On Saturday 8th May, Gosford Race Club played host to the biggest and richest event in the clubs over one-hundred-year history, The Coast Standalone Race Day. The meeting was a sell-out, with around 3,000 guests on-course enjoying either a 5-star dining package or a thrilling trackside experience. 97% of tickets were sold prior to the event leaving very few available for purchase on the day.
The weather turned it on, producing a superb autumn day with temperatures reaching 25 degrees and sunny. Although the track received rain in the days leading up to the event, a fair track was presented for all types of horses, celebrating wins from wide, deep and mid field.
Local jockey Josh Parr celebrated with an early win, steering Bjorn Baker trained ‘Overpass’ to victory in the Central Coast Granite 2YO Handicap over 1200m, making it 3 from 3 for the talented and well-bred Vancouver / Snitzel colt.
The De Bortoli Wines Takeover Target was the first of three feature events of the day. A tightly contended race but it was Kris Lees’ ‘Enchanted Heart’ who took the win with Jason Collett in the saddle. Special guest Joe Janiak, owner and trainer of the famous Takeover Target was on course to present the winning trophies.
The Reward Group & Luux Properties Listed Gosford Gold Cup comprised of a high quality field of ten horses to battle it out for recently increased $250,000 prize pool. Experienced Gosford Gold Cup winner, Tommy Berry took out the 2,100m race aboard New Zealand bred mare, ‘Polly Grey’ and a third Gosford Gold Cup win for master trainer Chris Waller.
As the sun was setting over Gosford’s lush mountain skyline, it was time for the running of the inaugural $500,000 The Coast. It was a late call up for John Sargent who was debating whether to run his 4yo, Brandenburg in QLD, however made the right decision accepting at Gosford. After a rocky start to his preparation and a wide barrier draw, Brandenburg got the job done with a peach of a ride from Regan Bayliss who navigated the Burgundy gelding home for a triumphant win.
Aside from the high quality of racing, the trackside atmosphere was buzzing all day. Guests enjoyed live music from the moment they walked in the gates including funky, jazz tunes from the Djangologists to a rock band on the front lawn. The Coast Fashions on the Field was a hit boasting a $9,000 prize pool across three categories including a newly introduced ‘Contemporary’ category which favoured the more casual race day looks.
“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. An event of this calibre really helps to put Gosford and the Central Coast on the map.
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.” – Daniel Lacey CEO