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28/11/2018  Latest Magic Millions Racing Carnival news

In just seven years, Magic Millions Racing Women (MMRW) has inspired thousands of women around the world to become actively involved in thoroughbred horse racing and has injected millions of dollars into the industry.

Nearly 1000 horses have been registered over seven years for the $500,000 Bonus on offer for all-female owned or leased horses in the $2 million 2YO Classic, now conducted on The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday, with more than $22 million invested alone in the purchase of horses targeting the Bonus for this coming January at Magic Millions Yearling Sales during 2018. 

Introduced in 2012 as a way to encourage greater participation, recognition and development of women in the thoroughbred horse racing industry, Magic Millions co-owner Katie Page says the initiative has exceeded all possible expectations.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the Magic Millions Racing Women effect," Page said.

"It seems the lure of a $500,000 Bonus was just the trigger many women needed to step into active ownership. We knew the expertise and passion was always equal to men. You only have to go to the Magic Millions January Sales to see how well represented women are behind the scenes.

"Zara Phillips MBE signed on as MMRW Patron almost from the start, she had witnessed first-hand the inexplicable thrill that only comes from watching your horse finish first past the post. She was a big part of taking the MMRW message to the UK and Europe.

"We're particularly delighted to see the way word has spread and the impact Magic Millions Racing Women is having on the international racing scene. One of the most successful syndicates, 'It's All About the Girls', brings together 40 women from eight different countries.  This means that these women now have connections to stud farms and trainers around the world and that they are at the cutting edge of developments in world racing.

"In the UAE, Phoenix Thoroughbreds has created the first female-only syndicate and Japan now has 'Umajo' - areas exclusively for female customers at racetracks.

"The Bonus was established in response to the women we knew were already horse-lovers, but what has caught us all by surprise is the growth in participation amongst women with no previous connection to the thoroughbred industry. Now they're catching up on a regular basis, making decisions about trainers, race schedules, designing colours and enjoying the thrill and fun of a day at the track.

"I think if you examined the data in each of the major markets, thoroughbred racing would come close to the fastest growing female participation sport in the world – granted it was coming off a low base."

Irishwoman Elaine 'Legs' Lawlor, who runs the Australian investments in 'It's All About the Girls' and is a Board Member of Ireland's Goffs Bloodstock, is one of the most influential women on the world racing scene and says MMRW was just what the industry needed.

"Women are brilliant when they get together. They make things happen," Lawlor said.

"For so long, women watched their husbands who were involved in the business, but weren't involved themselves.  Those times are changing.  When they've invested in their own horse, they bring so much energy, they have so much fun and the friendships we've all formed are just fantastic. 

"Magic Millions Racing Women is the only incentive anywhere in the world specifically encouraging women to get involved and it has sparked something special in our industry.

"It's also highlighting the benefits of syndication which isn't very big in Europe just yet.  Syndication gives more people more access to a horse without costing the world, it opens the industry up and gets more people involved."

Queensland racing identity Linda Huddy is keen to one day claim the MMRW Bonus and joined Katie Page at the official launch of the 2019 The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival.

"Magic Millions Racing Women is changing perceptions and changing the industry," Ms Huddy said.

"This isn't a man's world, women are very welcome.  I'm noticing the changes in racebooks where there are more women listed as owners, on Racing Australia and at the track where more women are dressing up, enjoying a glass of champagne and cheering on their horses."

Fast Facts about Magic Millions Racing Women

This unique incentive has led to:

Increased female ownership: 998 2YO thoroughbreds being registered as solely owned (or leased) by women over the seven years the initiative has been in operation.  Many of these contain first time owners - nearly 50% of the 170 registrations for the 2019 MMRW Bonus contain first time owners.

Increased sales: $22.6 million worth of yearlings purchased for the Racing Women's Bonus during the 2018 Magic Millions Yearling Sales Series. Investment that invigorates the breeding and syndication of yearlings.

Women competing:  A total of 30 MMRW eligible 2YOs have competed in the $2 million 2YO Classic, since the 2YO race was first run with the MMRW Bonus on offer in 2013.

Women winning: MMRW syndicates have won three of the six $2 million 2YO Classics since inception of the Bonus - Real Surreal (2013), Le Chef (2015) and Sunlight (2018). Each win in turn creating the largest prizemoney payouts in Queensland racing history.

More jobs: 70 trainers from across ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, VIC and New Zealand have picked up extra work training MMRW horses.

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

2019 The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival Ambassadors

Nachos Figueras
Zara Phillips MBE
Mike Tindall
Francesca Cumani
Billy Slater
Rob Archibald
Hamish McLachlan
Amanda Abate

Major Partners of Magic Millions

  Tourism and Events Queensland – Strategic Partner
·         Racing Queensland – Principle Partner
·         The Star Gold Coast – Naming Rights Partner 2019 Magic Millions Carnival
·         Pacific Fair - Naming Rights Partner of the Magic Millions Polo 
·         Channel 7 – Broadcast Partner
·         Harrolds – Official Fashion Partner (Fashions on the Field at Polo & Raceday) 
·         Woodford Reserve – Official Bourbon
·         BetEasy – Official Online Wagering Partner
·         Singapore Airlines – Official Airline
·         Moët & Chandon – Official Champagne