Hope of decent crowd at trots
WIDE Bay Harness Racing Club officials are racing into the unknown.
They know the first regular trotting meeting at the Maryborough Showgrounds since 1985 on January 10 will feature seven races with full fields in each race.
They also know $8000 in prize money is up for grabs on the day and that two bookmakers will be trackside for those keen to have a punt.
What they don’t know is how well the meeting will be supported by the public.
Wide Bay Harness Racing Club vice-president Don Cross said it was a really a case of wait and see what happens.
“That’s all we can do – just wait and see,” Cross said.
“We just don’t have any idea what sort of crowd we’ll get – we’re really testing the water so to speak.
“Toowoomba had its first meeting in seven years earlier this month and I was told that they got a crowd of 2000.
“I’d like to think that we’ll get between 1000 and 1500.
“That would be fantastic if we did but at this stage it’s anyone’s guess.”
Cross said the meeting had generated plenty of interest in the community and beyond.
“People are certainly talking about it and we’ve even had people tell us that they are bring a busload from out west,” Cross, who formed the club four years ago, said.
“It will be something different for the public to come and watch – that’s the key.
“When the racing was held here regularly all those years ago it got boring because it was nothing new and people grew tired of it.
“Now we are hoping that we can make it into an appealing day out if we don’t over do it.
“We are hoping to have between three and six meetings a year and that will hopefully keep the entertainment factor very much in the minds of people.
“Trotting has proved popular at the Fraser Coast Show since it was introduced in 2007 so it would be great if that proves to be the case this time.
“We need it to be if this venture into the unknown is to be a success.”