Some heavy-hitters will be taking part in the inaugural Super Saturday on the Coast race meet in Geelong early next year.
Geelong Racing Club has been advocating for a metropolitan meet on a Saturday for close to a decade. Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria have now approved the meet for 6 January, where over $1.5 million in prizemoney and bonuses will be on offer.
“It’s something that the club’s really harboured great ambition for, so we’re ecstatic and really looking forward to it,” Geelong Racing Club CEO Luke Rayner told Club Management.
“It’s more prize money than we’re allocated on Geelong Gup race day. So from a pure racing standpoint, it’s probably going to be our strongest racing day.”
Super Saturday on the Coast has been introduced to deliver a captivating race day experience for holidaymakers and locals alike throughout greater Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast during the height of the tourist season.
“It’s really a strategic push for the industry to take racing to the fans, rather than rely on the fans to come to the racing. So it’s now on us as a club to really try and generate the publicity and the promotion and create the activations for, hopefully, what will appeal to a really broad audience,” explained Rayner.
“It certainly won’t be a corporate day, we’re really creating it with a fun, casual, relaxed, coastal beachy, type theme. Yes, it’s a race day, but it’s also a day full of full of activation and opportunity to come and enjoy one of those days of your holidays.”
Geelong Racing Club will be looking to attract various different demographics for Super Saturday on the Coast. For families, there will be a large ‘Kids’ Zone’ -with carnival rides, face painting, roving entertainers, petting zoos, pony rides and more. For the 18-35 crowd, a beach volleyball court will be set up on the club’s lawn, as well as pop-up bars, DJs and a sound lounge.
There will also be a Victoria Markets activation, showcasing businesses from the Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast communities.
The other key activation will be in support of local not-for-profit clubs and groups through a ‘Community Race’. These groups will be able to purchase a bundle of 20 tickets to Super Saturday on the Coast for $400, with the bundle then putting those clubs and groups into a raffle to have a horse in the Community Race. The race will then divvy out $40,000 worth in prize money to these groups, including around $20,000 to the winning group.
“That’ll be a way in which we really try to activate and support our local community groups and clubs,” stated Rayner.
Race day program
To begin the countdown to Super Saturday on the Coast, Racing Victoria and Geelong Racing Club have announced the program of races for this historic mid-summer meeting.
Headlining the race meeting will be the bet365 Coastal Classic, a 1700-metre quality handicap carrying prizemoney of $300,000 – the equivalent of a Group 2 race.
The 10-race card will also feature the Listed $200,000 Black Pearl Stakes (1200m) which has been relocated from bet365 Geelong Cup Day.
Also set to figure prominently are 1100-metre handicaps for two and three-year-olds with each carrying a minimum of $200,000 in prizemoney and VOBIS bonuses.
The announcement of the racing program for the Super Saturday on the Coast meeting comes as Geelong Racing Club prepares for the 2023 bet365 Geelong Cup this Wednesday, 25 October.
The full program for the Super Saturday on the Coast meeting at Geelong on 6 January 2024 is as follows:
|Geelong – Saturday, 6 January 2024|
|RACE||DISTANCE & CONDITIONS||PRIZEMONEY & BONUSES|
|bet365 Coastal Classic||1700m, 3yo & Up||$300,000|
|Black Pearl Stakes (Listed)||1200m, Fillies & Mares||$200,000|
|3YO Handicap||1100m||$175,000 & $30,000 VOBIS Silver Bonus|
|2YO Handicap||1100m||$150,000 & $30,000 VOBIS Silver Bonus & $20,000 VOBIS Gold Bonus|
|BM84 Handicap||1100m, 3yo & Up||$100,000|
|BM84 Handicap||1400m, 3yo & Up||$100,000 & $20,000 VOBIS Gold Bonus|
|BM70 Handicap||2400m, 3yo & Up||$100,000|
|Fillies & Mares BM70 Handicap||1400m,||$100,000|
|BM70 Challenger Handicap||1400m, 4yo & Up||$80,000|
|BM64 Handicap||1700m, 3yo & Up||$80,000 & $20,000 VOBIS Gold bonus|
In the meantime, Geelong Racing Club is gearing up for the bet365 Geelong Race Cup, to be held tomorrow, 25 October. Just under 5000 corporate tickets to the race meet have been sold.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” stated Rayner.
“There’ll be really strong representation again on the course so we hope it’ll be another great day.”