Bid to stage world's richest race in Australia
THE owners of Australian sales company Magic Millions have pledged $5 million - and challenged the Queensland government to match that amount - in an ambitious plan to boost the prize fund for the 2011 Magic Millions 2yo Classic and make it the world's richest horserace.
Gerry Harvey, speaking on behalf of the auction house's other co-owners Rob Ferguson, Katie Page-Harvey and John Singleton, wants the race to overtake the Dubai World Cup as the most valuable race anywhere in the world.
Last year's Magic Millions 2yo Classic winner Phelan ReadyPICTURE: racingandsports.com.au
Harvey said: "The Magic Millions January Carnival contributes A$51.9 Million to Queensland, now more than any other event on the Gold Coast.
"We have invested over A$25 million in the past three years (and over A$100 million in the past 10 years) to take Magic Millions to the next level in terms of prestige and profile, however our aim has always been to be able to justifiably call Magic Millions a world-class event.
"We want Queensland to be home to the ultimate – the world's richest horserace. To make this a reality we are here to put our money where our mouth is. Today we are prepared to commit US$5million to prize-money for the 2011 Magic Millions 2yo Classic if the Queensland Government will match our contribution dollar for dollar."
Singleton added that staging the world's richest race would benefit Queensland's economy through the extra tourism it would generate.
The Melbourne Cup is currently the world's richest handicap, with A$6 million prize-money in 2010.
The 2009 Magic Millions 2yo Classic winnerwas the More Than Ready gelding Phelan Ready, who went on to land the prestigious Golden Slipper. This year's 2yo Classic, sponsored by BMW, takes place on Saturday.