Keats and Linda Meech win the Werribee Cup. (Image: Racing Photos)

Geelong set to shine as Super Saturday on the Coast makes its debut

With highly competitive racing on the track and a range of off-course activities designed to appeal to holidaymakers in the region, the stage is set for Geelong Racing Club to host the inaugural Super Saturday on the Coast meeting this Saturday, 6 January.

In excess of $1.6 million in prizemoney and bonuses is on offer across the 10-race card, which is headlined by the first running of the $300,000 Bet365 Coastal Classic (1700m).

The Listed $200,000 SEN Geelong Black Pearl Stakes (1200m) for fillies and mares and the $150,000 Rex Gorell Geelong Diamond (1100m) for two-year-olds, which gives the winner a guaranteed start in the Group 1 Sportsbet Blue Diamond (1200m) at Caulfield, both feature prominently on the undercard.

Off-track offerings include the Piccadilly Market, a kids’ zone with water slides, petting zoos and pony rides, and the White Claw beach volleyball zone featuring pop-up bars and live music before DJ Tom Santa takes to the decks to keep the party vibe going from 5-7pm. 

The Coastal Classic has drawn a field of 12 runners, including Gavin Bedggood’s iron horse Keats who has finished in the top three at each of his last four starts – a run which includes victory in the TAB Werribee Cup (1600m).

The horse that chased him home at Werribee, Listed bet365 Seymour Cup (1600m) winner Junipal (Ciaron Maher and David Eustace), is also amongst the acceptors as is Shane Jackson’s last-start Woodford Cup (1700m) hero Mystery Island

With a place in the stallion-making Blue Diamond Stakes on the line, the Geelong Diamond has attracted a field of 11 precocious juveniles including Snitzel colt Markdel, who like ‘Cups King’ Without A Fight is owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid.

Markdel’s trainers, Anthony and Sam Freedman, used a Geelong Maiden as the springboard for Artorius’ Blue Diamond success in 2021, whilst the Lindsay Park team will be hoping their Geelong Diamond contender Vacillation (also sired by Snitzel) can emulate the feats of last year’s Blue Diamond victor Little Brose.

The Geelong Diamond is one of four contests offering the connections of eligible winners an additional $30,000 in VOBIS Platinum vouchers, which can be redeemed on the progeny of a VOBIS Sires-nominated stallion at an approved yearling sale including next week’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

The other races offering the lucrative bonus are the Brandt Colac Benchmark 84 Handicap (1400m), the SCAADA Group 3YO Handicap (1100m) and the Elegance Tiles Geelong Benchmark 64 Handicap (1700m), which will feature fields of 13, 14 and 16 (plus four emergencies) respectively. 

Matt Welsh, Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager – Racing, said: “Super Saturday on the Coast will showcase high-quality racing to packed coastal holiday destinations. With perfect weather forecast and a wide range of family activities on offer, we’re hopeful the club can attract a healthy crowd of racegoers and holidaymakers to the track this Saturday.

“The prizemoney and VOBIS bonuses offer a great incentive to trainers and owners, and we’re absolutely delighted with the strength and depth of the fields. We look forward to crowning the inaugural winner of the bet365 Coastal Classic, and it will also be intriguing to see which two-year-olds burst onto the Blue Diamond scene through the Geelong Diamond.”

Whilst the Geelong Diamond is one of the racing highlights, the loudest cheer of the day could be reserved for the winner of Race 3, the Geelong Racing Club Community Cup (1400m), with local community groups set to share in $40,000 and the winning group taking away the first prize of $20,000.  

Each of the 16 runners will be assigned to a slot holder via a random raffle, drawn from members of local sporting or charitable organisations who purchased a $400 Community Bundle (which includes admission for 20 people). The runner-up receives $7,500, with third place taking home $5,000.  

The first of 10 races will get underway at 12.15pm (AEDT), with the last set to jump at 5.40pm. Tickets, which are priced at $15 for concessions and $20 for adults (with children under 17 admitted for free), are available to buy via the link: