The Gold Coast Turf Club believes the $1.5 million race day ahead of the Magic Millions can be the final piece in its push for regular metropolitan standard meetings.
Saturday’s meeting is the major lead-up to the Magic Millions day at the track a week later and in recent years has gradually assumed more importance.
Four of the past five Magic Millions 2YO Classic winners have won at the Gold Coast meeting the week before the big race.
This year the two-year-old race has been split into two divisions – the Gold Pearl for fillies and Gold Nugget for colts and geldings – each carrying $125,000 prize monry.
The GCTC and Racing Queensland have upgraded the overall meeting to become one of the richest days in Queensland racing.
Among the new races are the $250,000 The Wave (1800m) and two divisions of the $250,000 Rising Stars (1300m).
The $250,000 Magic Millions Cup has been moved to the the meeting from the main Magic Millions day.
GCTC boss Steve Lines said the meeting was important for the club in more ways than one.
“It is no secret we want to go from five metropolitan Saturday meetings a year to ten. It would make us a genuine metropolitan club,” Lines said.
“This meeting is a chance for us to really show we deserve to be a metropolitan club. This year it is in an unusual position because it comes only three days after New Year. It is traditionally a tricky day.
“We have just about sold out our corporate facilities and we are aiming at attracting a lot of walk-ups on the day.
“I would expect in 2021 when the meeting and Magic Millions day go back a week it will really take off.
“In the end after we install lights, I would hope both this meeting and the Magic Millions day will be twilight meetings.”