Stage set for spectacular Great Western Cup

GREAT WESTERN - Great Western Cup preparations are almost finalised on the eve of the town's biggest racing event.

Great Western Racing Club secretary Michael Barry is expecting a big crowd tomorrow and would like to see the numbers up from last year's event.

The Great Western Cup is a seven race card and although hard to tell yet, Mr Barry is hoping the crowd will exceed 2000 people. In previous years they have fallen just short.

"It's a great family day with a relaxed environment, it would be amazing to see the crowd numbers go beyond 2000," Mr Barry said.

As much as it has been a horrible past fortnight around the region with the fire catastrophe, Great Western Racing committee members are confident their race meeting will not be affected.

"The majority of Halls Gap residents have returned to their homes, so things should be almost back to normal," he said.

The hot weather was expected to impact the meeting with crowds often opting for airconditioned comfort, rather than the intense heat trackside.

"Had the weather continued to be hot for the cup I think crowd numbers would have been down, but with the weather expected to be mid 20s it should really be great," Mr Barry said.

This year has seen camping tickets skyrocke while marquee sales have also been impressive.

"Camping tickets have been more popular this year there have been more tickets than ever sold, its great that people can get away relax and spend the night there."

As for the racing side of things the track is in good condition after surviving Victoria's scorching heat wave last week.

"After surviving the heat wave last week, the track looks at its best," Mr Barry said.

"It was mowed yesterday so it really looks great."

Buses will be provided to and from the event by the Great Western Racing Club.

The buses will run from Halls Gap through Stawell and onto Great Western.

"It's great to have people interested from across Victoria. I've even been in contact with people from Warrnambool."

Race Fields - Page 44.

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