Monday, 12 November 2007
: Karen Gauci will steal the racing spotlight from her jockey husband Darren at Sandown on Saturday.
The talented wife of one of Melbourne's most popular jockeys has been selected to sing the National Anthem for charity at the Sandown Classic meeting on Saturday.
The former entertainer will be Karen will be accompanied in her performance by two of her four children, daughters Jade, 17, and Bree, 13.
Karen Gauci's invitation to sing the National Anthem by the Melbourne Racing Club follows the admirable efforts of trainer Wayne Hawkes in 2005 and bookmaker Simon Beasley in 2006.
Melbourne Racing Club will provide a $5000 donation to Karen's nominated charity Whitelion, which assists troubled young people to improve their lives.
Karen Gauci is no stranger to the spotlight, having been one of the popular stars on Johnny Young's Young Talent Time between 1981and 1986 when she appeared with rising starlets Tina Arena and Dannii Minogue.
She was Karen Dunkerton when she met Darren Gauci
, then Melbourne's champion apprentice, and left the popular television show at age of 16.
She worked on Channel Nine before moving into cabaret and modeling after marrying Gauci but retired from public appearances when Jade was born 17 years ago.
She is looking forward to taking the microphone on Saturday.
“It will be good fun, especially for the kids," she said.
"Jade and Bree have no public singing experience, but have been part of school concerts and choirs."
Karen said husband Darren is very supportive of the Sandown appearance.
“He loves the fact we are doing it and for charity, but his initial reaction was that he really hopes we don't sing like we do in the shower,” she said.
Melbourne Racing Club General Manager – Marketing & Communications Mary Morton said the National Anthem chariity initiative has proved extremely popular since its inception two years ago.
"The concept relies on the continued support of people within the racing industry to accept the challenge,” Morton said.
“We admire Karen and the children's for agreeing to perform for us this year without hesitation and in supporting such a worthwhile cause as Whitelion.
“Karen was a logical choice, as she is perhaps the only racing industry insider with a proven track record in professional singing."
"It will be a trip down memory lane seeing her perform on Saturday with her teenage daughters at her side."