The biggest event in the Port Macquarie-Hastings horse racing calendar, the Port Macquarie Cup, will unfortunately also be its least attended in years.
Port Macquarie Race Club president Michael Bowman said adjustments have been made to limit the capacity at the 2020 event to meet social distancing requirements.
This year the $200,000 Port Macquarie Cup and $70,000 Port Macquarie Sprint is on Friday, October 9 followed by a seven-race program on Saturday, October 10.
Crowd capacity is limited to around 500 people this year despite the main event previously attracting crowds of 4000 people.
Social distancing signs have been erected in the stands, measured foot marks added to queues and the number of group booked tables has been reduced to allow 1.5 metre spacing, Mr Bowman said.
"Although the racing program is pretty much identical to previous years it will be pretty different this year because there are restrictions on attendance with COVID-19," he said.
"We are working on a crowd of less than 500, all pre-purchased. We just cannot allow for bigger numbers because we'd have to place people outside and we can't chance that on the weather.
"We have put an allocation aside for owners, there are limits of six people per horse allowed on the day for owners.
"Pre-purchased tickets first went out to members via email and we are almost full on the Friday.
"We're just doing our best to keep it going. It's unfortunate the timing of the cup also coincides with the current restrictions over the school holidays."