A Chinese inspired Marong Cup was held at Bendigo Jockey Club on Saturday.
A ceremonial dragon dance was performed by the Qian Li Dao academy.
The dragon also made its way through the crowd, where ardent punters scrambled to pat the animal for good luck.
The dragon also led out participants for the tenth annual schools challenge race, which included six runners from eight local Catholic schools.
Participants passed a Chinese lantern baton between one another during the race and had to change into Chinese New Year jockey colours for each leg of the relay.
The Marong Cup also acts as a fundraiser for the schools, which take a share of between $45,000 and $50,000 each year, with $550,000 raised over the past 12 years.