Seven Network extends MM coverage

Seven Network extends Magic Millions coverage


Sport
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Phillip Bate analyses news from the Queensland racing scene.

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IN a major coup for the Magic Millions January Sales and Raceday Carnival, the Seven Network  will extend live coverage of the $10 million Magic Millions Raceday for a further three years, taking it through to January 2020 (inclusive).

Seven Group Holdings Executive Chairman, Kerry Stokes and Chief Executive Ryan Stokes, in conjunction with Seven West Media Managing Director, Tim Worner, made the joint announcement with Magic Millions co-owners Gerry Harvey and Katie Page-Harvey at the recent official launch of the 2018 Magic Millions Carnival on the Gold Coast.

“Gerry and Katie have built something special with Magic Millions that has a unique offering on the Australian and international horse-racing calendars,” said Kurt Burnette, Chief Revenue Officer, Seven West Media.

“The Magic Millions Raceday is an enormously popular fixture on Seven’s racing schedule and this long-term partnership demonstrates our commitment to Katie and Gerry’s vision to grow and evolve the event every year. There is nothing else quite like it in Australia – if not the world.  What happens on the Gold Coast in January sets the tone for racing in Australia for the rest of the year,” Mr Burnette said.

Ms Page-Harvey said Seven’s live coverage of Raceday, which began in 2015, had been instrumental to the growth in popularity and presence of the Magic Millions.

“Our turnover from Magic Millions January Yearling Sales has more than doubled over the past five years – growing from $70 million in 2013 to $145 million at last year’s sales. Winx, Redzel, Capitalist and Buffering are all Magic Millions graduates. In many instances these future superstars are revealed at the Magic Millions Raceday in January. It is where those who love racing go to witness or purchase the next big names in racing,” Ms Page-Harvey said.

“Magic Millions was the first raceday in Australia to offer $10 million in prizemoney on a single raceday. Our aim is to continually set the bar higher and the partnership with Seven ensures the standard of the Raceday broadcast is world-class,” she said.

Chief Executive of Tourism and Events Queensland, Leanne Coddington, said Seven’s commitment to Magic Millions Raceday presented a great opportunity for the national spotlight to shine on the Gold Coast.

“The Magic Millions Carnival is one of many stellar Gold Coast events featured on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar for 2018, which is forecast to generate more than $780 million for the state’s economy next year,” Ms Coddington  said.

Equine Genetics Research Centre

AUSTRALIAN racing’s first equine genetics research laboratory service is to be established at the Hunter Valley Equine Research Centre complex, Scone, NSW.

With the new facility expected to be operational by April, Racing Australia chair Frances Nelson said locating the Equine Genetics Research Centre (EGRC) in the Hunter Valley – the heart of one of Australia’s internationally-recognised breeding regions – made perfect sense given the vital functions it would perform for the Australian Thoroughbred racing industry.

“The work of the EGRC will be critical to the ongoing integrity of Australian racing. Its DNA testing underpins both the breeding and racing sectors of our sport. To ensure the EGRC met world standards, Racing Australia worked with the International Society of Animal Genetics to successfully gain approval and institutional membership,” Ms Nelson said.

Welcoming the new facility, Hunter Valley Equine Research Centre chairman Bill Rose said the EGRC would undertake DNA typing of all Thoroughbred foals to confirm parentage and establish a unique pedigree accessible throughout its life. “It will also provide services to 30 other horse breed societies across Australia. An estimated 20,000 tests will be analysed at the Centre each year,” he said.

Ms Nelson also announced that Dr Natasha Hamilton had been appointed by Racing Australia as the inaugural Director of the EGRC.  “Dr Hamilton has worked at the University of Sydney as a researcher and lecturer – most recently teaching neurophysiology and equine science within the Faculty of Science. She is also a contributing member of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities’ Gene Doping Control Subcommittee, the International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop and the International Society of Animal Genetics,” Ms Nelson said.

Grateful for the opportunity to become a contributing member of the industry that she has loved for so long, Dr Hamilton said she was especially excited about the research possibilities of this role. “I look forward to working closely with industry participants to ensure Australia’s racing industry continues to be the world’s leading Thoroughbred industry,” she said.

Tracey Pelling new integrity unit boss

THE Queensland Racing Integrity Commission has announced experienced police officer Tracey Pelling as the new head of its Integrity Regulation Unit.

AAP reports Pelling’s IRU functions will include the enforcement of licensing requirements as well as stable and kennel inspections to ensure the welfare of racing animals.

QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett said Detective Sergeant Pelling brought a great deal of experience to the job. “Detective Pelling is currently the Officer-in-Charge of the Queensland Racing Crime Squad and has been involved in investigations which have resulted in the arrest of racing industry participants for offences ranging from match (race) fixing to money laundering and serious animal cruelty,” he said.

Before her work with the QRCS, Pelling led the Greyhound Racing Inquiry Task Force. She is a reservist in the Royal Australian Air Force and was deployed on operations in the Middle East in 2013. Pelling is a cousin of four-time Brisbane premier jockey Mike Pelling.

Inglis launch 2018 Easter Preview Magazine

THE catalogue for the 2018 Australian Easter Yearling Sale is taking shape, with an elite line up set to grace the company’s new Riverside Stables at Warwick farm, Sydney, on April 9-11.

The annual Inglis Easter Preview Magazine is now available online and contains the pedigrees of hundreds of world-class yearlings that will be offered to a local and international buying bench next year.

Among the 535-strong early catalogue are 39 siblings to Group 1 winners including VRC Oaks heroine Pinot, Catchy, Mighty Boss, Shoals, Flying Artie, Press Statement, Sebring, English, Shooting To Win, The Quarterback and Lucia Valentina. There are also progeny of 36 Group 1-winning mares such as Alinghi, Commanding Jewel, Peggy Jean, Secret Admirer, Red Tracer, Cosmic Endeavour, Daffodil, Bonaria, Steps In Time and Absolut Glam.

Arrowfield Stud's Snitzel is the leading sire with 64 entrants ahead of Coolmore's Fastnet Rock (44), Yarraman Park's I Am Invincible (39) and Widden Stud's Sebring (31). There will also be four fillies by champion Japanese stallion Deep Impact, and two Frankel colts.

The 2018 Australian Easter Yearling Sale will be the first held at Riverside Stables from Monday April 9 until Wednesday April 11. The Chairman's Sale (Racing Prospects, Thursday April 5) and The Chairman's Sale (Breeding Prospects, Thursday April 12) will bookend the Easter Sale, while the Australian Broodmare and Weanling Sale will follow for three days from Sunday April 15.

BHA adopts Australian reforms

THE British Horseracing Authority (BHA) will follow Australia's lead by introducing thoroughbred welfare measures, reports racing.com.

From January 1, 2018, the BHA will adopt the foal ownership and traceability reforms that were first introduced by Australia's governing body Racing Australia in August 2016.

The new rules require Foal Ownership Declarations to be lodged within 30 days of foaling and owners must advise the Australian Stud Book of any subsequent change in the location of the foal and ownership interest.

At the time, Racing Australia said it was necessary for integrity and animal welfare purposes that unnamed horses and their owners be identified and subject to the Australian Rules of Racing. Racing Australia Chair, Frances Nelson, welcomed the BHAs decision. "The British Horseracing Authority's decision to adopt our foal ownership and traceability reforms are further recognition of the international standing held by the Australian Thoroughbred racing industry," Ms Nelson said.

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