Taking bets at his bookmaker’s stand early in the afternoon, Bob Patricks said he “thought the crowd would be bigger”.
However the congregation soon swelled, making the most of cooler weather, and while Mr Patricks deftly accepted bets from multiple punters at once, the Glen Innes Lioness club was hard at work in the canteen.
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“We always have a really big day,” Lioness Sue McCowen said. “It starts at two o’clock and it doesn’t stop, and all the money goes back into the community.”
Back at the track, punters picked lucky numbers and thought lucky thoughts in the hopes of a win, with varied success.
Cindy Dowden picked a winner in Press Reset, horse number 11 in the second race of the day, the Maiden Handicap.
Asked if she had a sixth sense for racehorses, Ms. Dowden shrugged and said, “I was born in November, the 11th month, so I picked that number”.
Leonie Apps and Karen Hall travelled from Maclean to see their first Glen Innes race meeting.
“It feels very country, and I love country,” said Ms Apps, a milliner and self-described “horse racing socialite”.
“I could have been at the Magic Millions today, but I much prefer to be here,” she added.
I could have been at the Magic Millions today, but I much prefer to be here.
Visitors Michelle Nietzsch and Moritz Schlör, both from Germany, were happy to take in the spectacle.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Ms Nietzsch said.
“I don’t think we even have horse racing in Germany,” Mr Schlör added.
Between the racing spectacle, the frocks and the cooler weather, some attendees wondered why they had to wait a year to do it all again.
“We’ve got this beautiful provincial course,” local resident Lorna Eadie said. “I don’t know why they don’t have races more often.”
Her friend Soraya Raper leaned over.
“Really, we’d just like to dress up more,” Ms Raper said.