The horse racing might have been cancelled but it didn't stop punters

AS RIGHT AS RAIN: Despite the horses not hitting the track, people did for Gift races.
AS RIGHT AS RAIN: Despite the horses not hitting the track, people did for Gift races.

No horse racing hit the track but there was still plenty of action at the Deepwater Racecourse on Saturday.

After downpours affected the track and it was deemed unfit for the racing of the annual Deepwater Cup, the Jockey Club opted to go forward with the social aspects of the event.

Fashions on the field, 100 metre sprints, a band and plenty more was on offer for more than 1500 people who made their way through the gates.

"In the morning, the rain was on and off and the stewards had already told us we couldn't race the horses," Deepwater Jockey Club secretary Tricia Stack said

"One of our food stall people who were coming from other places couldn't get through because the Cunningham Gap was closed.

"We were down to two food stalls, and then the ATM couldn't come.

"We had a meeting to see what we should do.

"A few of us said 'no we should not go ahead' but the president and vice-president and others said 'we think it is going to clear' and we went ahead."

Would-be racegoers turned up and it turned into a celebration for the rainfall which had hit the community.

"It was very good music, dancing right through and all in all a very successful day," Stack said.

"We were down on other years but we needed the rain and a few people coming out for a party and saying thanks for the rain. Before the races, the president had decided they wanted it to be loud in terms of colour.

"The colour after the fire, the drought and then the rain, it was a splash of colour. It was a certainly a celebration, we made it through, the Deepwater river is full at the moment so we are thankful for that.

"It was quite wonderful.

"We are thankful for the rain, thankful for the crowd and thankful it got off the ground."

In other racing news, the rain has been welcomed by Armidale Jockey Club's secretary-manager Jim Dedes.

Dedes described the recent downpours as a "Godsend" with Racing NSW confident the track will be ready to go for the highly-anticipated Armidale Cup.

The course hasn't seen a race meet since September with all meetings transferred to other tracks around the region but with the rainfall since the beginning of the year, Dedes is expecting the club's major event, scheduled for March 1, to be given the green light.

"We are only six weeks away, this rain is just a godsend really," Dedes said.

"If you had asked me two weeks ago if we would be racing, I would have said no chance.

"But it is just amazing, what that bit of rain has done.

"We probably had, since Christmas, over 100 mil."

More rain is still needed for the track to be up to scratch.

"Another thing Racing NSW is worried about is we haven't got the availability of water so if we do get a dry February, well we still haven't got a dam, haven't got a bore and we can't irrigate," Dedes said.

"We are just hoping to get a little bit every now and then, it would be bloody great."