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Perth Racing welcomes Kia as headline partner for The Quokka 2024

Get ready for an adrenaline-fuelled spectacular as The Kia Quokka, Western Australia’s richest ever horse race, gallops back into action at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday, April 20, 2024.

Named in honour of the ‘happiest animal on earth’, a short-tailed scrub wallaby which is exclusively found in the southwest of WA, The Kia Quokka slot race is one of the joint fifth most valuable races in Australia. First staged at Ascot Racecourse Perth in April 2023, the event captured the imagination of Australian racing enthusiasts nationwide and played to fierce interstate rivalry as east coast raiders landed to compete for the new prize pool.

Now in its second year, and with a $1M increase in the prize pool for 2024, The $5M Kia Quokka looks set to follow in the footsteps of other slot race successes, including The Australian Turf Club’s The TAB Everest in Sydney, which has grown its prize pool from $10M at launch in 2017 to an incredible $20M for 2024 as Australia’s richest race.

The slot race format features 14 starters sprinting over 1200m. Horses are nominated by slot owners who pay $200,000 to secure a slot (starting position) in the race. The slot owner has the option to nominate their own horse for the race, or to do a deal with
the owner of another horse to share the prize money.

Kia has a wide breadth of partnerships across the Australian sporting landscape and are proud partners with a range of sporting properties and personalities, including the Australian Open, the National Rugby League, Brisbane Broncos, Steve Waugh, and more locally, the WAFL.

Kia Australia General Manager of Marketing Dean Norbiato spoke about the important role local sporting events such as The Kia Quokka have in connecting community through a key passion point and in turn, the Kia brand.

“We’re excited to partner with Perth Racing and be involved with an event that has such potential. As the event grows and gains traction on both a local and national scale, we hope to grow Kia’s association and awareness alongside it”, Mr Norbiato commented.

Kia’s partnership with Perth Racing couldn’t be better timed with Kia vehicle sales in WA on the rise, increasing sales momentum with the anticipation of Kia’s first ever ute is key. Set to be unveiled by the end of the year, Kia promises the ute will be the company’s “most Australian product ever”, with Australia at the centre of its development and suspension to be tuned for local roads. Last year, Perth Racing brought competing jockeys down the Ascot Racecourse track in utes, as part of a truly Western Australian Quokka experience.

Perth Racing CEO James Oldring said: “We are delighted to have Kia on board as our event partner for The Quokka – a high profile event like this creates a fantastic platform from which to showcase world-class racing at Ascot during the Autumn season, as well as to appeal to typically younger, fun-loving audiences in a carnival atmosphere. We will be showcasing the full range of class-leading Kia Cars at Ascot Racecourse as part of our premium, inclusive offering, as we buckle up for a journey that will take The Quokka from strength to strength.”

The Kia Quokka 2024 Fast Facts

• The Kia Quokka is Australia’s latest major slot-racing event, the concept continuing to gain popularity since the now world-famous $20 million The Everest (1200m) was first held in Sydney during the spring since 2017.

• It is officially the richest race held in Western Australia and is currently the joint fifth richest thoroughbred horse race in Australia with stakes boosted from $4 million to $5 million ahead of the 2024 edition.

• The Kia Quokka 1200m sprint is open to 14 horses selected by slot-holders, each having purchased their slot, which refers to the automatic entry/starting position within the race, for $200,000.

• A slot race, or slot allocation race, differs from traditional horse racing as slots are sold or allocated instead of horses being entered by owners. Participants nominate horses to compete for a substantial share of the prize pool, which is distributed among top finishers.

• Slot holders can range from individuals and partnerships to companies, organisations, members, industry bodies, associations, syndicates, charities, breeders, friends, and more. This dynamic form of horse racing gives everyone the opportunity to become actively involved, without needing any previous experience in the racing industry.

• The Kia Quokka Barrier Draw will be conducted on Tuesday 16 April 2024, at Ascot Racecourse for a Breakfast with the Stars event where the horses, trainers, jockeys and slot owners are in attendance and a representative for each horse picks the barrier, or slot number. NB. Press can attend so please contact us for details.

• The Kia Quokka race is named in honour of the quokka, dubbed the ‘happiest animal on earth’, for which the state’s Rottnest Island is famous.

• The Kia Quokka Day takes place the Saturday after Sydney’s ‘The Championships’.

• This year there’s a new international dimension to The Kia Quokka with New Zealand horse Waitak racing, running in the slot of Trackside NZ.