Long faces at the races, but fashion will shine

THOUSANDS of racegoers will have no hometown hero to chant for when the Gladstone Cup runs this afternoon - but there's bound to be fashion winners off the track.

The Cup is the biggest race of the year for the Gladstone Turf Club, yet no local horses have been entered.

It leaves punters fishing around to find a horse from somewhere else in central Queensland to support.

Followers of two-legged fillies and colts can expect bright and vibrant dresses and simple tailored suits.

Trainer Denis Schultz thinks his best chance lies in a maiden race.

Lightning Artist has been in the Schultz camp for a while and unable to sneak home in first, but the trainer thinks the time is right for his horse.

"His is first up from a spell, he ran alright last time but got a couple of bad allies," he said.

"I think he is strengthened up this time, he is not a big horse."

A win in the opening race of the day for Lightning Artist could make Schultz forget the fact he does not have a runner in the Cup.

The maiden has drawn a good barrier for Schultz, in number four, close enough to the rail to be able to work in close when the field jumps on the corner.

"If you draw wide you stay wide," he said.

"He will probably be doing his best work at the end."