GATE takings for Tuesday's Melbourne Cup day race meeting at Taree were up on what Manning Valley Race Club had budgeted.
Club chief executive Helen Sinclair said this.
However, the crowd was down on 2018.
Ms Sinclair said the 8mm of rain on Tuesday morning had an impact.
"The rain started at 9.30 and that's when many people decide if they're going to the races,'' she said.
"It was also quite windy here. But we did get more people coming out later when it turned out to be a lovely day.''
Ms Sinclair said current economic conditions influenced by the drought would have been another factor.
"People don't have as much disposable income at the moment so that hits things like racing,'' she said.
Ms Sinclair added the furor surrounding the ABC TV 7.30 Report's expose into animal cruelty in the racing industry was another factor that could have impacted on the turnout, although there weren't any protesters at the track.
However, Ms Sinclair said there were positives. The club catered for younger patrons with a function in the Corey Brown Pavilion and she was pleased with the response. She's confident this will continue to grow.
Ms Sinclair said the Winning Post Function Centre was again a popular spot for patrons.
Race club chairman Greg Coleman missed the Taree meeting for the first time in 27 years as he was in Melbourne for the cup, but spoke to Ms Sinclair on Wednesday morning.
"It could be a sign of the times - people just don't have the money now,'' Mr Coleman said.
"And when I heard there was rain in Taree on Tuesday morning I knew it would hurt our crowd.
Mr Coleman said the drop in attendances at cup day meetings was 'across the board' throughout Australia. The crowd in Flemington - while still more than 80,000, was the lowest since 1993. Network Ten claimed that 1.44 million people turned into the broadcast across the capital cities. The cup's previous broadcast partner, Network Seven, recorded an average 1.89 million metropolitan viewers last year, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Mr Coleman agreed that the club's revenue would take a hit.
"But our business plan doesn't rely on one or two big meetings a year,'' he assured.