SATURDAY’S Camperdown Cup has been hailed the best yet, after a record crowd turned up for the event’s 150th birthday celebrations.
Camperdown Turf Club president Laurie Hickey said the community’s response to the day had been “overwhelming”.
“We had 3200 tickets sold, and when you add all the other membership holders who also attended, I think we’d be getting pretty close to 4000 people there,” he said.
“It was an incredible turnout. The local community really got behind us and contributed to a fantastic family day out at the races.
“Not only did they come along themselves, the locals also invited other people into the town for the races, which was absolutely brilliant.”
About 50 umbrella packages lined the home straight, while others joined in with one of two community marquees which offered all the trimmings for a great day out.
A full card of eight races kept the punters busy with the Symon Wilde trained Floral Fever taking out the Camperdown Cup on the day.
Camperdown trainer Geoff Daffy also produced a popular win on the day with his mount Aurora Rising taking out Race 6.
Fashions on the Field were hotly contested and saw Warrnambool resident Sarah Bohan take out the coveted Lady of the Day award with her Spanish-inspired outfit, while Geelong’s Zac Dodds took out the Gents’ title for the second consecutive year.
Kids were well catered for and left wide-eyed after viewing Chris Humfrey’s ‘Wild Action Zoo’ show, complete with pythons, crocodiles, cockroaches and koalas, along with plenty of fun in the Kelly Sports enclosure.
“It really was a great day out for the whole family,” Mr Hickey said.
“The terrific turnout really does show that the Camperdown Cup is fast cementing itself on the country racing calendar as one not to miss – particularly with the new generation of racegoers coming through.
“The event is known for its relaxed, friendly and safe atmosphere and that’s something we can be proud of.”
He said the benefits of the club spread through the entire town, with businesses, motels and hotels all benefiting along with the local Lions and Rotary clubs, the Boorcan Cricket Club, which manned a barbecue at the course, and the Camperdown hospital which will receive a donation from the day’s takings.
“We’re thrilled with this year’s race day and while it was disappointing not to have the grandstand in use, we’re looking forward to the day when patrons will be able to enjoy the spectacle of the horses thundering down the track from the heights of the stand,” Mr Hickey said.