Cobram Harness Racing Club’s cup meeting on Sunday nearly never went ahead.
The meeting was in doubt until 30 minutes before the first race when the Harness Racing Victoria vet, who was tossing up due to the industry’s heat policy, finally gave the green light for it to proceed.
‘‘It was really touch and go,’’ club secretary Bob Watson said.
‘‘Most of the crowd was there by then and I was wondering just how we were going to tell everyone it had been called off.’’
Watson said the temperature, which nudged into the 40s, had an impact on crowd numbers, but conceded the weather was something the club could not control.
‘‘From what we were expecting, the crowd was disappointing really,’’ he said.
Watson said being so hot on the Saturday had also impacted on crowd numbers.
‘‘We had umbrella packages, which had been purchased mainly by older people who cancelled because of the heat,’’ he said.
But Watson said all things considered, the meeting was still voted a success, particularly the racing side of it.
‘‘There was some really keen racing,’’ he said.
Watson said the club’s decision to break from recent tradition and stage its cup meeting in January in preference to a date between Boxing Day and New Year would still apply next year.
The club decided on the change of date after Watson had surveyed local motels, hotels and park owners, who indicated busier times for their businesses were in January after the Christmas-New Year break.
‘‘We are certainly looking to give it another try next year and see what happens. Hopefully the weather will be more suitable,’’ he said.
One glitch encountered during the meeting was the failure of on-course broadcaster Dan Mielicki’s call of the cup for Sky Channel.
The Sky Channel vehicle at the meeting encountered technical problems just before the cup was run and the host at the Sky Channel studios had to take up the call and did an admirable job in trying circumstances.
But Mielicki’s on-course call was not affected.