Which state reigns supreme in racing?

Jan 21, 2022

It is an age old question and one that is as heated as the debate over the greatest bowler in the Australian Cricket team, or the leading Australian tennis ace. There’s  Derby Day, The Everest, Cox Plate, Stradbroke Day, The Golden Slipper and Magic Millions Day to name a few on offer in this wonderful racing nation, but that doesn’t get you any closer to the answer.

So what does each state really offer?

Queensland has Victoria and NSW covered in a number of ways

Let’s face it, winter would be pretty darn bleak without races like the Doomben 10000 and Stradbroke Handicap. Queensland offers the opportunity to secure balck type across each of the Queensland Carnivals and it is the home of Magic Millions. Both local and international visitors cram into the auction ring on the Gold Coast and then the race day, with some of the richest racing and bonuses available. In 2022, Magic Millions announced yet another race to add to the card in 2023 for purchase from Magic Millions with a $1million syndicate race.

However, it is probably Queensland’s status as delivering Australian racing’s most down-to earth race meetings that has it as a serious contender to own the title as the best state to own a racehorse. You can chat with Gerry Harvey at Magic Millions or get up close with any number of leading trainers at all the meetings.

Queensland racing is for the people and they know how to enjoy a great day with everyone. Where else in the world would you line the beach front to have sand whipped up in front of you as the best jockeys in the world race across the beach while you sip champagne? And let’s not get started on the Birdsville races!

So how does that compare to owning in the state of Victoria?

Victoria boasts the Race that stops a Nation, so does that make them supreme? Not likely.

In Victoria, Derby Day delivers four Group 1 races in a row and the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate are more than $5million in prize money per race. The Spring Racing Carnival is the richest Carnival in the country and spans the state with 27 Country Cups, and the VIC’s are leading the world with advanced equine care, setting the new benchmark in pre-race care.

Add to this, the sporting mad public and the racing atmosphere is electric. Can you imagine the feeling of a winning owner with a packed Caulfield or Flemington of fanatical race fans? No where else in the world could give you that thrill!

On top of this, legends are born in Victoria. Just think of Might and Power, when he won the Caulfield Cup by 7.5 lengths in 1997. Or Makybe Diva winning her third Melbourne Cup. You couldn’t write a better movie script than these horse races.

The game has changed in NSW, do you love supercharged racing?

Not sure? There’s $700,000,000 million reasons to love supercharged racing in NSW. The trend in prize money growth is in large part due to racing administrators in NSW. Love them or hate them, you can’t deny the positive impact they have had on the economics of racing in Australia.

There is a whopping $91m allocated to Country Racing alone in NSW making the ownership experience for all levels of racing an appealing one. And to name a few other rich races there are:

  • TAB Everest -$15m
  • Golden Eagle $8m
  • Golden Slipper $5m
  • Queen Elizabeth $4m
  • Inglis Millennium $2m

While the Australian Open tennis champions win $2.75m, the AFL premiers win $3.4m and Australia just collected $2.2m for winning the T20 Cricket World Cup, they’re just not in the same league. Even The Everest Trophy is worth more than $500,000 with over 500 carats of black and white diamonds!

So which state can truly lay claim to being the best to race horses in Australia?

Parochialism might lead us all to vote for our home state. But if you took away your own state, which one would you vote for?