Sport of queens as Sydney hosts gay race day

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The Independent Online

Six drag queens broke out of the barriers and charged up the course in their dresses on Friday as Sydney hosted what was billed as the world's first gay race day.

Bright frocks, high heels and large wigs were on show for the Royal Randwick Racecourse's Pink Stiletto Race Day, a fund-raiser for this weekend's renowned Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.

"It's worked perfectly," said Nicole Kolotas from organising charity, the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation. "It's been very popular. Everyone is dressed up; people are wearing pink."

Six men dressed in drag - including pearls, wigs and feather boa - shed their heels for 50 metre (yard) Pink Stiletto Queen race in front of several thousand fans in the racecourse's giant grandstand.

"They are all done up and everything. But they weren't allowed to wear their platforms, they ran barefoot," Kolotas told AFP.

The event, held in conjunction with the Australian Jockey Club, had the support of leading Australia trainer Gai Waterhouse.

"I'm delighted to be 'coming out' at the Pink Stiletto race day and joining the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation in what will be the world's first gay race day," Waterhouse said ahead of the event.

Organisers said they had raised more than 30,000 dollars (almost 27,000 US) for the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation which provides practical, emotional and financial support for people living with HIV/AIDS.

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