DRESSED TO IMPRESS: Sassy couple Shara Saroff and Ben Janiak from the Gold Coast at the Casino Cup. Shara won the Fashion On The Field Competetion, taking home an easy $600 for her efforts.
DRESSED TO IMPRESS: Sassy couple Shara Saroff and Ben Janiak from the Gold Coast at the Casino Cup. Shara won the Fashion On The Field Competetion, taking home an easy $600 for her efforts. Patrick Gorbunovs

Punters beat the books

IT WAS a racing tragic's dream come true - glittering sunny weather, a photo finish, and spunky fashions to boot.

The Casino Cup had something never before seen in Casino racing history - a photo finish for the marquee race in which two locally-trained horses crossed the line centimetres apart.

Following several tense minutes, crowd favourite After Baron was declared the winner over Yabbra, with cheers erupting from victorious punters.

The child-friendly race meet saw at least 1000 young and old locals turn out to a spirited day of racing, sunshine, food and drinks.

"It's nice to find something in Casino you can frock up for," local Natalie Ensby said.

Casino Racing Club secretary-manager Dianne Stanley said there was a solid turnout for the first big event on this year's racing calendar.

"It's getting bigger and bigger each year," Ms Stanley said. "The weather couldn't be any better and the racing has been very competitive."

It could have been a more sober day, jockey Laura Cheshire fell in race five. She was taken to hospital for observation but was lucky to escape without serious injury.

While bookies were somewhat disappointed with the day's results, some local punters were having a ball.

"The punters are having a great day - everything they're backing is winning," 35-year veteran bookie Robert Joblin said.

One winning horse was backed from $4.40 down to even money, much to the bookies' chagrin.

Meanwhile, in the fashion stakes, it was Gold Coast local Shara Soroff who took out the Fashions on the Field award.

A newcomer to the racing scene, she came with her fiance Ben, son of legendary Coffs Harbour trainer Joe Janiak.



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