Fashion the best backed
By ANN-MARIE MAY
THE horses have been loaded, the light is flashing, and . . . they're racing.
The running of the Coffs Gold Cup Fashion Stakes is off to a great start with the tight field all moving to the rails.
Taking an early lead is last year's winner, Women's Suit, with Men's Classic Suit following close on its heels. With no clear favourite the race could go any way, but local retailers are already celebrating, reporting strong backing from the punters.
As tipped by Parisian Fashions' Christiane Parr, Women's Suit falls back a spot, making room for Cocktail Wear to push to the front.
Many thought Women's Suit would again cross the line first, but Ms Parr said Cocktail Wear's evening wear bloodlines, which featured dress, slacks and blouse, meant it was popular among many circles.
Also making ground is Budget, from the St Vincent de Paul stables, who has experienced a surge of support from mainly Coffs Coast's young men, seeking to get in on an outfit for between $10 and $12.
Cocktail Wear continues to maintain her lead, but the question is, can she stay the distance?
Ab-Fab's Wendy believes it's too open to crown the winner yet, saying the field is very diverse this year.
She said outsiders, like Bohemian and Tribal Print, could have an impact on the final placings, with punters having a lot more spread with their wagers this year, but Women's Suit was still in with a show.
Consistent performer, Men's Colour Suit, is steady in the middle of the field, and while not tipped to run a place, has proven to be a stayer with the crowd.
The big surprise could be Casual Chic, with many retailers saying punters are supporting the stable that has delivered jeans, skirts, big belts and boots to the fashion world.
And now making it's move is Accessories, who each year runs a place, but is often outshone by more fancied contestants.
However, Something Funky's Kylie Badocko believes this could be her year, saying people are putting their money on Accessories to win, instead of as an afterthought.
And, as they close on the finish line, who will be the winner? I guess we will have to wait for Thursday.