Benalla’s bet365 Gold Cup went off without a hitch on Friday, drawing in thousands to the Racecourse.
More than 3000 people, young and old, suited up and joined in the festivities on the day.
The bet365 Gold Cup was taken home by Lord Fandango, who completed the 2046m course in a swift 2min 4secs, half a length ahead of second-placed Moonovermanhattan and Electric Fusion in third.
David Hayes, who calls Benalla Racecourse his home track, had four winning horses, dominating the 10-race card.
Hayes’ day started well when in race one Prepare to Win took out the win by two and a half lengths in front of Smart Stiletto.
The stable’s day improved when Valac and jockey CJ Parish won a neck-and-neck finish over Circomo in the third race.
Hayes’ Red Is The Rose took race six by a length and three quarters over second-placed Dyrham Park.
And their day was topped off by a one-length win in race nine, this time by Wall Street Wolf, again with jockey Parish.
Benalla Racing Club chief executive officer Cameron Symes said the day as a whole went off without any problems.
‘‘Yeah we were stoked, with the fantastic weather it made our life easier and with a tick over 3000 people through the gates, everyone had a good time — it was a great day,’’ Symes said.
‘‘Everyone had a good time soaking up the sun and having a few drinks, but there really were no dramas from the patrons.
‘‘Bookings were a bit slower than usual, but when we woke up on the day and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, it made for a great day’s racing.’’
Mr Symes said there were many winners on the day, on the field and off it.
‘‘No matter whether you were a big winner or just putting a little bit of money on, people came from everywhere to join in.
‘‘We got a couple of stilt walkers in for the day, which was a personal highlight for me.
‘‘They were wandering around with the crowd and chatting to people all day, which was pretty awesome.
‘‘Then there was the Benalla Travel fashion on the field, where we had 40 women enter the best dressed lady for the day.
‘‘We had to have four sets of sections just to get everyone through and judged. And it was great to have so many neat prizes from local sponsors, too.’’
The winner of the best dressed ladies was Amelia Skilbeck, who won a return trip to New Zealand, flying on Emirates, courtesy of Benalla Travel.
Symes said there was an added bonus having current AFL player Jarrad Waite, and former player Scott Cummings in the Ryan and McNulty VIP tent.
‘‘To have local sponsors as well as sponsors from Melbourne was great,’’ he said.
‘‘Our sponsors were all very happy with the day and down at the VIP tent, having that hosted by Scott Cummings, some of those guys tripled their money, so everyone down there was very happy.’’
Symes said the racing club’s new extended decking had 250 people watching the races from it on the day, with reports that everyone still had enough room to move.
‘‘Hopefully everyone backed a winner on the day, while the night was finished off with (Shepparton band) Entourage, which played till 7pm,’’ he said.
1st: 15. Prepare to Win
2nd: 17. Smart Stiletto
3rd: 14. Weapon
1st: 11. Remember the Name
2nd: 14. Sheezdashing
3rd: 12. Second Marriage
1st: 4. Valac
2nd: 10. Circomo
3rd: 13. Berkshire Lady
1st: 12. Villermont
2nd: 4. Tristano
3rd: 9. Bemboka
1st: 5. Malmas
2nd: 11. Greycliffe
3rd: 9. Get Ya Kicks
1st: 11. Red is the Rose
2nd: 10. Dyrham Park
3rd: 5. New Graduate
1st: 10. Crafty Devil
2nd: 5. Dry Biscuit
3rd: 11. Harason
1st: 11. Lord Fandango
2nd: 6. Moonovermanhattan
3rd: 10. Electric Fusion
1st: 6. Wall Street Wolf
2nd: 9. Barthelona
3rd: 12. Smokin’ Bella
1st: 15. Concentrate
2nd: 11. Max Master
3rd: 9. Costa Plenty