Planned turf club upgrades could keep millions on coast

Written on the 6 July 2009

Gold Coast Turf Club Chairman Ross Heinrich is confident major infrastructure improvements planned for the Bundall racetrack can keep the Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions on the Gold Coast.

THE decision to relocate the Coast-born and bred event to Brisbane or interstate could ‘doom the event to failure’. A contract for next year’s event is yet to be signed as MM owners Gerry Harvey and John Singleton consider relocation options.

Turf Club officials recently met with Tourism and Racing Minister Peter Lawlor and Queensland Racing chairman Bob Bentley to ascertain direction.

“The signs are all very encouraging and we look forward to being in a position to make some significant infrastructure funding announcements in the not-too-distant future,” says Heinrich.

“One major project literally on the drawing board is a 1200-person function area. The final architectural details are currently being finalised.”

Heinrich labels attempts to shift the event as the ‘sword of Damocles’.

“Harvey and Singleton say our facilities aren’t up to scratch and turn off the serious thoroughbred buyers, while at the same time they’ve invested very little on their
own tin shed saleyards the whole time they’ve owned them,” says Heinrich.

“Beneath their ‘knockabout guy’ exteriors they are both tough, shrewd businessmen who are out for the best deal and we know we need to work with that.

“Magic Millions was created on the Gold Coast to make the most of the surf, sun and unique Christmas-New Year holiday atmosphere and any move will be akin
to moving the Melbourne Cup to Alice Springs.

“Magic Millions is a very strong brand, but it’s also very formulaic and there’s a real risk in playing with it too much.”


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