A perfect weather forecast for Sunday has organisers of the Ararat Gold Cup excited for this year’s event.
Nearly 2000 people are expected to attend the annual event, with pleasant weather to make for a good day of racing.
Ararat Turf Club manager Adam Atchison said he has high hopes for the day.
“The track is looking really good, the weather is looking like it will be the best we have had in five years and everything is coming along nicely,” he said.
The club will also show off its new air conditioning system which was installed in the grandstand after funds were received from Country Racing Victoria.
$30,000 was handed to the club to improve “customer facilities”.
“The grandstand is a massive space so there is a definite need for the air conditioners. With the funding we received we thought it would be the best opportunity to get some in there,” Atchison said.
“With warm weather expected the timing has been perfect for the air conditioners to be put in.
“We will also have plenty of umbrellas for shade for people to keep cool and out of the sun.” There will also be family friendly facilities, with a “kid safe” family precinct established at the course.
“With fashions on the field for men and women as well as a live band we have entertainment to suit everyone,” Atchison said.
“The fine weather will give people the perfect opportunity to dress to impress.”
On the track, Atchison said he expects the surface to be a good four, with the course being given plenty of irrigation in preparation for dry, warm weather.
“We have been watering consistently so the track doesn’t dry out,” he said.
“There will be plenty of grass cover and good cushion for the horses.” 2016 Ararat Gold Cup winner Golden Oldies will not return to defend his title, but 2017 Stawell Cup winner Mujadale will be looking to make it a local double for 2017. The day will also see the running of the China Bowl, which is worth $75,000.
Gates will open at 11am on Sunday morning, with the first race set to begin at 1pm.