Brisbane Race Club chairman Neville Bell believes a good percentage of the 15,000 strong crowd at Doomben for the public holiday meeting can be attracted back to the sport
The BRC aimed at the 20 to 30 year age group for the promotion, Mekka Wednesday, which has been held on the Exhibition holiday in Brisbane for the past five years.
The day was originally a $1 entry day but has morphed into a day for young racegoers in recent times.
It is usually held at the larger Eagle Farm racecourse but with that track closed for redevelopment the meeting has been at Doomben for the past few years.
Bell said there had been 12,000 pre-sales for the day and by 2pm there had been an expected 3,000 walk-ups.
“A crowd of 15,000 is comfortable at Doomben and we don’t want to cause problems by causing a jam,” Bell said.
“We have deliberately been trying to lure young racegoers back to the track. Plenty has been said about racing’s lost generations but if you don’t give people a taste of the fun of racing you are no hope.”
“This is the last period before the University exams and other big activities such as football finals, etc.
“So we are trying to get our message to young people while we can. I would hope a good percentage of those here today will return a few more times at least.”
On the racetrack, record-breaking jockey Jeff Lloyd didn’t take long to ride his first winner back from a suspension on Sky Team ($2.90).
Lloyd, who rode a record number of metropolitan and Queensland winners last season, missed the first four metropolitan meetings of 2017/18 because of suspension.
He was beaten on the favourite Explosive One in the first race but then lifted Sky Team over the line in the second.
“Obviously, it is great to back and to get a winner early on,” Lloyd said.