Group 3 Belle Of The Turf Stakes at Gosford Worth the Trip
Thoroughbred racing punters and even many members of the general public are familiar with racecourses bearing names such as Flemington, Caulfield, Moonee Valley, Royal Randwick and a few others, but even some with a more than passing knowledge of the gallopers and their haunts may not recognize racecourse.
It is unique in that it is not truly one of the metro venues, but still manages to host one Group 3 race, the Belle Of The Turf Stakes (1600 m).
At one time, the race was Listed quality, but it was raised in the 2013 – 2014 season to headline the Central Coast Carnival.
Gosford racecourse is due north of Sydney, just under 80 kilometres from the Sydney CBD. It might be easier to locate by searching for The Entertainment Grounds.
Those with a little time on their hands around Boxing Day might find it a pleasant diversion, as the M1 provides some nice scenery on the drive up.
This year, the race will be run on Thursday, December 28. It was run once in 2017 already on January 13 and was won by Imposing Lass.
The race typically attracts good locals and is for fillies and mares three years of age and above. It was run for the first time in 1988 and has shifted around the Australian thoroughbred racing calendar from time to time. It was not run in 1993 and 2007, the year of the infamous equine influenza outbreak. It was also skipped in 2012 due to a change in the schedule in the 2012 – 2013 racing season.
The total prizemoney for the race is $150,000 and some of the horses from the city courses may decide to have a go, as some connections may seek a win to boost the fees for future breeding purposes.
Imposing Lass earned $84,750 for the win and jumped as the $2.80 favourite. The field had 12 runners and sixth through 10th finishes was worth $2,250.
The Gosford Gold Cup is run at the same meeting and offers the same prizemoney, but it still retains Listed status.