If horse racing is the sport of kings, Magic Millions Racing Women has turned that adage on its head, inspiring thousands of women globally to become actively involved in thoroughbred horse racing.
Introduced in 2012 by Magic Millions co-owner Katie Page to encourage greater participation, recognition and development of women in the thoroughbred horse racing industry, the Magic Millions Racing Women effect has exceeded Page's expectations.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this," says Page. "It seems the lure of a $500,000 bonus was just the trigger many women needed to step into active ownership. We knew the expertise and passion was always equal to men. You only have to go to the Magic Millions January Sales to see how well represented women are behind the scenes."
The Racing Women's Bonus of $500,000 is on offer this Saturday to the first four all-female owned or leased horses in finishing order in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, in addition to race prizemoney of $2,000,000.
Last year, the female connections of Sunlight collected $1,525,000 for winning the 2018 Magic Millions 2YO Classic plus first place in the Racing Women's Bonus - the third time in the short history of the Racing Women's Bonus, that the winner of the 2YO Classic was also a Racing Women's Bonus eligible horse.
The horse must be an eligible Magic Millions Yearling Sale graduate and be nominated for the Magic Millions Race Series.
The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions 2-Year-Old Classic accepts 16 runners purchased from the Magic Millions sales with positions in the race determined by total amount of prize money won.
"We're particularly delighted to see the way word has spread and the impact Magic Millions Racing Women is having on the international racing scene. One of the most successful syndicates 'It's All About the Girls', brings together 40 women from eight different countries. This means these women now have connections to stud farms and trainers around the world and they are at the cutting edge of developments in world racing," says Page. "In the UAE, Phoenix Thoroughbreds has created the first female-only syndicate and Japan now has 'Umajo', areas exclusively for female customers at racetracks."
"The bonus was established in response to the women we knew were already horse-lovers but what has caught us all by surprise is the growth in participation amongst women with no previous connection to the thoroughbred industry," adds Page. "Now they're catching up on a regular basis, making decisions about trainers, race schedules, designing colours and enjoying the thrill and fun of a day at the track."
Janelle Whalley is one of these women. Part-owner of The Odyssey, Janelle drew barrier two for the Kelly Schweida trained colt at the barrier draw yesterday. Whalley is also part-owner of filly Gala Miss, who is on the emergency runner list for Saturday's race.
Australian Associated Press