Cup bigger and better every year
MORE people, more food, more drinks and more book- ies, but fewer bets. Alan Johnson, chairman of Coffs Harbour Racing Club, said they did not yet have final figures and num- bers for the 2006 Carlton Draught Coffs Harbour Gold Cup, but everything was up on last year. He said the betting turn- over was good, but slightly down on 2005, an impression confirmed by bookmaker Jerry Zuvela. But Mr Johnson said it was hard to compare the two, because last year had been a nine-race meeting and this year an eight-race meeting. "I just want to thank Coffs Harbour for getting behind it and coming back to the races," Mr Johnson said. A weary Simon Chladil, Coffs Harbour Racing Club's event manager, said he had managed just two and a half hours sleep between a mara-
thon Thursday and yester- day's clean up. He may not have been wearing high heels for Cup Day, but the events manag- er joined many racegoers in a foot soak after he man- aged to leave the racing club at 12.30am. But he's happy that more than six months of forward planning meant the huge crowd was well-fed and well looked after. "We anticipated 15,000 and catered accordingly," he said. "We went through a lot of everything." Mr Chladil said Thursday, his fourth Cup day, was the biggest he had seen so far. More than 240 staff worked at the racing club on Thursday, some of them drawn from race clubs as far away as Sydney, Tam- worth, Grafton and the Nambucca Valley. "I love a challenge and every year it's getting more and more of a challenge," Mr Chladil said.