Over seventeen days in 2008, the Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions Carnival boasts over 40 events, held at Easter on the Gold Coast.The annual Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions carnival has become an Australian icon event that continues to record phenomenal growth, injecting an estimated $90 million-plus into the local economy.The cream of Australia’s yearlings are paraded before a sale like no other and many of these polished babies will go on to success at racing’s elite level before becoming immensely valuable stallions and broodmares later on.The innovative sale company annually posts results that are the envy of bloodstock auction houses around the world: last year gross receipts rocketed from $80.1 million to $108.4 million for just under 600 baby racehorses sold at the four-day Premier sale at Bundall.Everyone is welcome at the sale complex to watch the action with yearling inspections beginning from March 17.The sale attracts the most powerful buyers from across the globe as well as leading Australian trainers and the catalogue stands on its track record of producing very fine gallopers.But Magic Millions is much, much more than a horse sale.It is a uniquely Australian celebration with a diverse range of events to cater for everyone from March 17 to April 2 this year - in fact, with more than 40 associated events, if you’re absolutely terrified of going near a horse, there’s an amazing array of options.“Magic Millions is so much more than just a horse sale; it has a genuine carnival atmosphere and a wide variety of community events. The corporate Gold Coast sector is right behind us," asserts managing director David Chester. “It is very satisfying to see our event calendar continue to expand to really get everyone involved.”John Singleton once described the carnival as “the Melbourne Cup in shorts” and from the moment one arrives at the Gold Coast, the Magic Millions buzz is palpable. The difference, of course, is that Magic Millions is held in one of the world’s most desirable destinations, the weather is likely to be fabulous and because we’re in Queensland, it’s casual and fun.The carnival event program kicks off with a Magic Monday champagne lunch in the opulent confines of Palazzo Versace (where else, really!) on March 17, setting the tone for a whirlwind round of social activities.Dress to impress to be part of the Magic Millions Carnival Fashion Awards on March 18 at Magic @ Marina Mirage centre stage. This is a free event and all are welcome. That evening there is a racing and sports celebrity dinner at the Titanium Bar in Surfers where leading racing and sports celebrities will be interviewed.The following day, March 19, big names of the racing industry will attend the much-anticipated Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions barrier draw at Conrad Jupiters at Broadbeach. Watch the drama unfold as connections of horses engaged in the Magic Millions feature races draw all-important barriers!Of course, some would argue that hats are just as important as barriers and more than 100 exquisite creations will be exhibited at the Magic Millions millinery collection – where a $1 million hat will be unveiled. Those with the energy after such an action-packed day will trot along to the Gold Coast Turf Club Magic Millions members cocktail party.One of the signature events of the Magic Millions carnival is the Hats and High Tea at the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa at 10.30am on March 20. This socialite’s soiree attracts a mix of celebrities and partners of global high-flying racing personalities and is held ahead of the traditional Carbine Club lunch, without which no carnival is complete.Carnival participants have the opportunity to catch their breath on Good Friday ahead of a race day on March 22.That evening, there’s the brilliant Magic Millions family day and beach fireworks – a free event to which all are welcome, so kick back in your beach beanbag and watch a latest release movie and take in the fireworks.The look and feel of a Vegas showroom have been recreated for the Gold Coast Star Ball at Sheraton Mirage at 7.30pm on Saturday night with all proceeds from this event going to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.Breeders, buyers and celebrity’s will mingle at the Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions Opening Night function – always spectacular – to be held poolside at Conrad Jupiters on March 23.Easter Monday heralds the annual Magic Millions race day with $4.1 million of prizemoney on offer and new legends to be created: the hallmark two-year-old Classic race, now worth $1.5 million, has proven the springboard for several track superstars. Hospitality options are truly of an international standard with the Paspaley Magic Millions VIP raceday room, the Conrad Jupiters Dome, and the Queensland Racing Owners & Trainers Emporium and International Pavilion. The Magic Millions Fashion Awards featuring, the Paspaley Best Dressed for the Carnival Award and the Bang & Olufsen Best Dressed Gentleman Award will be presented at the races, which are a fantastic opportunity to dress up and celebrate the vibrancy and colour of the carnival.The sale kicks off that evening with many racegoers traditionally flocking ring-side to watch heart-stopping bidding duels as selling begins under lights.Of course, a whirl of events continues right through til the second day of April, with the well-established Widden Stud Golf Day, dinners, seminars, and a countless number of associated activities taking place alongside the renowned yearling sales.
The Big G