HORSE RACING –
Saturday, May 9, brought to Gosford Race Club the inaugural Coast Race Day, the first ever Saturday metro meeting for the club at The Entertainment Grounds and Gosford Racecourse.
The race day was a sell-out event, with 3,000 attendees on course witnessing the $1.6 million nine-race programme, as well as live entertainment including the band, Jellyfish, on the front lawn, a ‘Fashions on the Field’ competition boasting a $9,000 prize pool, and a DJ set in the Coast Marquee.
The day began with a strong showing from local jockey, Josh Parr, who took out the opening race, the Central Coast Granite 2YO Handicap aboard ‘Overpass’ for trainer Bjorn Baker.
In the first of the three feature races, the De Bortoli Wines Takeover Target, the winner was Enchanted Heart, trained by Kris Lee and ridden Jason Collett.
Next up was the Reward Group & Luux Properties Gosford Gold Cup, which was taken out by Polly Grey, jockeyed by Tommy Berry and trained by Chris Waller.
The third and main feature race was The Coast 1600m, featuring prizemoney of half a million dolalrs. The race was won by Brandenburg, ridden by Regan Bayliss and trained by John Sargent.
For Daniel Lacey, CEO of The Entertainment Grounds, the event was a success on all fronts.
“We are thrilled and very grateful for Racing NSW allowing us the opportunity to host a stand-alone, metro meeting at Gosford and for introducing the half a million dollar ‘The Coast’ race,” Lacey said.
“An event of this calibre really helps to put Gosford and the Central Coast on the map.
“Now that we have been able to showcase an amazing event, on and off the track, proving its potential and the economic benefits for the Central Coast region, we are encouraging businesses to jump on this annual occasion, bringing more visitors to the area for ‘Stay & Race’ getaways, to spend at local retailers and restaurants and experience all the Central Coast has to offer.
“The weather could not have been better with a few days of rain in the lead up adding to the sensational track conditions.
“The quality of racing was superb with wins from deep and mid field, showcasing a fair track giving all types of horses equal opportunity.
“The Fashions on the Field event showcased some wonderful autumn entrants competing for the $9,000 prize pool.
“Viera Macikova took out Best Dressed Lady, Rob Lee Best Dressed Gentleman and Selina McCloskey Best Dressed Contemporary.
“Considering the COVID scare in the days prior to our event, it was pleasing to have a sell-out event of 3,000 in attendance.
“Next year we hope to see COVID restrictions eased and our capacity increased once again.”