An estimated 10,000 racegoers streamed through the gates of Hawkesbury Racecourse on Saturday, April 27 for Livamol Gold Cup Day.
After its inception in 2006, the annual TAB Stand Alone Saturday race meeting has become an integral part of the Sydney autumn schedule as it follows on from the success of the Australian Turf Club's Golden Slipper Carnival at Rosehill Gardens and The Championships at Royal Randwick.
Hawkesbury Race Club pulled out all the stops to ensure the Sydney autumn racing carnival went out with a bang, and chief executive Greg Rudolph was understandably thrilled with the day's racing, which featured more than $1.3 million in prize money across the nine-race program.
"On the racing front, there were some outstanding performances, including the win of Archedemus in the $200,000 Group 3 Livamol Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) and Military Zone, winner of the $200,000 Group 3 Blacktown Workers Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m)," Rudolph said.
"I'm confident that the form from this meeting will hold up for the Scone Carnival and beyond, to the bigger race days in the winter and spring, both here and interstate."
Hawkesbury Race Club's Stand Alone Saturday has graduated world champion sprinter, Chautauqua, winner of the 2014 running of the Group 3 Blacktown Workers Hawkesbury Guineas, as well as Zoustar, Alverta, Fravashi and last year's TAB Clarendon Stakes winner, Graff.
This year could easily unearth another star galloper in that class, Rudolph said.
The outstanding 2019 race card also featured new sponsorship of the Group 3 $175,000 Killahy Equine Crown, won by Irithea for Bjorn Baker and Joshua Parr, as well as the $125,000 TAB Clarendon Stakes - previously known as the Claret - for two-year-olds won by Creator, for Peter and Paul Snowden.
The father and son team continued their outstanding success over the years at the stand alone meeting, as well as leading metropolitan jockey James McDonald who collected a quartet of winners throughout the afternoon.
McDonald completed a busy week, jetting out to Hong Kong on Saturday night where he was again successful at the Champions Mile meeting on Sunday.
While the racing stakes may have be high, for some the fashion stakes were even higher.
With close to $10,000 worth of prizes for the winners and runners-up of the fashions on the field competitions, judges Carol Maher, Vanessa Hill and racing fashion personality The Style Doctor Kash O'Hara had their work cut out for them, with one of the most competitive fields in stand alone history.
Amongst quality Group racing, racegoers were also entertained throughout the day by former winner of The Voice Australia, Ellie Drennan, before four-times platinum superstar artist Timomatic took to the stage following the last race.
"This year we wanted our racegoers to stay on and experience top quality entertainment and with the beautiful backdrop of the sun setting over the Blue Mountains, it added to a great vibe to finish off the race day," Rudolph said.
The next race day at Hawkesbury Race Club takes place on Thursday, May 9.