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Coast on a winner with race carnival

SUCCESS: The Sunshine Coast Summer Racing Carnival ends with today’s Caloundra Chamber of Commerce Sunshine Coast Cup, which will feature 2009 Golden Slipper winner Phelan Ready (pictured).
SUCCESS: The Sunshine Coast Summer Racing Carnival ends with today’s Caloundra Chamber of Commerce Sunshine Coast Cup, which will feature 2009 Golden Slipper winner Phelan Ready (pictured). DEAN LEWINS

RACING official Mick Sullivan believes the Sunshine Coast Summer Racing Carnival can become one of Queensland racing's major annual events.

The nine-day carnival ends with today's Caloundra Chamber of Commerce Sunshine Coast Cup, but Mr Sullivan believes it will become a fixture for years to come.

"We've got to lobby for it to make sure it stays," he said.

"It's a year-to-year proposition but it will just go on the racing calendar."

Mr Sullivan believes the success of this year's inaugural carnival has allowed the Sunshine Coast Turf Club to plan for bigger things next year.

The carnival has included a golf day, a gala ball and two race days with $1.295 million in prize money.

Some of Australia's top trainers had runners in the $775,000 Coastline BMW Racing Minister's Classic Raceday a week ago and expectations are high for today's cup meet.

"We've got a great track, great facilities; we're finally getting recognised," Mr Sullivan said.

Caloundra Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive officer Leanne Layfield said the carnival had boosted Caloundra's profile.

"There has been a much, much bigger promotional budget for these events and the profile has been lifted by the extra prize money and also the extra marketing," she said. "All of that, whether it draws people immediately or just plants seeds for the future, is of great benefit to us in the short and medium term."

Mr Sullivan said racing people would begin planning for next year's event, boosting its profile.

"It's going to grow for sure," he said.

"You're going to get recognition and then people start to plan for it the next year and that's where it starts growing. It takes time to get to a level but you've got start somewhere."

He said Sunshine Coast was building off the success of the Magic Millions, which runs on the Gold Coast every January and will have $10 million prize money next year.



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