THE local racing industry and supporters got their first glimpse of what a COVID-safe racing season would look like in 2021 at Stony Creek’s annual post-Christmas race meet on Monday.
Among the changes were limited spectator numbers, a three metre moat separating industry and the public, and the requirement for all tickets to be pre-booked online.
Organisers could’ve easily sold upwards of 50 tickets at the gate at Monday’s post-Christmas race meet but were barred from doing so.
Of course, it’s all to keep in line with COVID-safe requirements.
And to keep us COVID-free, we all need to play our part.
The post-Christmas race meet would usually bring in around 1500 people, but the number was brought down significantly, to less than 400, due to density limits and COVID-safe requirements.
The first race meet of 2020-21 also saw trainers use the new stalls, which was a $350,000 project supported by the club, the Victorian government, Racing Victoria and Country Racing.
And they look fantastic, as well as being much safer and more accessible.
“It is a fantastic investment,” Stony Creek Racing Club CEO Sarah Wolf said, adding it would secure up the long-term success of the club.
The punters’ favourite, Acropolis Hill, soared to the finish line comfortably in the Ladbrokes Same Race Multi Maiden Plate 1700m to kick off Monday’s race meet.
Then, Jackpot Legend took out the Fish Creek Hotel 3yo Maiden Plate 1100m followed by a win to Wild Express (NZ) in the TAC – Be Races Ready 4yo-plus Maiden Plate 1100m.
Riverina Lass, at a starting price of $5.50, galloped to the finish line in the Stockdale & Leggo – Leongatha F&M BM64 Hcp 1100m.
Riotous Mischief enjoyed a win in the Meeniyan Hotel Class 1 Handicap 1600m followed by Royal Dragon in the O’Connell Motors – Foster BM58 Handicap 1700m.
Then Guns Ablazing (NZ), in the Leongatha Rural Supplies BM58 Handicap 2100m, saw an unlikely win with a starting price of $12.
And to finish off the day, Governor Landy (NZ) nudged across the finish line in the Cervus Equipment Australia BM58 Handicap 1100m to top off a brilliant day of racing.
Next race meet
The next race meet is on Tuesday, January 5. Wolf encouraged punters to follow the Facebook page at facebook.com/StonyCreekClub for updates.
Now’s as good a time as any to become a member. Email email@example.com for more information.