The morning rain cleared and the sun came out just in time to greet racegoers at Corowa’s Melbourne Cup Eve twilight meeting, with the race committee labelling the event a big success.
In what was a major shake-up of the Corowa Race Club calendar, its biggest race meeting was moved to the eve of Melbourne Cup and it paid off.
It was the first time in 60 years that Corowa did not race on Melbourne Cup Day.
Corowa Race Club Secretary Sheridan Kay said she was happy to report that crowd numbers were up on previous years.
“We had a great crowd, the atmosphere was fantastic and we had nothing but positive responses,” she said.
“We were quite spread out this year but we had a noticeably increased crowd with 70 umbrella tickets, a Christmas party of 35 and we had 70 sponsors before we even had any walk-ins on the day.”
Ms Kay said the day was better than expected.
“We actually didn’t know what the day was going to look like, but we catered for the best and we did have a really successful day,” she said.
The race meet boasted seven TAB races and all the fun of a spring carnival, with the event’s success meaning Corowa will keep the twilight meeting on the eve of Melbourne Cup in what hopes to become a new tradition for the town.
Ms Kay said the race committee would discuss the possibility of putting arrangements in place to make it a half day public holiday for the event in the future.
“It’s something we didn’t do this year but something we will look into and discuss,” she said.
Still basking in the success, Ms Kay said the positive feedback had been overwhelming.
“I woke up the next day to emails from local businesses congratulating the race club on what a wonderful day and how good of a move it was to move to the Monday,” she said.
“Even on our race day I had a message from our race day officials saying what a fantastic debut cup eve race meeting it was.
“Circa 1936, who are our major sponsor, said it was an amazing effort by the Corowa Race Club to put on such a great day and they were proud to be a part of it.
“I have had nothing but positive responses and I have actually never had personal messages before about my race meetings and this is the first time I have, so it’s been great.”
Ms Kay was also impressed with the standard of dress among the racegoers.
“They all looked fantastic and Rebecca Duryea did a fantastic job organising the fashions on the field,” she said.
“We had some lovely entries and the judges had a tough time picking the winners.”