Hot on the heels of its naming rights sponsorship of the Stradbroke, UBET has been announced as the sponsor of the $1 Million UBET Magic Millions QTIS Open at the Gold Coast on January 14.
The Queensland Summer Racing Carnival has been re-vamped in 2016-17 and officially begins on Saturday November 19 with the Keith Noud Classic and extends until January 28 with the running of the Sunshine Coast Cup.
The Summer Carnival takes in such races as the Lough Neagh Stakes, the Bernborough Handicap and the jewel in the crown, the Magic Millions. The 2017 edition of the Gold Coast feature raceday will offer $10million in prizemoney, making it the richest individual raceday on the Australian calendar.
Another feature of the Carnival will be the Origin Jockey Series. Held over three rounds, it will pit the Queensland hoops against their New South Wales, Victorian and Kiwi counterparts in a four-way challenge. There will also be triple crown bonus races for 2YO’s, 3YO’s and sprinters.
The QSRC is likely to see plenty of interstate trainers chasing the riches on offer with the Hayes/Dabernig combination to be well represented at the Magic Millions day as will the Waterhouse/Bott team. Darren Weir was a major player in 2015 and other trainers that will be targeting the Carnival include Bjorn Baker, Ciaron Maher, Chris Waller and John O’Shea.
Of the local trainers, Rob Heathcote will be without his champion Buffering in 2017 who was successful in the Magic Millions QTIS Trophy, however will have a strong contingent throughout the carnival. Pat Duff is another that will be well represented as will Tony Gollan. Last season’s leading Brisbane metro trainer will be keen to repeat his performances from last year that included a trifecta in the George Moore Stakes.
Jeff Lloyd is a tear-away leader in the early stages of the Brisbane jockeys premiership, having ridden more winners than second and third placed Jim Byrne and Robbie Fradd combined. Lloyd will have some good rides available during the Carnival and will be looking to extend that lead.
Interstate jockeys that will likely play a leading hand in the Summer Carnival include Blake Shinn, Brenton Avdulla and Brad Rawiller. James McDonald will likely to feature heavily as the lead rider for the Godolphin team who were in great form during the recent Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Madeenaty has shown that she will be right in the Magic Millions Classic, as has Invincible Star who beat Madeenaty in the G3 Ottawa Stakes at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day. The Snowden’s were successful in the 2016 2YO Classic and look to have another eligible prospect in Khan, the colt winning on debut in the Listed Breeders Plate at Randwick in October, before being put away.
Coolring for trainer Bjorn Baker will head north starting with the Keith Noud, while Brisbane based Desleigh Forster will have Cylinder Beach ready to fire across the Carnival and the 4YO starts his campaign on the first day.