Up to 1,000 Canberrans will return to the trackside at Thoroughbred Park on Tuesday for the race that stops the nation.

This year’s Melbourne Cup Day crowd is double what organisers had initially expected after ACT Health gave the venue approval for an additional 500 to attend, in what will be the first large gathering event in the Capital since the ACT exited lockdown.

It’s still far less than the 5,000 that would usually fill the park, in a non-COVID year, but Canberra Racing Club CEO, Andrew Clark said he’s looking forward to welcoming guests back.

“It’s fantastic that we can host a race day on such a massive day in Australian sporting, it’s great to be back.”

“There is an element of society that is looking to come back out, celebrate and have a bit of a party and we’re looking to provide that fun and exicting day that they’re used to in a COVID-safe way.”

Tuesday also marks the first time races have taken place at the park in almost three months.

Gates at the park open from 10:30am with local races starting from 12:30pm.

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Tickets to the Melbourne Cup Race Day are still available online here.

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