A STRONG crowd of 800 people watched Texan Warney take out the DiGiorgio Family Wines Apsley Cup on Saturday.
Trained by Daryl Dodson at Telopea Downs, Victoria, the horse excelled on the Edenhope racecourse to win the feature event of the day.
Apsley Racing Club president Sue Close said the day was a great success with a impressive numbers of horses entered on the field.
"We were really happy with the day. Many in the crowd dressed to the black and white theme and everyone was really well behaved," she said.
"The track was superb with new plastic running rails. It was in top condition."
Despite other events being on over the weekend, including the SE Field Days, Mrs Close said numbers were only affected slightly.
"It certainly made it hard for sponsors," she said.
"Some tried to do both - we were aware people had other committments...there is so much on in March."
This year's Apsley Cup had a date change due to the Colac racecourse redevelopment.
"This was normally their race meet," she said.
"We haven't had TAB status for the last couple of years and we made a lot of noise about how disappointing it was to Racing Victoria.
"When they offered us this date we couldn't say no and we were glad in the end."
The after party was well supported and featured the band Buddha in a Chocolate Box - made possible thanks to a State Government grant.
Between 200 and 300 people hung around for the evening to enjoy the tunes and have a dance.
Many patrons dressed to the black and white theme and Fashions on the Field was well supported.
"Best black and white dressed", sponsored by Ottoson Holidays, went to Edenhope's Elise Kealy while Kaniva's Erin McFadden took out the Parkdate Resort Halls Gap "best racegoer" award.
The MiniJumbuk "best couple" prize was won by Naracoorte's Helen Harvey and Tom Dennis while Naracoorte's Sam Oliver was presented the Helloworld Travel "most humorous" prize.
In the junior section the winners were Sienna Bull, from Ozenkadnook, and Maggie Mueller, from Hynam.
For 2015 the Apsley Racing Club will celebrate its 160th anniversary and will hold the cup on the June long weekend.
Life member honour
APSLEY Racing Club track curator Kelvin Burns was honoured to be made a life member at the Apsley Cup on Saturday.
He has been involved in the maintenance and preparation of the Edenhope track for Apsley race meets for well over three decades.
Initially he worked together with his father Vernon alongside Laurie Robertson - with both families providing almost all the machinery required for the track maintenance.
Over time, with the passing of his father and the ageing of Mr Robertson, Mr Burns was given the principal responsibility for all track operations from about the mid-1980s.
He was instrumental in the acquisition of the swamp adjacent to the racecourse to enable a dam to be sunk which has led to the much improved tracks that are now demanded by owners and trainers.
As well as his work on the track, Mr Burns has been involved with almost all of the improvements to the Edenhope racecourse over the last 30 years.
He is also know as the man for positioning the starting stalls on race days (as well as maintaining the unit) and he assists as a barrier attendant in getting the horses into their respective starting gate positions.
Ron Brighton and Colin Richardson - the two directors of Barrett Distributors, which has now been sold to Barrett Petroleum - were also recognised at the cup.
They were honoured with certificates of appreciation for their long standing sponsorship of the Apsley Racing Club.
They have been involved for about 20 years and the club appreciates their generosity and loyalty.