The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival 2024 schedule has been announced, and it promises to be a thrilling event for horse racing enthusiasts. The carnival will kick off with the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo & Showjumping, followed by thoroughbred racing on the iconic Surfers Paradise Beach. The event will conclude with the jewel in the crown, The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday.
To mark the launch of the carnival, Billy Slater, the former NRL player turned dual State of Origin series winning coach and Magic Millions Ambassador swapped a football for a hot wok in a meeting with Chef Daniel Fox, who has been announced as The Star Gold Coast’s Culinary Ambassador. Fox gave Slater a few tips in the exquisite demo kitchen set up at The Star showcasing some of the incredible cuisine that will be on offer at The Star Gold Coast venues during Magic Millions.
Chef Fox, in his role as Head Of Culinary, brings his wealth of experience and unwavering commitment to guest excellence to his ambassadorship, with ten years of experience delivering unforgettable dining experiences at The Star Gold Coast across multiple restaurants and cuisines.
“I’m excited to both support our local producers and indulge The Star Gold Coast’s Magic Millions’ guests with dishes crafted from Queensland’s incredible seasonal produce. Distinctive dishes like Australian bay bug and macadamia gazpacho with native herbs and grapes, fried coral trout sliders with native herb tartare or to sweeten your day, our elegant peach Bellini are just some of the delicious options on offer this summer,” Mr Fox said.
Billy and wife Nicole, owners of Slater Thoroughbreds based in Victoria, were announced as ambassadors for Magic Millions Carnival through until 2025. Nicole, who specialises in large-scale equestrian portraits, was announced as Magic Millions Commissioned Artist, a role which will see her unveil an equine-themed installation as part of the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo & Showjumping. Meanwhile, Billy will again take to the field to play polo, the former trackwork rider still as handy as ever in the saddle.
“Horses have always been a huge part of our lives since Nicole and I met as teenagers at a pony club in North Queensland. Now being in the world of breeding thoroughbreds is such a rewarding experience. Coupled with that, Nic’s skill in capturing on canvas some of the giants of racing is taking her to incredible creative heights. I think we’ve shifted from being a family where horses have been a casual part of our life, to them being a more significant part of our world. To be around like-minded people for the period of the Magic Millions Carnival, it’s just the biggest buzz for us. I am no State of Origin level polo player, but I love giving it a red hot go,” Slater laughed.
Magic Millions co-owner Katie Page said, “For Gerry and I, hosting The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival is our perfect start to every New Year. It is a true celebration of the Australian and international Thoroughbred industry and their love of the horse. Carnival 2024 will see us witness Off-the-Track Thoroughbreds celebrate their new jumping careers, and the best Showjumpers in Australia will vie for $1.5m in prize money. National and international equestrian royalty will contest the Polo. The next crop of potential racing superstars will go through our yearling sales ring, all culminating in the most lucrative day of racing ever held in Queensland – The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday. Being able to showcase the horse industry and these magnificent animals all against the backdrop of Queensland’s stunning Gold Coast. It doesn’t get any better.
“The Magic Millions Racing Women Achievement Awards supported by TAB launched last month and the nominations for the Hall of Fame award and the National Racing Woman of the Year are coming in and already shining a light on some of the most inspirational names in Australian Thoroughbred racing.
“Gerry and I have spent years identifying each member of the Magic Millions Ambassador family – we work closely with them throughout the year with all eyes on coming together in January. We welcome Zara and Mike back to their unofficial, second home here on the Gold Coast. Nacho and Delfi bring back their Polo prowess and innate style from Argentina. Billy and Nicole with their roots firmly grounded in the equine industry from the domestic perspective, and of course Elsa Pataky our international local – celebrating her passion for showjumping. The common thread amongst those we have chosen is that they just love horses, and that’s what makes the experience so special, they’re in their element.”
Chief Executive Officer of The Star Gold Coast, Jessica Mellor, said they were proud to partner with The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival for the seventh consecutive year.
“January is my favourite time of the year as we welcome guests flocking to the Gold Coast for the Carnival,” Ms Mellor said.
“We look forward to creating even more memorable experiences than usual off track this year, with live music and some delicious culinary offerings across our restaurants and bars. I love how spending time at The Star is woven seamlessly into the fabric of the Magic Millions festivities.
“Major events like The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival spotlight the Gold Coast as a world-class tourism destination, as well as getting the local economy off to a flying start for the year.”
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Gold Coast will welcome more than 21,000 visitors to the region across the two-week period of Magic Millions.
“From when ‘Snippets’ famously saluted in that first race way back in 1987 to now, the Magic Millions has grown to become one of the most highly anticipated meetings on the Australian racing calendar.
“Tens of thousands of eager punters and horse lovers will make the annual pilgrimage for this iconic Gold Coast event, which is great news for local hotels, restaurants and bars, and tourism operators.
“The 2024 Star Gold Coast Magic Millions is expected to provide an estimated $35 million boost to the region’s visitor economy across the two-week long action-packed carnival.”
“When it comes to major events, nothing tops The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival for colour and flair,” said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.
“The Magic Millions calendar has expanded in recent years, broadening the carnival’s appeal with race goers, families and sponsors. Make a date with Magic Millions this January.”
Managing Director of Magic Millions Barry Bowditch added, “If you are on the Gold Coast for Carnival you should visit us at the Magic Millions Yearling Sales. You have to witness the action and excitement first-hand to understand the Magic in Magic Millions”.
The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival 2024 is set to be an unforgettable event for horse racing enthusiasts and visitors alike. With a jam-packed schedule of equine excellence, live music, and delicious culinary offerings, there is something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the chance to witness the best of the Australian and international Thoroughbred industry and their love of the horse.
Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival 2024 Schedule
Saturday 6 January
- The Wave Raceday, Gold Coast Turf Club
- Magic Millions Racing Women Achievement Awards, supported by TAB
Sunday 7 January
- Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo & Showjumping, Doug Jennings Park from 8.00am. Including Queensland Off-The-Track class, Junior Individual and Senior showjumping teams event followed by 2 polo matches with professional, industry and celebrity players in the mix. Tickets at https://www.magicmillionspolo.com.au/
Tuesday 9 January
- The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Barrier Draw & exhibition horse run at Surfers Paradise Foreshore
- Yearling Sale commences at the Magic Millions Bundall Sales Complex with 1468 of the country’s best yearlings going under the hammer
Saturday 13 January
- The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday, 11 races, $14.25M in prizemoney at the Gold Coast Turf Club, with $750,000 in Magic Millions Racing Women’s Bonuses and featuring the The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic and the Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas feature races to be run for $3 million each for the first time. After the races, racegoers can head to The Star Gold Coast with Magic Millions Raceday headliner The Potbelleez performing on The Lawn at Garden Kitchen & Bar from 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm. Live DJs and entertainment will feature pre- and Post-The Potbellez performance.