Surfers Paradise, on the Gold Coast of Queensland, is host to an annual sale by Magic Millions Sales Pty Ltd, an Australian Thoroughbred auction house. The auction house has sales venues in Adelaide, Launceston and Perth as well, and the Gold Coast event takes place over January, with 8 days of auctions and a major racing event. Each race is only open to horses bought at previously staged Magic Millions auctions so it’s also a good way for the company to show the high calibre of its livestock. The auction and races are widely respected by industry insiders all over the world.
A Brief Background
Founded in 1986, Magic Millions was quite profitable before hitting a slump in the late 1990s. The privately held auction house was bought by 3 businessmen, including Gerry Harvey who now co-owns the enterprise with Katie Price, his wife and business partner. The company has expanded considerably thanks to better funding, networking, advertising and public reportage, and the growth of the Gold Coast region in general. The development of Shuttle Stallions has also strengthened its international profile. With this practise the world’s top stallions are flown between America, Europe, Asia and Australia to compete, which means that fine Australian horses can be bought and ridden all over the world. Buyers come from Japan, Hong Kong, Europe and the Middle East to choose new steeds from the 25 categories on offer including ready-to-run horses, breeding stock and yearlings. The Godolphin Stables, which are owned by Dubai’s ruling family, are prominent patrons, as are famous trainers such as David Hayes, Lee Freedman and Gai Waterhouse.
The Magic Millions Gold Coast Carnival
The auction and the races that make up this event are well known for their exciting atmosphere. The racecourse itself is picturesque, and the 2016 purse is set at 10 million Australian Dollars which will make this the richest race meeting in Australia. Of all the sales, the one for yearlings tends to be the most high-profile, and many go on to win the most prestigious races in the world before they retire and become valuable stallions and broodmares. The 2-year-old classic race also carries a 500,000 Dollar bonus to each of the first 4 horses that are owned or leased by all-female groups, as part of the company’s Racing Women initiative. The festivities actually inject more than 8 times this amount into the local economy, thanks to the main and surrounding events.
The race track itself has short runs to the first turn from both the 1000 metre and 2000 meter starts, with slightly longer runs from the 1300 meter and 1400 meter starts. This is where most of the Magic Millions events begin, with the Stayer’s Cup starting from the 1800 meter chute which has a more reasonable tup up to the first turn. The races are all run clockwise in the track, which has a circumference of 1885 meters. The straight length is 400 meters, allowing for a good run home. The races include events focusing on 3-year-olds, 2-year-olds and fillies and mares, as well as sprints, trophies and cups. The varied nature of the action should keep everyone entertained, and should provide prospective bettors with several suitable punting options no matter what their level of skill and experience is.