FRIENDS: Catina Eyres and Joey Ryan. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHYThe Bendigo Cup finished its 156th year today, with stylish crowds, exciting racing and a very satisfied BendigoJockey Club.
Club chief executive Ian Hart said the general public was particularly well dressed this year.
“I just think there was a real step-up this year,” Mr Hart said.
“We are just always thankful that people come and support it and come out with their families to have a good time,” he said.
The Bendigo Cup is the premiere fundraising event for the Jockey Club and is critical for ensuring the club’s financial viability for the following year.
Mr Hart said, thanks to the revenue raised,the club would be able to undertake an ambitious program of works to improve the facilities.
“Each yearwe try to get twoor three projects done,” he said.
“Last year we did big paving projects and now (we have)plans for upgrades of rooms andshade structures.”
Club president Brendan Drechsler said BendigoJockey Clubhad been trying to lift the profile of the Bendigo Cup for a long time.
The club’s efforts were successful and next year will mark the race’sfirst year as a listed event.
“We’re extremely proud of the fact that the 2015 Jayco Bendigo Cup has been elevated in status and joins Geelong as the second only group three race in provincial Victoria,” Mr Drechsler said.
He said attendance numbers at the cup were slightly down this year but he was thrilled with the quality of horses and standard of fashion.
“It certainly is country Victoria’s social and sporting event of the year.”
Mr Drechsler said many race goers probably didn’t realise how much money was spent on preparations for cup day.
“We spend over $100,000 for infrastructure costs. All those marquees,they havegot to go up and come down,” he said.
“Weserved over 3000 corporatemeals today on the racecourse.”
The Jockey Club hired 80 security staff and 200 casual staff just for Cup day.
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