Racing Victoria to work with Woodford Racing Club to host New Year's Eve

Racing Victoria has backed a push by the Woodford Racing Club to host its 2018 meeting on New Year’s Eve.

Racing Victoria racing operations manager Paul Bloodworth confirmed the move on Tuesday, which came after record crowds attended the December 31 event at the Warrnambool Racecourse.

“Warrnambool Racing Club, on behalf of the Woodford Racing Club (WRC), has been in contact with Racing Victoria (RV) requesting NYE again in 2018 and RV is working with the club to facilitate this,” Mr Bloodworth said. 

Family fun: The Woodford Cup New Year's Eve meeting attracted more than 5000 adults and 1000 children, including Lila Kenny, 8, and Eliza Watson, 8. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Family fun: The Woodford Cup New Year's Eve meeting attracted more than 5000 adults and 1000 children, including Lila Kenny, 8, and Eliza Watson, 8. Picture: Christine Ansorge

WRC president Peter Haynes said on Monday it would lobby RV for a NYE date again after it was popular with patrons. 

The WRC came under fire for a lack of cold drinks, understaffing and locked toilets at the 2017 event. 

More than 80 per cent of The Standard’s readers supported the move but called for improvements.

Sandra June Hockley said keeping the event on NYE was a great idea but hoped the committee would be better prepared in the future. “It was a bad set up and people had to wait too long at the bars,” she said. “Our group planned to stay for the music but left at 5pm because we were tired of spending the day standing in line.”

Tony McCosh would like it to become a regular fixture. Despite waiting 10-20 minutes for a drink, which was “painful”, he said they “had a ball”. “The crowd was huge and they got caught out. Nobody died of thirst and maybe the wait even saved some from getting out of control! Keep up the great work and we will definitely be back!” he said. 

Genevieve Ryan said it was the worst run race meeting Warrnambool had ever had. “(The) average wait time for a drink 37 minutes (and) they ran out (of drinks).” 

Sarah Smith said she would be “back for sure”. “I'm sure it will be better prepared from now on. Sometimes events have to learn the hard way but a bit of constructive criticism usually gets them back on track.”

John Dodoro said he would attend on NYE and the meeting was a great day out.