RACING fans can get up and close with two legends of the turf while celebrating the 150th Colac Gold Cup.
Colac Turf Club officials have arranged for champion racehorses Rogan Josh and Apache Cat to feature at the historic cup, on February 26 at Colac Racecourse.
Rogan Josh delivered legendary trainer Bart Cummings his 11th Melbourne Cup when the gelding won the race that stops a nation at Flemington in November, 1999.
Apache Cat became the first Australian horse since Tulloch in the 1950s to win five Group One races in a row, achieving the feat in 2008.
The horses will be at Colac Racecourse courtesy of Living Legends, an organisation which returns champion racehorses to the people who backed them during their careers.
Living Legends chief executive officer Andrew Clarke said the initiative was a hit with fans, who could travel hours to get up close with the horses.
“The great part about this one is it’s a very historic meeting and it’s a real grassroots racing event, that’s the part that’s particularly exciting,” he said of the Colac Gold Cup.
“I know in South Australia people were driving three, four, five hours to get to see Apache Cat.
“He’s a more contemporary horse but young people especially like him because he’s different.
“He’s got that special x-factor – Might and Power has got it, Silent Witness has got it. It’s self confidence verging on arrogance in some ways.
“Rogan Josh you’ll wear your hand out patting him before he gets sick of it.
“He’s a paddock mate of Apache Cat and Apache Cat seems to really like children, he’ll come over to the fence for children. That’s something that’s rubbed off from Rogan Josh.”
Dr Clarke said meeting the horses as part of Living Legends had sparked a range of emotions in racing fans.
“We get a lot of seniors groups through, a lot of diversional therapy, school groups. We had a group of four here today and we had one fella just about in tears.
“It’s got so many different impacts. One of the big things I’ve seen over the last four years is every person who walks in here does so to see a horse for a different reason.”