MORE than 12,000 people packed into the Mowbray Racecourse yesterday to watch champion mare Epingle storm home to victory in the Launceston Cup.
Melbourne galloper Epingle was heavily fancied going into the $225,000 Launceston Cup, and didn't disappoint.
Jockey Craig Williams produced a formidable performance to come from way back in the field to ride the lean, fast mare home past the post in first position.
Epingle's connections scored a handsome $100,000 bonus on top of prizemoney for the main race, which was awarded for taking out both the Hobart Cup-Launceston Cup double.
Fans on the final straight erupted as the six-year-old mare crossed the line, with friends and strangers all embracing with gusto.
Tasmanian Turf Club chief executive Robert Biffin said organisers were ecstatic with how the 150th instalment of the race meet unfolded.
"The conditions for today's race meet have been absolutely perfect," he said.
"By the looks of things everyone's had a fantastic day, and we've had no major incidents, so we're very happy."
There was some trackside speculation attendance was down on last year, but Mr Biffin said looks could be deceiving.
"In the past everyone has been confined to a much smaller space, but we've spread things out a lot this year," he said.
"And with the weather how it's been, numbers are actually up on last year, when conditions weren't so kind."