GOLD, GOLD, GOLD

By LEE McDOUGALL

HOT pink suits for the men, stunning stockings and hats for the ladies, and a 'heavy' track for the horses, perhaps best sums up the 35th Carlton Draught Coffs Harbour Gold Cup.

Clear, blue skies and a mild breeze provided perfect conditions that attracted a record crowd, with unofficial figures coming in around the 12,000 mark.

"This is only my second year as chairman and I don't know yet what the crowd figures are but I'm blown away by the turnout," club boss Alan Johnson said.

While the heavy track may result in some criticism among the racing fraternity, the Fashion of the Fields stakes certainly did not disappoint.

Although there were many who chose to play it safe with basic black, bright colours, plunging low-cut dresses and a kaleidoscope of multi-coloured suits, also made many a bold statement. When it came to 'people spotting', there was more than billed celebrity Tara Moss in the crowd. Other well-known faces included Jon English, Kerry Chikarovski and Grinspoon's Joe Hansen.

As to the main event ? the Carlton Draught Coffs Harbour Gold Cup ? a 'bronzed warrior' in the shape of five-year-old gelding Mr Gold Fire won a thrilling race.



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