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    Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    Queensland Summer Racing Carnival a resounding success

    Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

    Queensland Summer Racing Carnival a resounding success

    Racing Minister Grace Grace has hailed the revamped Racing Queensland Summer Carnival a resounding success.

    Ms Grace said the summer carnival, headlined by the $10 million Magic Millions and impressive new lead-up events, achieved its objective of boosting participation and overall interest in Queensland racing.

    “When people think of summer racing in Queensland, they think of the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast and this year’s Millions was bigger and better than ever,” Ms Grace said.

    “But the prelude to the Magic Millions was equally impressive, thanks to an improved lead-up program which was a real hit with racing fans.

    "Queensland racing is starting to fire on all cylinders as we head into the prestigious Winter Racing Carnival.

    “This is a result of Racing Queensland’s enhanced commercial focus and I want to congratulate CEO Dr Eliot Forbes and his team on the summer carnival’s success.”

    Racing Queensland CEO Eliot Forbes said $13 million in total was offered in stakes over the Carnival and the results were impressive.

    “What we wanted to do was provide an exciting pattern of races that would attract quality fields and bring a national spotlight to racing in Queensland at this time of year. Increasing wagering is obviously the key goal as that helps enhance returns for the Queensland industry.”

    An analysis of wagering data shows that total turnover for the 2016/17 Summer Carnival increased 7.1% compared to last season. Given there was one less meeting this year, on a per race basis this equates to an increase in average turnover of 22.4%.

    The Magic Millions Gold Coast race day was once again the major drawcard with total turnover increasing by 16% to $53.7 million, a strong result off the large increase of a 39% in 2016 when the program was extended to a nine race card for the first time.

    Magic Millions average field size increased 8% to 16.0, while non-Magic Millions Summer carnival field sizes increased by 6% to 12.4.

    The UBET Summer Crown Bonuses provided a unique focal point with national attention drawn to the three $500,000 bonuses on offer. Two were claimed by local trainers, one by the Bjorn Baker trained Winning Rupert and the other by the Tony Gollan trained Most Important.

    The second edition State of Origin Jockey series was run over the Summer Carnival and delivered a highlight at each of the venues with wagering growth on the programs of 6.6% per race.

    The Queensland Summer Racing Carnival had 17 Group or Listed races and pleasingly ten races achieved an improved Australian Pattern Committee rating from the previous season. All other races met their benchmark or will retain their current status.

    Dr Forbes said the first edition of the refurnished Summer Carnival has provided some very positive results.

    “The new Board and Management team are focused on delivering outstanding results for the Queensland industry. I know this is just the beginning and there is much work to do but I am excited about the future of racing in this state,” he said.

    Media contact: Martin Philip 0427 919 548