While Kembla Grange trainer Theresa Bateup celebrated four race wins on Sunday, it was the crowds that had Sapphire Coast Turf Club officials buzzing.
Hosting the seven-race Tathra Cup meet, club Secretary-Manager Rob Tweedie said he was delighted to welcome a capacity crowd of 1000 people on the day, but also praised people's behaviour and social distancing measures.
"Race-wise it was really strong and a good meet, but we had a wonderful crowd of 1000 and people were very well behaved and adhered to distancing rules," Mr Tweedie said.
Mr Tweedie said it was hard to put into words the thrill of welcoming strong numbers of visitors with few concerns for organisers.
"It was a really positive vibe, people were enjoying some new freedoms [following recent restriction easing], but everyone was polite and respectful of the rules."
While there were good fields and strong runners on the track, the crowd was colourful and bubbly with a Hawaiian theme for the day showing up strong.
Read more:Bateup bags for at Tathra Cup
Mr Tweedie said mild conditions with regular rainfall had been a very welcome shift from last year's fires.
"It's such a welcome change to have this consistent rainfall, last year we had to cancel with the bushfires."
He said gentle rains had provided deep penetration and given rise to a lush green running surface that was ideal. "The track is in magnificent shape."
Mr Tweedie congratulated bateup on her four wins and said the club were hopeful to welcome her for a return visit during the Bega Cup Carnival two-day race meet at the end of January.
Read more:One year on - reflecting on the fires
"With half-a-million in prizes on offer over the two days we're already fielding a lot of inquiries from out of town - the Bega Cup is building in reputation each year and getting stronger."
Mr Tweedie said last year's Bega Cup winner Monegal was a contender to return and defend the title, while Sydney and Melbourne trainers were starting to firmly set their sights on the weekend as a result to boast on their resume.
"It's shaping up to be a strong Cup Carnival," Mr Tweedie said.