And what better way to harness interest than in a million-dollar race.
“We believe the idea has got great merit. The first one would be at Bendigo, but we could rotate it around our major wagering clubs to give the concept real variety,” Whiteman said. “Tracks like Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong, Warrnambool, Cranbourne and Pakenham could take turns in hosting it.
“We have not had a million-dollar race in the country and we think it could be a tremendous promotion for the club that puts it on and racing in general.
“It could piggy-back off the All-Star Mile, giving horses who didn’t get voted into that the chance to compete at high level for great prizemoney, and it could keep the spotlight on Victorian racing after the autumn carnival has finished in the city.”
At present the rotating million dollar mile is just an idea that is being kicked around by a steering
For it to become a reality it would need to go before the Racing Victoria board as a proposal to be discussed and voted upon.
“I think this time of the year would be the ideal time to run a race like this,” Whiteman said. “I also feel that there is no need to have this mythical metropolitan boundary where you can only put on big-money races in the city.”
Whiteman has first-hand experience of putting on a multi-million dollar card outside of the metropolitan area. He was CEO of the Gold Coast Turf Club and helped build up the multi-million dollar Magic Millions raceday in the early years of the 21st century.
Greg Carpenter, Racing Victoria’s executive general manager of racing, said the initiative was definitely worth considering but would need to find its place.
He pointed out that prizemoney in Victoria had increased by $33 million in the past 15 months and said: “If we were going to increase it for a race of this nature we would have to go through a very thorough budgeting review.