RACING Queensland will honour their seven-year $35 million commitment to help turn the Magic Millions carnival into Australia’s richest raceday from next year.
Rumours have been rife in recent weeks that prizemoney levels could be cut in Queensland to counterattack RQ’s estimated $11 million loss last financial year (2014-15) and projected $21 million loss for this financial year.
RQ officials could not confirm whether the Magic Millions deal would still be honoured when contacted by the Gold Coast Bulletin on Sunday and their position hadn’t changed late on Tuesday.
But Magic Millions managing director Vin Cox said it was “all systems go” with the seven-year partnership after meeting RQ officials on Tuesday.
The deal, announced in December, will see both parties deliver $35 million over seven years to ensure the Magic Millions raceday is worth $10 million until 2022.
Cox said he was never concerned RQ would not hold up its end of the deal.
“My primary concern (before Tuesday’s meeting) was the administration of racing in the state and if that was ever going to go backwards and if so then we were all in trouble, $10 million raceday or not,” he said.
“But (the new-look Racing Queensland) have the promotion of the industry at heart and the participants so I’m very encouraged and it was a good, positive meeting.”
Magic Millions will reveal in the next fortnight the four lead-up races which will carry wildcard entries into the Magic Millions carnival this summer.
The winners of the four wildcard races will receive entry into four selected races on Magic Millions day even if they aren’t Magic Millions graduates.
Cox said the promotion has been introduced to help boost the strength of the raceday next year.
“What we are hoping to do is improve the quality of racing and having obviously some fantastic Queensland-based horses but a higher profile horse from not only Queensland but interstate and with any luck an international runner or two,” Cox said.
“It’s the richest raceday in Australia and we want to make sure it rightfully holds that position.”
The Magic Millions carnival has never attracted a horse trained outside Australasia but that could change next year with Singapore trainer Michael Freedman considering leaving promising colt Super One in Australia for the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) on January 9.
“Michael is bringing him down for the Coolmore (Stud Stakes) in the spring and he said to me the other day he might leave him here and go around in the Magic Millions carnival as well,” Cox said.
Super One, a $190,000 purchase at last year’s Magic Millions January Yearling Sale, is undefeated in three starts in Singapore, including a five-length romp in the Group 2 Golden Horseshoe (1200m) at Kranji on May 15.
To receive the wildcard, a horse can’t be sold as a yearling at a rival auction house or at a rival two-year-old sale when not sold as a yearling.