The popular Dunkeld Races will be held without crowds again this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dunkeld Racing Club manager Lisa Evans said while the decision around the November 13 event was a blow for the club and the wider community, it was made to protect the region's health.
"Any crowd we would have had would have been severely restricted and wouldn't have had that same feel that Dunkeld is renowned for," Ms Evans said.
"We're certainly trending in the right way. If our event wasn't in November and had have been in early 2022 we certainly would have had a crowd and it would have had that feel that everyone's accustomed to."
She said the density rules made it difficult with marquees and the course only had two entry points making social distancing difficult. "We don't have the luxury of space that makes having those large crowd numbers actually possible.
"It sounds great to have 5000 people but when you analyse and break that down, it's about the wider impact on a really small regional community that's been relatively unimpacted by COVID-19," Ms Evans said.
"We certainly don't want to be responsible for bringing it into the region. We support where people come from and we know they come from hotspot areas and all around the state as well as interstate too."
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The Dunkeld event regularly attracts up to 10,000 patrons and reached a record crowd of 12,000 people two years ago. She said the club was expecting a huge crowd once once things opened up often hearing from racegoers it was on their post-pandemic bucket list.
Ms Evans said she had been asked why Dunkeld couldn't be held with crowds when the Melbourne Cup could.
"It's important for people to understand that Flemington is having 10,000 people because its part of the vaccination economy trial. I've had a lot of people say 'why can they have 10,000 people and you can't?'. It's very different," Ms Evans said.
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