Race switch pays off www.corowafreep­ress.com.au The Free Press, Thurs. 9th Novem­ber 2017 — 5

The Free Press (Corowa) - - NEWS - BY SARAH DEAN

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 walkins 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 dis- cuss 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 mes- sages 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.”

Race 2 Corowa Golf Club Bench­mark Hand­i­cap -1600m - win­ner was num­ber 5, Evyssa, with jockey Kayla Nis­bet and trainer Mark Thomas. Pho­tos by Si­mon Ginns.

The crowd gets ready for the next horse race to start.

Sis­ters El­iza and Chelsea Collins from Al­bury wait­ing pa­tiently for the fash­ions on the field to start.

Pun­ters get a close up look at the horses be­fore one of the races.

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