The races go on whatever the weather.
That was the message in North West Queensland last weekend.
The threat of rain was not enough to stop an enthusiastic 400-strong crowd from enjoying themselves at the annual Stamford races about 50km south west of Hughenden on Saturday July 6, where the fun managed to continue long after the last race was run.
Race club secretary and Flinders Shire Mayor Jane McNamara said the gods had smiled on them on the day, delivering just on 4mm either side of the race day, allowing the five race program to deliver some excellent racing.
"The rain helped lay the dust," she said. "We couldn't believe our luck with the weather."
The gods smiled on us delivering just on 4mm of rain which helped lay the dust. We couldn't believe our luck with the weather.Jane McNamara
The availability of only seven jockeys handicapped them slightly but there were still 32 acceptances and $48,500 in prizemoney given out.
Numbers at the race meet were about on a par with past years, which begged the question of how big the crowd could have been without all the rain rumours which were sprinkling social media in the day leading up to the event.
One of the more exciting formalities of the day was the job of christening the new entertainment area, which was an extension of the existing shed made larger by 16 by 25 metres, thanks to a grant from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
Jane said the larger undercover area had allowed them to accommodate a variety of stalls and gave patrons more space to socialise comfortably.
She paid tribute to the 35 travellers who offered their services to get the course ready annually, coming from around Australia over many years.
"We couldn't run it without them," she said. "They just love being part of a small community."
The value the race meeting has in the community was shown by the 70 sponsors amassed for the day, including Sisters of the North and its $5000 donation.
Dan Ballard won the main race, the Stamford Cup on Heroism for trainer Henry Forster ahead of Kerry Krogh's Clateau ridden by Jason Babarovich.