WOULDN'T it be amazing if the sponsor of the 2018 Aylward Auctioneers Sawtell Cup wound up with the trophy?
When signing the deal with Coffs Harbour Racing Club this week, it dawned on race sponsor Glenn Aylward his wife, Marree, could easily be lining up to accept the award from his hands.
Marree is one of six part-owners who race Zuccherina, trained on the course by Brett Bellamy, and to be ridden by Sydney jockey Josh Adams.
The eight-year-old chestnut mare last raced at Coffs Harbour on April 19 and came a well-beaten seventh, and was sent to the paddock for a 10-week let-up.
She resumed on June 26 over a sprint course at Port Macquarie but ran on over 1400m last start in Newcastle and impressed jockey Adams so much he has decided to stay in the saddle.
Tomorrow's 1515m race distance looks perfect and there'll be extra confidence following a soft-five track rating on Thursday and barrier seven in the 12-horse field.
Race favourite should be Awake the Stars, to be ridden by Brooke Stower.
The mare won last start at the Gold Coast on June 30 and trainer Toby Edmonds has her in rare form, with three wins and one third from five starts this preparation.
Seven races will be decided on the opening day of the Coffs Harbour Gold Cup carnival, with the first at 12.35pm.
Meanwhile, the local racing community is still celebrating former Coffs apprentice Zac Purton's second win in the Hong Kong jockey's premiership, seen as the world championship of race riding.
The battle with rival Joao Moreira has raged for months and Purton went into this week's final meeting with a four-win lead over the Brazilian "magic man”.
Moreira rode a treble but Purton clinched the title by riding Rise High to victory in the Sha Tin Mile, his 136th of the season.
"I feel exhausted, to be honest, as the pressure was there all season,” he said.