Sport icons head to Coffs

COFFS Harbour Racing Club is hoping that the line-up for next month’s Westlawn Sportsman’s Breakfast will see the attendance increase again.

Those who attend on Wednesday, August 4, are sure to be bowled over by the line-up that is headed by Australian opening batsman and Test Player of the Year Simon Katich.

Katich will be joined on stage at the breakfast by iconic sports commentator Norman May, Australian champion V8 Supercar driver John Bowe, 1961 Melbourne Cup winning jockey Ray Selkrig and Gold Cup Carnival regular Gorden Tallis.

“We’re very pleased that VB Gold have been able to secure the services of Simon Katich,” Coffs Harbour Racing Club CEO Russ Atkinson said yesterday.

“They’ll be bringing him up for a function they have on the Tuesday night and then for our breakfast, which is fantastic, and I think he’ll be staying for the carnival as their guest.

“It’s good to have the Australian cricketer of the year and obviously our current opening batsman will be able to tell us about the Pakistanis who Australia would have played against only days earlier.”

It’s also been promised that those looking for a winner or two over the two-day racing carnival will be given plenty of tips by breakfast host Mike Rabbitt from NBN as well as local race caller Rod Fuller.

Atkinson believes that the rise in interest for the Sportsman’s Breakfast is an indication of the community interest in the Gold Cup carnival.

“I think there were 350 in the main auditorium last year so it is getting us just what we want leading into two big days of racing,” he said.

“It will all be good fun.”

The Coffs Harbour VB Gold Cup is only 23 days away and the club is gearing up for another big day on the first Thursday in August as well as the sprint day on the Wednesday.

Atkinson said that having two straight days of racing is a benefit for everyone involved, especially those who travel to be a part of the Cup.

“Having the two days means we’ve changed our programming around,” Atkinson said.

“Most of the bigger race prizemoney-wise are on Cup Day but obviously we’re gearing it so people can come up with horses for the two days, so there’s something for everybody over those two days of racing.

“The Wednesday is an important day for us now and it’s something that we want to develop over time.”

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