THE gates opened and the field jumped on a great day of racing at the Stanthorpe Cup.
As well as all the fashion, food and fun of a day at the races, for the first time in three years the skies were clear and race-goers were treated to a full five-race card.
Stanthorpe Jockey Club president Neil Brunckhorst said he could not have scripted a better day.
"It was a fantastic day and the weather could not have been much better," he said.
"The crowd was in a great mood, which made the atmosphere of the day great, and police and security were very happy, with no problems at all."
Brunckhorst said action on the track had been a definite highlight of the day, with all five races hotly contested.
"The racing was very keen and a highlight was Savage, trained by Mark Webb and well ridden by apprentice Melody O'Brien, winning the Central Motors Holden Stanthorpe Cup by a comfortable margin," he said.
Earlier in the day, Nathan Evans finished strongly on board the Oakey-trained Charming Ally to take out the MJ Cleaners/Stanthorpe Painting Services Maiden Plate ahead of bay mare Malibu Belle, with five-year-old Crafty's Last rounding the top three.
Street Sister, with Cecily Eaton in the saddle, took the mirror in race two a length ahead of eight-year-old gelding Riviera Moss, who beat Beaudesert-trained Silverberg into second place by a nose.
In the Class-B Handicap race three, John Kehoe rode the seven-year-old Goody Four Shoes to the post ahead of Brendan Newport onboard Butch and chestnut gelding Carry The Swag.
In the day's main event, Savage crossed the line first, with Cecily Eaton piloting Ima Joker into second place and Gatton- trained eight-year-old Release Me rounding out the top three.
Texas' Barry Strong trained the winner of the afternoon's final race, with his eight-year-old chestnut gelding coming home ahead of Bernadecio with Wayne O'Connell in the saddle and Major Cash rounding out the trifecta.
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