More than 900 racegoers flocked to the Tatura Racecourse for the first Ladbrokes Tatura Cup to coincide with the Spring Racing Carnival.
The first feature country cup of the carnival, Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club manager Jon Dight said it was an improvement to hold the event during spring.
‘‘We might look to shift it back a week or two ... with football being on,’’ he said.
Mr Dight said the club did not run its cup meeting last season because it wanted to focus all its efforts on making its spring debut a success.
The club paired the new spring cup date with new major sponsor Ladbrokes. It featured free kids’ activities provided by Kelly Sports, as well as a $20 punters club with Rob Gaylard for the grown-ups.
Hot Ruby, ridden by Luke Oliver and trained by Damien Thornton, took out the feature race, the $30000 Ladbrokes Tatura Cup, which was ran over 1450m.
‘‘The jockey who rode second, Stephanie Thornton, is actually Damien’s sister,’’ Mr Dight said.
‘‘She was riding Countryman, trained by Mick Kent.’’
Another exciting win was in the Mark Goring Handicap, raced in memory of the jockey who died as a result of a race fall at Tatura in 2003.
‘‘We had a local horse win race six, which was really fantastic,’’ Mr Dight said.
‘‘That was Margot’s Boy ridden by Belinda Dunn.’’
The club’s usual food and beverages were on offer, enhanced by a gourmet barbecue.
‘‘Tatura Cup Day is always about more than just racing,” Mr Dight said. “It’s only going to get bigger and better in the years to come.”
The club looks forward to two more race days scheduled for the 2017-18 racing season, with a Monday race day on October 18 followed by its feature Italian Plate Festival Race Day on Sunday, December 10.