Posted by Rae Heston
Indigo Blue has a red-letter day

BEN Kennedy piloted Indigo Blue into first place in the Rockingham Beach Cup on Sunday. The Adam Durrant-trained four-year-old mare was a length in front of Mankind, ridden by Irish jockey Chris Graham and trained by Hayden Ballentyne.

Third was The Cat Ratcher (correct), trained by David Harrison and written by Kyra Yuill.

Last weekend was a big one for Kyra.  The day before her Beach Cup placing, she became the first female jockey to win the WA Champion Fillies Stakes over 1600m on Searchin’ Roc’s, also trained by David Harrison.
The cup final climaxed a unique afternoon's racing. Apart from the novelty of horse racing on the beach, the event's format is also different. Five races preceded the Beach Cup final and the winner of each of those five races contested the cup.
It is estimated that a crowd of 20,000 attended the beach cup festivities onshore.  
Watercraft — ranging from kayaks and jet skis to tinnies, motor launches, and massive private yachts — lined up metres from the shore.  Their human cargoes watched the races in comfort, often diving into the water cool off on a day which topped at 31°C.
Kerilee Dawson, president of the Rotary Club of Palm Beach, which runs the Beach Cup, was thrilled with the day and the crowd behavior.  The event could not be run for two years, firstly because of work upgrading the foreshore then last year because of the Covid pandemic.
The Rockingham Beach Cup was born in the fertile minds of two club members, Laurie Smith and Michael McCafferty, and has become Rockingham’s 'iconic event of the year", she said. 
The event's importance to the city was demonstrated by Mayor Deb Hamblin.  She brought to the cup the silver certificate presented — at the 2021 Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards gala dinner the previous night — to Rockingham City Council for “excellence in local government tourism”.
More free children's rides and activities were part of this weekend’s festival, including pony rides,  a mechanical bucking bull, Zorb ball, bouncy castle, a  sensory area, and more.
A variety of food trucks fed the multitude and there was a massive number of market stalls and community exhibitions.
Rockingham Beach Cup committee chairwoman Donna McDonald said the club and city owed a huge vote of thanks to the racing industry.  Without the horses — and jockeys, strappers, trainers, owners, and Racing and Wagering WA — there could be no Beach Cup.  “We are so grateful to the horse industry for their voluntary time and passion for safety," she added.
She was thrilled with the massive 10-meter-long mural painted on Sunday by Geraldton artist Phil Doncon.
He also produced two paintings in the VIP marquee, which were auctioned — along with other high-value items — with the money going to charity. Money from the auction will go to Alzheimer’s disease research, Variety Australia (a charity for children in need), and Palm Beach Rotary charities.