Record crowd at races

The Western Star - - News -

WHILE the fi­nal count is still to reach the fin­ish line, all bets sug­gest this year’s in­stal­ment of the Roma Cup was the big­gest on record.

Roma Turf Club pres­i­dent Brett Ash­ney said his “guessti­mate” was more than 7500 had passed through the Bas­sett Park gates on Satur­day, up from the 6300 in 2018. .

A must-do event on the coun­try racing cal­en­dar, Roma Cup has quickly at­tracted mo­men­tum from pun­ters across the state, and fur­ther afield, and it’s a big boost to a re­gion strug­gling with the on­go­ing drought.

“The num­bers re­ally ex­ceeded our ex­pec­ta­tions, just be­cause it is so dry,” Mr Ash­ney said.

“It’s a good time for ev­ery­one who comes, and es­pe­cially for those peo­ple that are es­pe­cially af­fected by the dry, it’s nice to get away for a day and to en­joy them­selves.

“The event seems to be get­ting big­ger and bet­ter ev­ery year, there’s an en­ergy out there at Roma Cup that’s jut so lovely to be a part of, it’s re­ally come into it’s own and I think it will con­tinue to gain mo­men­tum.”

Mr Ash­ney said he had been im­pressed to speak to pun­ters from as far afield as Manch­ester, UK, with vis­i­tors com­ing from across Queens­land and New South Wales to join the party.

“They re­ally do a lot of good for our town as well,” he said.

For Roma po­lice, race­go­ers at this year’s event were bet­ter be­haved than their pre­de­ces­sors, with most trou­ble caused by out-oftown­ers.

Sergeant Cian Ja­cobs said re­in­force­ments from Bund­aberg, Mary­bor­ough, Toowoomba and Charlevill­e en­abled a greater pres­ence.

In to­tal, more than 100 traf­fic in­fringe­ments, mostly speed­ing, were is­sued dur­ing the week­end. Nine peo­ple were caught drink driv­ing, while 10 were charged with driv­ing with drugs in their sys­tem.

“Usu­ally we would have a lot more peo­ple regis­ter pos­i­tive re­sults on the Sunday after the races, so it was re­ally great to see those num­bers down this year,” Sgt Ja­cobs said.

“The turf club was very proac­tive in pro­vid­ing break­fast on Sunday morning and hav­ing breathalys­ers on hand.

“And in ac­tual fact the worst read­ing we had was a 45-year-old man on Satur­day morning, but he was not as­so­ci­ated with the races.”

In ad­di­tion, there were a num­ber of public nui­sance and com­mon as­sault charges laid over the week­end.

“In terms of in­stances out at the race­course, the guys who worked the night shift said there had been noth­ing re­ally to re­port after twi­light,” he said.

“A lot of the charges we laid were against out-oftown­ers, so it was great to see Roma lo­cals be­have them­selves.”

Pic­ture: Jorja McDon­nell

Early fig­ures sug­gest more than 7500 walked through the gates to Bas­sett Park on Satur­day for the an­nual Roma Cup.

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