Take two on the Cup proves a success
COFFS Harbour Racing Club chairman Alan Johnson admitted he breathed a sigh of relief when he saw a good sized crowd had made it's way to the track for today's Carlton MID 2016 Coffs Harbour Gold Cup.
The long time servant of the club said when the race is in its traditional first Thursday in August timeslot, the day is a success year in, year out.
But after this year's Cup was postponed to today after pouring rain at the start of August saw the Cup carnival abandoned, Mr Johnson said he was worried the new summer date might not be a roaring success.
"I woke up this morning and Tanya said I looked a bit anxious and I was because you don't know what it's going to be," he said.
"With the Cup in August, you know you're going to get 7,000 people. It just happens if it's a sunny day. But here we had no idea what we were going to get.
"So the crowd we've got is great so thank you Coffs Harbour."
Almost 3,000 people were at the Racing Club for today's program. Johnson said that's a fine result considering today wasn't a gazetted half-day public holiday.
He knows if today was a public holiday the crowd would've been larger and those who did attend certainly enjoyed the warmer weather.
Johnson though doesn't buy in to making a permanent change to the date the Gold Cup is run from August to early in the summer.
"I'm a traditionalist but I'd love to see it be a Friday in August," he said.
"Last night we got the public holiday through for another five years thanks to Coffs Council and the suggestion was should we do it on a Friday," he said.
"It will help the economy, it will help people come for a long weekend.
"I just think that August is the date that people know. If we change it, I've seen events change and they don't work."