“Flemington as a ‘country race meet’ as a small crowd enjoys Derby Day”

The audience returns to Flemington after a long absence due to shutdowns.

The audience returns to Flemington after a long absence due to shutdowns.Credit:Justin McManus

The state government placed it as a test drive for other events, with the number of racing guests rising to 10,000 for the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.

The grounds were immaculate as always with the roses in full bloom, but there were plenty of differences from the last time the audience attended.

The Flemington area was divided into three different colored zones (green, pink and purple) to keep racers scattered and prevent them from interfering too much.

The grass sections in front of the stands were filled with tables, umbrellas and chairs, presenting a much more relaxed scene than the often noisy race crowds of previous years.

Race guests enjoy a drink in Flemington on Derby Day.

Race guests enjoy a drink in Flemington on Derby Day.Credit:Justin McManus

Masks were always to be worn along the track, but many spectators did not wear them after the outdoor mask rule was repealed last Friday.

Racers were also asked to present digital certificates showing they were double-vaccinated when checking in at the gate, while COVID marshalls, police and Victoria Racing Club staff roamed the grounds.

The attendees were excited to just be out and do something after months of being stuck at home.

An audience of 5500 was given access to the Flemington Racecourse for Derby Day.

An audience of 5500 was given access to the Flemington Racecourse for Derby Day.Credit:Justin McManus

“I said we should be here, it’s something we want to talk about when we’re 90 in the retirement home,” Bronwyn White said.

“It’s historic, just for everything, the pandemic. It’s been a long, long time. Everyone is really jovial and happy.”

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Getting dressed for the day was also something new.

“It was very difficult to get off the tracks today,” she laughed. – But we made a good effort.

Alan Jager saw the part in front of the stands in his five-piece gray suit and high hat. The VRC member also planned to go to Cup Day and Oaks Day.

“It’s great that they’ve been able to take it on, I’m sure they run with a hell of a loss,” he said.

Maturity was back on display in Flemington.

Maturity was back on display in Flemington.Credit:Justin McManus

“It is very exciting to be back on the field, it looks fantastic. The race is as good as ever. “

Lee Toohey, who took bets for bookmaker Ernie Campagna, said revenue was about 10 percent of what it normally would have been.

“But at the moment we have a small lead,” he said of the eternal battle with the players. “We hope to continue to do so.”

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