By Max Davies

KILMORE Racing Club is set for the return of the Kilmore Cup on November 21, with large crowds expected following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Being held with crowds at Kilmore for the first time since 2018, this year’s cup meeting will have COVIDSafe guidelines in place to allow spectators, trainers and connections to enjoy the event as it was pre-COVID.

Trackside venue manager Emily Milwain said the club was excited to be able to host the cup again.

“As a club, we’re really excited to be able to welcome crowds back,” Ms Milwain said.

“We’re basically one of the first clubs to be able to do this as well, so we’ve been given a short amount of time to put it all together and create an almost normal event.”

In 2019, the cup was held in Seymour due to work being done at the Kilmore track. In 2020 it was in Kilmore, however there were no crowds in attendance in line with government restrictions at the time.

“Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria have done an amazing job at being able to continue to race,” she said.

“We were able to run the cup last year but it was a really different vibe because there was nobody here.”

This year’s cup meeting will include separate zones around the precinct, allowing Kilmore Racing Club to control the number of visitors in any one area in line with density limits. Visitors from metropolitan Melbourne will be allowed entrance in accordance with current COVIDSafe guidelines.

The Kilmore Cup is also the last country cup of the Spring Racing season, meaning the club has been able to learn effective practices from other country racing cups. The late running of the Kilmore Cup has also meant that COVID restrictions have eased significantly since the start of the season.

Marketing manager Lindsey Melis said constant changes to COVID restrictions had created organisational challenges.

“Since [two weeks ago] we’ve already had changes,” Ms Melis said.

“It is challenging to keep up with the constant changing of the rules when you’re trying to plan a major event.

“Just to be on the safe side we’ve said that everyone needs to pre-book and be double-vaccinated.”

People planning to visit are encouraged to visit the Kilmore Racing Club website and book tickets in advance of the event. For more information and booking plans, visit Country Racing.

The club is anticipating a large turnout, with up to 3000 people expected on course. There has been a positive response to the announcement of the cup on social media and tickets have sold quickly as people are keen to return to the races.