The lead-up to the MM Classic, won this year by Exhilarates, will have a prize money boost.
The Gold Coast Turf Club will introduce a new $250,000 race and also upgrade the now traditional lead-up to the Magic Millions 2YO Classic at its summer carnival.
The Gold Coast meeting run the week before Magic Millions day in January has gradually grown in popularity in recent years.
Four of the past five 2YO Classic winners – Le Chef (2015), Houtzen (2017), Sunlight (2018) and Exhilarates (2019) – have won the Gold Coast two-year-old race the week before Millions day.
Next year the race will be split into two divisions – fillies (Aquis Gold Pearl) and colts and geldings (Aquis Gold Nugget) – on January 4.
Each race will now be worth $125,000 and will be sponsored by the Aquis Group who will also have major naming rights on the day.
The lead-up day will also feature a new race called The Wave which will be run under weight-for-age conditions for three and four-year-olds over 1800m.
The $250,000 race will carry a wildcard to the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy and a $200,000 Magic Millions bonus.
In total, six Magic Millions wildcards will be offered throughout the Queensland summer carnival – an increase of two from 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.
There will be three further races on the card each carrying $250,000 and for Magic Millions horses – Magic Millions Rising Stars 3YO and 4YO colts and geldings (1300m); Magic Millions Rising Stars 3YO and 4YO fillies and mares and the Magic Millions Country Cup (1200m).
GCTC chairman Brett Cook said to have two major Saturdays during the carnival had always been the club’s plan.
“It’s great to have Gerry Harvey and Katie Page’s extra involvement with the club through their Magic Millions brand,” Cook said.
“These types of new initiatives continue to help us progress towards our long-term goal of becoming a regular metropolitan race club in Queensland.”