Great time of year to celebrate all that's good about Coffs
The wattle has burst into bloom, there's an early feeling of spring in the winter air, and the first Thursday in August means only one thing in Coffs Harbour.
The Carlton Draught Coffs Harbour Gold Cup will on Thursday see it's 54th instalment on the Coffs Coast - in the race that stops the region.
Join the avid racegoers, the fashion-forward and the punters as they gather at Coffs Harbour's racecourse for the event of the year from noon.
As the final touches are made to the race-day finery, the form guides are studied and the racehorses are put through their final paces, Coffs Harbour will celebrate it's longstanding country cup.
For Coffs Harbour Racing Club manager Tim Saladine it's more than 12 months of hard work coming to the fore, in this his first cup day in charge.
"It has been pretty challenging but having such good people around me has made it easy to pull everything together," Tim told The Advocate.
"Advice is welcome and those like chairman AJ (Alan Johnson) have so much racing experience and are always willing to put their hands up to help."
This year's cup day racing has lured one of the nation's best jockeys in Hugh Bowman, who has been unbeatable on the champion mare Winx.
Bowman returns to Coffs Harbour to ride the Warwick Farm-trained galloper Pelethronius in the $80,000 feature over 1600m.
As for the track, Saladine said it couldn't look better for this time of year.
"The way the track has been performing has been the real drawcard to getting top trainers interested in sending horses our way," he said.
"The nice long straight means every horse gets its chance and the best are able to succeed.
"Without rain and dew, I expect it will be rated a Good 4, which is ideal for our major day."
Dust off your suits, hats and fascinators, the biggest day in our annual racing calendar is about to come out of the starting gate.
Thursday is the 2018 Carlton Draught Coffs Harbour Gold Cup, a gazetted half day holiday when the town heads to the track for fun, fashion and a few bets on the ponies.
From the betting and parade rings to the corporate marquees and runway of the Fashions on the Field, the sun is set to shine for a great day out.
General admission tickets available at the gate.
Limited parking is available for a gold coin donation to SES.
If your "Plan B" is a shuttle bus, they leave from 4.30pm to the CBD, Jetty, Sawtell and Toormina, or taxis will be operating a rank in Howard St.
The 2018 Carlton Draught Coffs Harbour Gold Cup race day
Gates open at 11am
Fashions on the Field from 12.30pm
Race 1 - 12.25pm Ooh Media Maiden Showcase Plate (1300m)
Race 2 - 1pm All Ways Party Hire Benchmark Showcase Handicap (1000m)
Race 3 - 1.35pm Eagles Plumbing Supplies The Blinkan Missit Showcase (800m)
Race 4 - 2.15pm Schweppes Class 3 Handicap (1200m)
Race 5 - 2.50pm Jen Whitby Memorial Ken Howard Cup (2000m)
Race 6 - 3.25pm Coffs Harbour Toyota Daniel Baker Sprint (1200m)
Race 7 - 4.05pm Carlton Draught Coffs Harbour Gold Cup (1600m)
Race 8 - 4.45pm Bellbowrie Motors Merv Mercer Mile Class 2 Handicap (1600m)