Monday, 16th March, 2015
By Emily Roberts
A successful St Pat’s Race day has been hailed as one of the best, with a bumper crowd that could reach almost 10,000.
The race day has exceeded all expectations since its small beginnings in 1965, when the idea was born to have a race meet to boost local racing and alleviate the desperate financial position of Catholic schools.
The next year, after a committee was formed, and with some thorough planning, the first St Pat’s Race Club meeting was held.
Fast-forward 50 years and the day is still as successful.
President Margaret Corradini said the race meeting went very smoothly.
“From a racing perspective, it has gone really well,” she said.
“I am very happy with the racing side of things.
“We have also had a bumper crowd - I would expect maybe reaching almost 10,000 patrons.
“The weather has been absolutely perfect.”
Vice-president Andrew Schmidt was out and about in the crowd during the event and said it had been a great day.
“I think with something like this, you have to plan for all the logistical issues.
“You have to provide enough food, shade and drinks for everyone.
“But, the response has been amazing.
“Last year we had 6,500 people attend and I think we have definitely passed that.
“With such a small group of volunteers that is a huge accomplishment.”
Mr Schmidt said there were a few small issues throughout the day, but overall it was fantastic.
“We had 11 bars in operation today. As well as 2,000 people under the shade sales and all our corporate sites were sold out.
“People still had to line up - but what can you do?
“The committee have been working really hard for over 12 months to put this together - it doesn’t happen overnight.”
Mr Schmidt said he believed there were many visitors from out of town.
“I think we had a lot of former locals come back, as well as interstate residents,” he said.
“Everyone has been saying how they are having a fabulous time.
“It has been a good race meeting with no incidents.
“At the end of the day it is about the racing.
“The whole community benefits and it is a unique experience.”