BACK: Thoroughbreds are back for summer.
BACK: Thoroughbreds are back for summer. Adam Hourigan

New look racing season will bring the punters back

RACING Queensland has formulated a new look Thoroughbred Summer Carnival for 2016/17 building on the success of the Magic Millions race day.

While the carnival will still largely be built around the success and profile of Australia's richest race day, the $10 million Magic Millions on Saturday, January 14, 2017, Racing Queensland has created four major lead-up race days at Doomben on December 3 and December 17, Eagle Farm on New Year's Eve, and the Gold Coast on January 7.

Chairman Steve Wilson said six of the eight races at the December 31 meeting would be Black Type Races (the carnival features 16 Black Type races in total).

Mr Wilson said in total, $13 million would be offered in stakes over the entire carnival (an increase of $380,000) which formally started last November at Eagle Farm and concludes on January 28, 2017, at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club meeting.

"We believe there will continue to be significant interest in the carnival from owners, trainers and punters at a time of year when there are few other Black Type Races on offer around Australia in other racing jurisdictions,” he said.

"The new board has a lot of energy and is committed to delivering outstanding outcomes for the State of Queensland and the carnival changes we have announced today is just the start.

"The Queensland Summer Racing Carnival is just one exciting new initiative that forms part of the board's bold new vision for the racing industry in this state.”

Magic Millions proprietor Gerry Harvey said he was excited to be part of Racing Queensland's long-term vision for the Queensland Summer Carnival.

"Racing Queensland's commitment to grow the summer period of racing is clearly evidenced by these program enhancements and increases to prize money for Black Type Races which will benefit Australian thoroughbred industry participants as a whole,” he said.

Magic Millions managing director Vin Cox said he was looking forward to the increased participation and depth the new Summer Carnival program would entice.

"The changes to programming provide a pathway for not only two-year-olds and three-year-olds, but sprinters, milers, stayers and fillies and mares,” he said.

"There are now opportunities across the board to race in Queensland over summer, earn Black Type and compete on a $10 million race day.”

Other highlights include a $250,000 Bernborough Handicap over 1600m at Eagle Farm.

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