Rain not enough to deter faithful

 PUNTERS from across the country shrugged off poor weather and the odd new year's hangover to attend the annual Longford Cup yesterday.

While rain saw the event's celebrity foot race cancelled, the horse races, live music and fashions on the field still drew a decent turnout.

Race committee member Mick Boyd said up to 4000 people turned out for the event, with some coming from as far as the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

``It is a bit down in numbers, but you can't control the weather,'' he said.

``We've still got a lot of hardened regulars, and those who have come for the atmosphere.

``There is a fair bit of a legacy in this event . . . those who have gone before us put in a fair bit of effort, and it's paying off now because it's become a real community event.''

Racegoer Lee Erskine, of Shearwater, said every year she chose a day at the cup over a big New Year's Eve celebration.

``I took it easy last night, planning to have a few drinks today,'' she said.

``It is actually our routine now. We usually sit out along the fence and have a relaxing day, and I always have a fun time.''

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