MURRUMBIDGEE Turf Club (MTC) chief executive Steve Keene has declared this year's Wagga Gold Cup carnival a success.
It was a Gold Cup carnival like no other last week with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing MTC to close the gates to the public.
The club was also then forced to battle the conditions with more than 50 millimetres of rain falling during the week, with persistent drizzle a constant feature on a miserable Gold Cup day.
While MTC is not hiding away from the financial implications of a carnival without a crowd, Keene was simply glad to get through the two big days of racing without interruption.
"It was under a lot of trying circumstances, with a lot of cold weather, wind and rain, but the club really thanks all the participants for really making it two days worth of fantastic racing," Keene said.
"There were some good results for the locals and some really quality horses that showed up over the two days."
Keene was happy to declare the carnival a success.
"I think it's a main success," he said.
"As (Cup-winning jockey) Jess Taylor commented, not many other country or provincial facilities would have been able to continue racing through the weather we had for the two days.
"It was a success in that way and a lot of credit goes to Mark (Hart) and the team. This is why you do meticulously prepare your track and keep it in good order, for when these days occur."
Keene said the way the track handled the deluge, again earning rave reviews from across the industry, was the highlight of the carnival.
"I think the highlight of the carnival was definitely the way the track played," he said.
"With the amount of water we had, a lot of other tracks would have seen clods the size of footballs kicked up but the fact that the track held together is highlighted by the fact that on Sunday we'll keep the rail in the true. Because they were all getting off the rail for most of the two days and the inside three metres has barely been marked.
"But that was definitely the highlight and it was great reward because I know the boys put in a lot of work."
With little income, other than a percentage of TAB turnover, generated from this year's carnival, MTC is under no illusions the Gold Cup was run at a loss.
Keene said exactly how that looks for the club will become clearer in the weeks to come.
"Financially, the club will take a blow," he said.
"How that looks, we'll wait to see. There is a bit of water to go under the bridge there so we'll see how that goes. But overall, the racing was a huge success.
"Turnover was slightly down on previous years but we won't get a clearer picture on that until the next couple of days when we get the fixed odds results. We'll wait and see there and see how that plays out."
The Wagga track will get little time to recover with MTC set to host it's next TAB meeting on Sunday, where there was just 101 nominations received for the seven-race card.