Trophy also increases in distance from 2200m to 2400m. Offering more than $10 million in prize money and bonuses, The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday remains the richest on the Queensland calendar. “The evolution of the Summer Carnival is a direct result of the program and fantastic prize money on offer,” Magic Millions CEO Barry Bowditch stated. “It’s simply a quality Carnival. “The new Magic Millions races enable increased returns to owners and trainers – and greater opportunity to be part of the most exciting sales and racing Carnival in the world. “We are committed and invested to working alongside Racing Queensland to build a new and sustainable era of thoroughbred excellence in this state to benefit the racing industry more broadly.”
Having previously announced the introduction of The Gateway at Eagle Farm – a new $250,000 race exclusively for 4YO’s which will provide the winner with a ballot-free exemption into the 2020 Stradbroke Handicap – the 2019/20 Summer Carnival has now taken shape. In total, more than $20 million in prize money and bonuses will go on offer including 20 black-type races, the popular Origin Jockey Series and a new home for the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes. The Summer Carnival also marks the first time that QTISx bonuses are on offer, which recognise and reward the Queensland breeding industry. “We’re excited with the way in which our Summer Carnival has been able to come together including record-breaking prize money and incentives to invest in Queensland,” Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.
The 2019/20 TAB Queensland Summer Carnival will commence on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday, November 16 before culminating at The Star Magic Millions on the Gold Coast on Saturday, January 11. “The creation of the Gold Nugget is also a unique way to recognise our past and celebrate our future as we pay homage to the forerunner to the Magic Millions,” RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said. “The introduction of The Wave and the new Magic Millions races – along with the additional enhancements including the new Magic Millions Racing Women’s Bonus – will ensure the Summer Carnival continues to go from strength-to-strength,” RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said. “The endorsement of Magic Millions, through Gerry and Katie, to expand their investment in Queensland is particularly pleasing.”