Green Aventurine fought back from the back of the pack, but couldn’t defend the Bega Cheese Bega Carnival Cup on Sunday.
The $50,000 feature event of two days of racing at the Sapphire Coast Turf Club was claimed by Coolcat Dancer out of Richard Clarke’s stables by a handy two lengths.
Organisers were thrilled with the turnout to the club’s showcase day with hundreds descending on the club in 35 degree heat with sun shining down after some early cloud.
Local runner All Giving raced well, taking out second in the feature event for the second year running.
Turf club secretary/manager Rob Tweedie said the whole carnival was a stunning success and organisers were buoyed by both race results and strong crowds over the two days.
“It’s building each year and has become a real focal point,” Mr Tweedie said. “We’ve had a stack of visitors from Queensland, Victoria and Sydney, who’ve come down specifically for the carnival.”
“It should just keep getting bigger each year.”
On the track, Mr Tweedie said conditions were ideal and running fair.
“If your horse was good enough you could get the money,” he said.
Melbourne jockey Noel Callow mixed it well with the locals, riding a winner in race three on Rosaruby, but he did not outshine the regulars of the turf club.
Carly Frater secured a win in the first-up event, riding the Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones-trained Therese to the front, while Grant Buckley rode the feature event winner. Mr Tweedie said the duo provided top results over the weekend, scoring four winners over the two days.
“They’ve got a fantastic training partnership and ran really well to pick up four winners,” Mr Tweedie said.
In other races, Sydney’s leading female jockey took pole position for the riders, scoring a double.
Kathy O’Hara was the strongest jockey on the day, picking up a double with Jorgeus in race five and Fly Forward in the day’s final race.
Off the field, stakes included the fashions on the field, where Bombala Times sales manager Aimee Hay was named the best-dressed lady on the day.
Ms Hay earned the right to represent the Sapphire Coast at a regional fashions on the field event to be held in Goulburn on February 17.