A LONG-term future for Bendigo’s Golden Mile Raceday looks set to establish the city as a hub for major sporting events, the Bendigo Jockey Club says.
More than 5000 people turned out to Saturday’s event in the second year it has been held in Bendigo.
The races were the second Bendigo sporting event in a week broadcast on national television, after the Bendigo Spirit took out their maiden Women’s National Basketball League title, shown on ABC.
Jockey Club chairman Brendan Dreschsler said the exposure of the races was great for the event and for the city as a whole.
“We’ve grown it from last year and we’re hoping it becomes bigger every year,” he said.
“It’s really been fostered and developed to become a big event with prizes over $1 million on offer. Having it telecast live on Channel Seven was another big benefit.”
Mr Dreschsler said the wine and food displays had helped add to the great atmosphere.
There was even a link to the world-famous mare Black Caviar, whose three quarter brother Iconic took out the Gold Rush race.
For punters Alison and Brian Atherton, the relaxed setting proved appealing.
“It’s quite a good day, I even managed a couple of wins,” Ms Atherton said.
“I usually go to Bendigo Cup and Hanging Rock races, this is really nice atmosphere. I think it’s more relaxed.”
In the fashion department, Tony Cavanagh judged the men to be some of the classiest at the track. Mr Cavanagh said he was impressed with the glamorous dresses, but also the men who had taken the effort to do up their tie.
“Blokes are pretty shy with that kind of thing generally,” he said.
“But there were some really into it and some very tailored and immaculate suits and fashion. I think Bendigo does the fashion terrifically well.”