Japanese jockey Yasunari Iwataki kisses the cup after winning the Melbourne Cup with Delta Blues in 2006.
Japanese jockey Yasunari Iwataki kisses the cup after winning the Melbourne Cup with Delta Blues in 2006.

Melbourne Cup tour to make a rare stop in Coffs Harbour

WITH the first Tuesday in November fast approaching and Coffs Harbour set to hold the first country meeting in New South Wales since the initial outbreak of Equine Influenza, it seems only fitting that the Coffs Coast has been named as a venue for the 2007 Melbourne Cup tour.

Come Friday, October 19, the famous 18 carat Gold Cup will be welcomed by the Mayor Cr Keith Rhoades at Park Beach Plaza when it arrives in our fair city accompanied by officials and identities.

In a first for the area, an added bonus to the arrival of Australasian racing's most renowned trophy will be the appearance of jockey Greg Hall.

Hall is a winner of the Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide Cups but it was in 1992 that his name was written into racing immortality when he rode Subzero to victory in that year's Melbourne Cup on a cold and wet Melbourne day.

Another reason why Coffs Harbour is a natural choice for the Melbourne Cup to stop in the town is because the local club has been conducting a successful picnic race meeting on Melbourne Cup Day for many years and traditionally it is one of the club's biggest race days.

Added to that, Coffs Harbour has been home to many a hopeful entrant to the VRC Spring Carnival in the past and in recent years it has become a more likely possibility with the likes of Mr. Innocent, Takeover Target and Natural Destiny all calling Coffs Harbour home.

The occasion will be marked by a fundraising Luncheon and memorabilia Auction at Coffs Harbour Racing Club supporting Southern Cross LADS - aiming to establish a permanent driving skills complex for our youth on the north coast.

The Racing Club in recent years has associated itself with several leading charities as it endeavours to assist local community projects. Of particular interest will be the association of the luncheon to 'Southern Cross LADS' (Learn About Driving Skills).

With the North Coast of NSW suffering unusually large levels of young driver fatalities on the infamous Pacific Highway, this not for profit group has been established to set up long term driving skill education programs for the youth of the region from Port Macquarie to Lismore.

The Melbourne Cup is renowned for lifting the hearts of the common man - classically such as during the depression of the last century with Phar Lap arguably its greatest winner and representative of the 'aussie battler'.

The Coffs Harbour Racing Club is proud to be associated with bringing the Melbourne Cup here and associate its visit to raising funds for an organisation that is trying to help our youth and prevent the escalating carnage on our stretch of the Pacific Highway.



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