RACEGOERS quadrupled the population of St Marys yesterday during an action-packed New Year's Day race program.
The previous night's celebrations didn't seem to have affected the 2000-strong crowd, which filled the St Marys Pacing Club to enjoy the first day of 2013 at the once-a-year social sporting event.
Long-time St Marys Pacing Club secretary Eric Bean, who stepped down in 2012 after 50 years in the job, said that the importance of the New Year's Day races goes beyond drawing a crowd.
"It is important for the people of St Marys to have something to own," he said.
"We lost the football here a couple of years ago, and since then Saturdays have been pretty dead.
"We had a tough few years there where the racing crowds were down, but we've bounced back strongly.
"You won't be able to kill this event."
An eight-race program provided plenty of excitement trackside, while the fashion on the field competitions provided colour and class to proceedings.