Kyabram Free Press
Club open to celebrate Cup
Victorians will celebrate the first statewide public holiday following Lockdown 6.0 with next week’s Melbourne Cup, the eased restrictions and fantastic weather expected to be a boom for the Kyabram Club.
A community steeped in history surrounding the great race, highlighted by being the home town of Cup-winning trainer Danny O’brien, Kyabram has always shown out for the big day with local hospitality establishments beaming with life.
Having endured arguably its biggest challenge over the past 18 months, the Kyabram Club will be one venue itching for Melbourne Cup Day as the team celebrates the return to trade and looks forward to what is set to be a bumper summer period.
Kicking off with the well-renowned Calcutta event, Kyabram Club manager Greg Ryan explained the details of the event and its significance within the community.
“We have the Calcutta event, which was initially going to be out in the courtyard but with the changes to the restrictions announced on Sunday we are now switching it inside, so that is Monday night on November 1, with first draw at 7:30pm,” Mr Ryan said.
“It (the Calcutta) is one of the most prestigious nights in town and you just get massive syndicates.
“We had record pools last year, it is a long-standing event here in Kyabram and is one of the big nights for the club that brings our community together.”
As for the day itself, Mr Ryan said the recent relaxation of restrictions opened up a number of exciting possibilities.
“For Cup Day it looks like the weather will be magnificent as the forecast reads 27°C and sunny, so it will be perfect of people to get out and about,” he said.
“We do have the TAB open from 10am, we’ll be running sweeps, the bistro will be open for lunch and we will have big screens showing the race inside and outside.
“With the easing of restrictions it certainly frees us up a bit — given the fact we were only allowed 30 people inside it was challenging planning for the day, so these new guidelines do definitely help us.
“We are now looking forward to being able to have 150 people in the venue and 100 outside from Friday night, so we are getting up to some good numbers and will allow us to deliver a fantastic cup day.”
Looking back over previous Melbourne Cup Days he said numbers could vary a bit, with locals traditionally having a plethora of options for where watch the race that stops a nation.
“It can be a good day and it can be a bad day; traditionally a lot of people went to the Echuca races so a lot of people gravitated that way and others have barbecues and drinks at home,” he said.
“The tradition of people going out religiously, I’m not sure if that will return now that things have opened up a bit, but we are hopeful we can get a good crowd in and people have a great Cup Day.”
For those people thinking of making their way to the Kyabram Club next Tuesday, Mr Ryan had this message.
“First of all I would say, please book,” he said.
“If you don’t book we can’t guarantee you a spot, and of course we need you to be double vaccinated to enter.
“We are open, we are back so come and see us.
“We can’t wait to see you all.”