ELMORE was the real winner on Boxing Day when its resurrected harness racing meeting pulled a crowd of more than 1000 for the eight-race card.
Which saw the O’Sullivan’s Elmore Pacing Cup over 2180m go to red-hot favourite Nomi Malone, driven by Zac Phillips and trained by Ellen Torney.
It finished 2.4m ahead making the most of its inside start on the front row.
Club secretary Cliff Powell said the bigger crowd and a couple of track records made it “a great day for everyone involved”.
Powell said while final numbers were still being checked he knew they were up several hundred on the 2016 meeting.
He said support from some of the state’s leading trainers and drivers also contributed to the success of the day.
“Harness Racing Victoria chief executive David Martin, who has been such a help, also made the trip to Elmore for the day, which we really appreciated,” Powell added.
“He told us he was very pleased with what was happening at our club, and that backed up what some of the drivers also said, assuring us they would be back again next year,” he said.
Powell said the renovations at the track also proved their value.
He said the renovated track was in an excellent condition, shown by some of the fast times recorded on the day, and the number of nominations received.
“We actually had to knock some people back as we only have 90-odd stalls – I guess that will be next on the agenda,” he said.
“If we had enough stalls it would be good to get this up to a 10-race meeting. We have one row with 39 stalls that is very old and we would need to bring them up to speed first.”
The track also benefited from the loan of a water truck from Yarra Glen.
Powell said it was an “exceptional asset” on the day.
“We have had our own truck for years, it’s an old milk tanker, but doesn’t do its job anywhere near as well as this one,” Powell said.
“I reckon we might have one like it by this time next year, whoever put this one together has done a fantastic job,” he said.
“And we were helped by a local who has a big bore barely 1km down the road that was able to fill the Yarra Glen truck in seven minutes flat so we didn’t miss a beat all day.”