THE countdown has begun for one of the Harbour City’s biggest social extravaganzas of the year – the Gladstone Cup Day races at Ferguson Park racecourse on Saturday, August 14.
Interest in the feature race meeting from owners and trainers of horses has been intense but it is the social aspect of the day itself which proves a magnetic lure, attracting racegoers from all walks of life.
To this end the Fashions on the Field, which offers a staggering $5000 in prizes, is assured of bringing out the latest in fashion from both the ladies and gentlemen.
“We have gone all out this Cup Day to really make the Fashions on the Field a top-billing event. As I have gone on record before and said, the women from our region are spectacular exponents of the latest fashion and this will certainly be the case on Gladstone Cup Day,” Gladstone Turf Club (GTC) president David Weinert said yesterday.
The $5000 worth of prizes on offer makes the Fashions on the Field at Gladstone one of the most prestigious conducted on any racecourse in Queensland outside of Brisbane.
In a novel twist, which is assured to prove popular with Gladstone racing stalwarts, two of Queensland’s most respected race callers who honed their skills at Gladstone will be honoured on the day.
“We will be honouring the pair – retiring Brisbane broadcaster Wayne Wilson and Dan Saville – who, until recently, called the races at Gladstone for 32 years from 1978.”
“Wayne, born in Gladstone, called his very first race at Ferguson Park as a 13-year-old back in 1961 and retires after calling races throughout the world when he broadcasts for the last time in Brisbane in a fortnight. He has generously agreed to call his very last race, the Gladstone Cup on August 7 from where his outstanding career was launched.”
“Dan Saville was the cornerstone of our racing and that of other clubs in the Callide Valley region for over three decades. Dan will give his final call on Cup Day as well. I think a few tears are going to be shed,” Weinert said.
Other prominent race callers, Bluff’s Scott Power and teenage Rockhampton schoolboy Luke Marlow, will also share the race calls on the day with yours truly.
On the racing front the GTC is offering a record $51,000 in prizemoney for the five-event race card with the $15,000 Veolia Services Gladstone Cup (1608m) boasting a first purse of $10,000.
Weinert urged social groups planning to facilitate marquees and tables for their parties on Cup Day to contact the GTC as a matter of urgency.
“This is going to be one hell of a race meeting. All the committee and members are really getting behind showcasing Gladstone Cup Day races,” Weinert said.