All the reserved seating has sold out and Port Macquarie Race Club is surging towards their annual New Year's Day race meeting.
The club will welcome its biggest crowd in about 18 months on January 1 as punters flock to the racecourse for the second-biggest event on the annual race calendar.
After wet weather forced the cancellation of the 2021 meeting, race club chief executive Michael Bowman said anticipation was high for a return to a new normal.
"The reserved seating was booked out before the end of November so that gives you an indication of the anticipation," he said.
"That's quite a number - probably 350 or more in the Ivan Livermore Stand and the Clydesdale Room - and we've had all sorts of restrictions with the (Port Macquarie) Cup the year before.
"We were only going to have 500 on both days and in the end we had no people there because of the change in restrictions."
Mr Bowman was aware of the unfolding COVID case surge around New South Wales, but said the race club would continue to follow the health advice.
He remained confident the New Year's race meeting would be unaffected by the evolving situation in Newcastle.
"Everyone is concerned about how it's spreading, but we will just follow the health orders and Racing NSW instructions so at this stage we're all right to go ahead," he said.
"We lost it last year due to rain which was very disappointing because it's our second-biggest meeting of the year. We're hoping for fine weather because there's clearly going to be a large crowd there."
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