24.9°C 03:00 pm

Crowd braves the heat for a day at the track

Monday, 22nd March, 2010

* Stylish: Ex-local Gemma Horne was named Colleen of the Course. * Stylish: Ex-local Gemma Horne was named Colleen of the Course.

Despite the hot weather, nothing could keep locals from attending the biggest social event of the Broken Hill year on Saturday, as St Pat's managed to once again draw plenty of people to the races.

The 45th annual race meeting proved to be an excellent day all round, despite a maximum of 33 degrees Celsius. St Pat's Race Club President Margaret Corradini said they "couldn't have asked for anything better".

The day was only marred by the unfortunate accident that had occurred on Friday when trainer Trevor Day's horse float rolled during the journey to Broken Hill, killing four of the horses from his stable. Mr Day, however showed true spirit by still turning up. "To his credit, Trevor still raced two of his horses," said Mrs Corradini.

The turnout of 8,000 proved to be on par with last year according to Mrs Corradini. The welcomed return of heavy beer also saw some very happy punters. Owners and trainers were also pleased with the condition of the track.

Fashions of the Field proved to be popular despite the heat; the fashionistas shared in $16,000 worth of prizes. The Colleen of the Course went to Gemma Horne, who wore a form-fitting red ensemble offset with a black fascinator, and the Paddy of the Course went to Greg Cocks, who had to fight it out in a dead heat with finalist Craig Datson. The compare for the afternoon's fashion was Andrew Cosello "Cosi" from SAFM Adelaide.

Iconic Australian Fashion Designer Peter Morrissey was one of the judges for the fashions. He was joined by Sean Simpson and Kellie Barker. Entertainment was provided by the XXXX Angels and XXXX Gold Retreat which was a big feature throughout the day. None of the horses were affected by the hot weather according to Mrs Corradini. "I'm absolutely delighted with the day," she said.

The St Pat's Race Club also hopes to be able to provide more shade for patrons at next year's race meeting. "Hopefully we can raise enough money to provide shade," said Mrs Corradini. The comfort of the patrons is one of the main elements the Race Club will be working on for next year. But overall, "excellent is the word of the day" said Mrs Corradini.

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