It was touted as the race to stop hibernation and that's exactly what happened in Tamworth on Tuesday.
One of the hottest tickets in town for Melbourne Cup day was for the races at Tamworth Jockey Club and general manager Michael Buckley said punters turned out early.
"It's amazing to see crowds rolling in. It's been a steady flow of people since about 11," Buckley said.
"We had 1000 tickets pre-sold and we were thinking if we could get to 1500-2000 today, we'd done a really good job on the back of what's been a pretty quiet few months here in Tamworth."
Buckley said it was nice to see not only old faces at the track, but a number of news ones as well.
"It's been pleasing to see quite a large amount of new memberships over the last few weeks now that things have opened up again and they saw the opportunity to get involved in a race day like Melbourne Cup day," he said.
The trainers were also thrilled to see punters back trackside. Like Jane Clement who is often at the TJC for Melbourne Cup day.
"It's another day at the races for us really but it's good to see the crowd back. It's a lovely day for it so it's really nice," she said.
The Bendemeer trainer had plenty to smile about as well as she bookended the meeting.
House Wins took out the Oatley Wines Benchmark 50 Handicap to open the day before He's Our Toy Boy won the last race of the day, the Tamworth Business Chamber Benchmark 50 Handicap. Brooke Stower rode both winners for Clement.
Speaking to The Leader after race one, Clement said she was pleased the owners could be on track to see House Wins come out on top.
"It was lovely, he's such a lovely old horse," Clement said.
"He's every trainer's dream to train. He's been so honest, he's run a heap of thirds - and he was unplaced last start but it was a tougher race - but now he's back to his own grade today and he got the money."
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