Cup fans vanish in the crowds

Written By miftah nugraha on Senin, 11 Februari 2013 | 19.55

Fashions on the field finalists line up for judging. Pictures: RICHARD JUPE

A SIGNIFICANTLY reduced racetrack crowd, down 5000 on last year's Hobart Cup, has been blamed on a weekend "crowded" with events.

Tasmanian Racing Club chief executive Mike Wisby said while 7000 people enjoyed the day, it was disappointing more people did not attend.

"The weekend was just crowded with activity," he said, referring to the Wooden Boat Festival, Royal Hobart Regatta, Wrest Point 40th birthday celebrations and Festivale in Launceston.

"It's ridiculous to have so much on one weekend and then next weekend there's nothing on," he said.

Fashion feast: Hobart Cup crowds

Mr Wisby said people who flew down for the Cup had trouble securing accommodation or they would have stayed longer.

Victorian horse Hurdy Gurdy Man took out the Hobart Cup in a thrilling finish, just beating local favourites Geegees Blackflash and The Cleaner.

Strong winds in the afternoon wreaked havoc with hats and fascinators.

However, as the main race got under way, the winds calmed to provide perfect racing conditions.

Fashions on the Field was dominated by tribal prints, vintage looks and bright colours.

Alex Hecker, of Geelong, won the day with her tribal print frock and elaborate headpiece.

"I love tribal print so I thought I'd go for something like that, and being summer I wanted something bright," she said.

"My hat is by Rebecca Share Millinery who won the Oaks Day millinery award. I just wanted something to match the dress, something unique."

Sportsman-turned-model, Myer ambassador and Fashions on the Field judge Kris Smith said Ms Hecker's outfit stood out.

"Digital prints have been in all through last season and it's going through into tribal," he said.

Runner-up Meg Farquhar, from Launceston, grabbed the judge's attention with her vintage-inspired outfit.

Meanwhile second runner-up Lisa Wellings, from NSW, looked dazzling in an orange outfit with blue accessories.

General manager of TOTE Tasmania Michael Edwards said that while crowd numbers were down, interstate bets had boosted overall takings.

"We were marginally up on last year's figures and we're very happy with that," Mr Edwards said.

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