March madness on track in Coffs Harbour
HORSE RACING: Racing lovers are currently in a dream stretch, with Coffs Harbour Racing Club holding three midweek meetings during March.
The mini festival of racing kicked off on Monday with a seven-race card and will be followed up by another eight-race program this Tuesday.
Racing club chief executive Tim Saladine said local trainers in particular were loving the string of meetings.
"It's good just to have a bit of continuity, a lot of our trainers are preparing for the Country Championships qualifier in Grafton coming up,” Saladine said.
"Brett Bellamy has 13 runners accepted on Tuesday, I think that would be close to a record for him.
"So it's good for the trainers and owners but also the club, we can get a bit of revenue.”
Saladine, who many around the club praise for being a forward-thinking operator, has also made it more enticing for punters and racegoers to attend by having free entry during March.
"Those midweek meetings can be hard to attract people there so we decided to throw the gates open,” he said.
"The members' lounge will also be open to the public, so hopefully people come down after work and catch a couple of local races.”
With the Coffs Coast experiencing a severe lack of rain from mid-December through to early February, you'd excuse the surface at the track for not being up to scratch.
But that's certainly not the case.
"We did a major renovation after the Pink Silks Race Day,” Saladine said.
"We injected a lot of money into sand grooving to improve the drainage.
"It's never looked better and the boys have done a fantastic job to get it where it's at right now.”
Top Newcastle trainer Paul Perry will also have his first
Race one on Tuesday will jump at 1.15pm.