A lift on crowd caps in South Australia will this month enable two iconic events to draw on more foot traffic and importantly, provide economic relief to the region.
The positive outcome means the Balaklava Cup, cemented for September 15, has the racing club already gearing up for a cracker day of races and frivolity.
The race event has been approved to host 3000 attendees at the largest annual sporting event held in country South Australia.
While on Friday, organisers of the Yorke Peninsula Fields Days, hosted in Paskeville, received word they could proceed with the 2021 event, with a 5000-person daily cap granted.
Impressively, this year will be the 21st cup Balaklava Racing Club CEO Doug Hall has overseen, and he’s looking forward to an impressive day of events.
“There’s quite a few good horses around this year, so I think the field will be very strong,” Doug said.
The track has been oversown with ryegrass, which is thriving after the strong winter rains and recent sunshine.
Approaching with caution, the club delayed erecting marquees as long as possible, but with the cup only two weeks away they’re pushing forward full steam ahead.
The marquees are up and will soon be equipped with furniture, bars, TAB, toilets and televisions ready for racegoers to enjoy the festivities.
Award-winning Balaklava Community Services group will be ensuring racegoers remain sated at all times with their onsite catering.
They’ll be running the sandwich bar and ‘sav’ bar, stocked with plenty of hot foods such as steak sandwiches, sausage rolls, pies, pasties, hot chips and homemade goodies.
The Balaklava Cup is a major attraction for people all over the region to come together, catch up over a few drinks and have a punt on the horses.
“Every year is wonderful because it’s an opportunity to put on a good show and make people happy,” Doug said.
“Racing and cup day, it’s not like going to a football grand final.
“When you come to the races, win, lose or draw, when you put on a good show, the wines are good and the beers are cold, everyone leaves happy.”
With only about 700 tickets left, punters are strongly encouraged to book a ticket for country racing’s biggest event.
Ahead of catering the region’s biggest day of races, Balaklava Community Services were awarded Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual or Volunteer group at the SA Racing Hall of Fame and Industry Awards.
Group secretary Sally Cowan was chuffed to be nominated for the award by racing club CEO Doug Hall. “We’re a bit proud we were acknowledged, that we’re valued by [the racing club] for what we do provide,” Sally said.
“Especially the way it has been the last few years.”
Balaklava Community Services is made up of volunteers from five groups representing the Balaklava Hospital, Scouts and Guides, Balaklava Museum, Mill Court and the Balaklava Show.
They cater for the racing club and at the end of the year divide the profits to go back into the community.