Racing fever hit the Eurobodalla yesterday, with thousands of people celebrating the most important race of the year at the Moruya racecourse.
Heading into yesterday’s meeting, the Moruya Jockey Club was expecting a bumper crowd - and it wasn’t disappointed.
Patrons crowded through the club’s gates yesterday afternoon, ladies in their finest frocks and heels and blokes donning ties and jackets.
Club secretary Brian Cowden said it was the best crowd they’d seen in 10 years.
“It should be a record because the weather is so nice,” he said.
Mr Cowden said Moruya Jockey Club had experienced a steady growth in recent years, and the fact that the club only meets on Melbourne Cup Day once every two years meant this year was big.
Mr Cowden said he was a “racing purist” and the Melbourne Cup was more than just a horse race.
“I think it’s not just a great racing day, it really has turned into an event, a party,” he said.
“It’s amazing, it has affected the whole country.”
Despite it being a non-TAB meeting, he said, good horses had been nominated for all the races, which were run on a perfect track.
Some local two-year-olds had their first run back from a spell.
Meanwhile, local clothing stores have been keeping up with the demand for racing fashion.
Lyn Payne, from Coco’s Boutique in Batemans Bay, said cup fever had swamped the store and they had to order more hats and fascinators to keep up with the demand.
“Dresses have been going really well and fascinators and hats have been going well too,” she said.
“We had to order fascinators a couple of times because we were running out!”
Fashion plays almost as important a part in race day as the horses - just ask Batemans Bay’s Anna Morrissey.
“I picked Green Moon because I was wearing a green dress,” she said, celebrating her Melbourne Cup win.
Richard Sellick was another happy punter.
“I was on a hot streak,” he said. “I had three in a row. Green Moon felt good so I went for it.
“The day here at Moruya has been fantastic. A great atmosphere, everyone’s having a good time.”
For more coverage of yester-day’s races, see Friday’s Bay Post/Moruya Examiner.