Christmas racing

HUNDREDS of families and punters turned out to the Bendigo Jockey Club for the last meeting of the year on Sunday.

The Christmas-themed event also attracted tourists from Melbourne.

Young families and racing enthusiasts flocked to the racecourse, where there was festivities both on and off the track.

There was free entertainment during the event with music duo In2U taking to the stage.

For the children, there was a jumping castle, face painting, an animal farm and laser tag.

One of the most popular places for the childrenwas the Kelly Sports game area.

Kelly Sports coaches were on hand to play cricket, tennis and soccer.

Coach Lily Campbell it was a fun day out for staff and children.

“It is all about the kids,” she said.

“I think the Christmas event is more than just what happens out on the track it is about family.”

The Paddle Pop Lion and also Kooka proved popular among the children.

Santa also made a special appearance.

Mother Belinda Downing said it was the first time she had taken her family to the races.

“I won tickets to come along to the races," she said.

“We are all having a good time.”

The race day was also a chance for Bendigo businesses to celebrate the end of the year.

A bucks party from Melbourne also enjoyed the festivities.

Party-goer, Gibbo, said the buck Benny Johnson was "loving it".

“We are Benny’s Bucks Boys from Berwick,” he said.

“I had my bucks party in Bendigo earlier this year and we all had a good time so we decided to come back.”

The main race featured some racing royalty with Black Caviar’s half sister Belle Couture making her first appearance.

Belle Couture finished in second place with Paddy’s Gem winning the 1100-metre maiden.

Belle Couture was purchased for $2.6 million.  

 To see more photos from the meeting, go to www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au

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