CONGRATULATIONS to the Coffs Harbour Racing Club on a fantastic 2005 carnival.
Chairman Alan Johnson should be delighted with the turn out on Thursday and his new committee, CEO Sherryn Tutt, grounds staff, catering boss Simon Chladil and team advisor Greg Doolan all deserve huge pats on backs for their efforts.
Highlights of the week included The Trevor Hardytrained veteran Elite Ted's win in the Coffs Coast Advocate Sprint for jockey Glen Colless who completed a home town double aboard Kreisler's Jewel in Thursday's Ken Howard Cup.
Both Colless rides were gems and in contrast to one from a leading Sydney rider aboard a fancied runner in Concitare's Carlton Draught Coffs Harbour Gold Cup triumph.
Coffs Harbour's Famous Dane simply wasn't suited by the pace of Thurday's Cup and veteran Mr Marceau who led the Cup field onto the track can relax with his title as the last home-town Cup winner intact.
It was encouraging to see a Council survey being undertaken at the gates as well so that forward planning can get under way for even better things in 2006.
That's the sort of vision that will ensure the future and the status of our racing carnival in the year's ahead.
THERE were a couple of eyecatching debuts during the carnival.
If you're looking for a horse to follow, go no further than Coffs trainer Gordon Yorke's colt Natural Destiny which was ultra-impressive in his first race in the Susan and Jerry Zuvela Maiden.
Natural Destiny (Naturalism-Force Of Destiny) scooted over the 800m in 46.74 seconds and while that time might not be breath-taking, the manner of the colt's win certainly was as he careered away to a three-and-a-half length win with plenty up his sleeve.
Yorke has taken Cajun Steel north to Eagle Farm today for a $100,000 race in that galloper's biggest test to date, but the stable is flying at the moment with Kaoru Square and Secret Stash landing a double at Coffs on Thursday and a good showing from Cajun Steel at long odds won't surprise.
Hunter Valley mare La Redoute's racetrack debut was also very convincing in the LG - Harvey Norman Maiden on Thursday and she will pay to follow.
If you went back through the form you may have backed the Gordon Yorke-trained Kaoru Square which was runner-up to Metorite in a Maiden in December.
Meteorite ended up starting favourite in the Coffs Harbour Cup.
ONE time owner of retired multiple Group 1 winner Intergaze, Ray McDowell is a regular visitor to Coffs racing carnivals.
Intergaze is best remembered for beating the mighty Octagonal in his farewell racetrack appearance.
Ray took a keen interest in another of his gallopers Interstorm's run in Thursday's Diamond Dash and was hoping that the gelding could become the first horse to win the race in successive years.
That didn't happen, but Ray reached another first when given a framed portrait of Interstorm's win last year, complete with recorded commentary of the race at the push of a button on the frame itself.
Now the search is on for recordings of Intergaze's wins so that they too can be reframed for display.
It's a great new idea for winning owners.
FROM September 1, apprentice jockeys will be able to claim 4kg until they have ridden five winners.
As probationers they will have to ride satisfactorily in 20 barrier trials instead of 10 before they can ride in a race.
A city racing columnist is claiming some credit for having the first rule implemented, but whatever its source, the result will be plenty of trainers keen to get that much weight off a horse.
It's a lot in a tight finish.
HAVING not having backed one winner over the two days of the carnival, I randomly selected Smoothe, the $61.70 winner of the last on Thursday with my eyes closed and recouped my carnival expenses.
With form like that I'll leave you to work put your own tips for today. Good luck.