Murrumbidgee Turf Club (MTC) chief executive Jason Ferrario has declared his first Wagga Gold Cup carnival in charge a success.
A crowd of just under 10,000 packed the MTC on Friday, following on from strong Wagga Town Plate numbers the day before.
Ferrario was pleased with how the two big days of the carnival unfolded.
"The most important thing for us was we had good fields, definitely a big crowd, it was a happy crowd, you could tell there was a good vibe on course, and it was trouble free, the security guards done a great job and the on-course police," Ferrario said.
"We were able to move them on pretty quick, thanks to the coach service, taxis and the courtesy shuttles from the pubs and clubs. The food stalls were busy, three of the four, reported back to say their trade was good. Hospitality staff can be quite hard to find at the moment but we feel as though things moved fairly swiftly. The queues moved slowly at some of the bars but I think you go anywhere and you're going to get them.
"From a point of view with it being my first Wagga Gold Cup, I can feel as though I can breath easy now because the feedback coming to me was that it was a really good day."
MTC are yet to receive the final betting turnover figures but Ferrario said the early indications were that they were 'good without being outstanding."
He said the highlights of the carnival were the thrilling three-way finish to the Wagga Gold Cup and the dominance of Front Page in the Wagga Town Plate.
"The close finish of the Cup, obviously a quality horse (Aleas) from the Waller stable won the race but for Dream Runner to almost hang on, it was a great run from it and Five Kingdom," he said.
"In the Town Plate, well that win from Front Page, I'm not sure where (Geoff) Duryea is going next but that win was simply outstanding. I believe they've had some issues along the way, they've had some bad luck but whatever he sets it for next it's got to be hard to beat whatever he wants to race in next."
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In an ideal world, Ferrario would love to see more high-profile jockeys in Wagga for the carnival but conceded the racing calendar makes it tough.
"We feel as though we're very honoured and lucky to have Tommy Berry, Chad Schofield and Robbie Dolan here, amongst others. But the opportunity to have your Willie Pikes and Jamie Kahs, it's such a congested racing programme all over the place," he said.
"You've got Warrnambool Tuesday to Thursday, you've got your Gosford Gold Cup on Saturday, that obviously cost us Numerian, because Annabel Neasham chose to go to Gosford, which was obviously disappointing for us. Then you've got the Hollindale Stakes up on the Gold Coast, which cost us a few jockeys and then from a Melbourne point of view, trying to get a few jockeys from there, they couldn't come because they had the Sangster Stakes in Adelaide the next day."
Ferrario said the MTC will sit down in coming weeks and review this year's carnival. He paid credit to his team for delivering a brilliant carnival.
"Being my first cup, I couldn't be more thankful for the team around me," he said.
"My team in the office, the catering and bar team, the track team, they don't just get the track ready, they get the facility ready. Of course, as usual, they couldn't have been more glowing in their praise of the track.
"Then the carnival obviously doesn't happen without the owners, trainers, jockeys and horses. I'm very fortunate to have a very active board of directors because they all get in and get their hands dirty, which played a big part in the last couple of days."
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