People dressed to the nines will descend on the Hastings racecourse tomorrow for the Bostock New Zealand Spring Racing Carnival grand finale.
For the first time in several years the pre-sold hospitality at The Livamol Classic completely sold out a week prior to the event and a capacity crowd of 6000 is expected to flood through the gates.
Chief executive Butch Castles said they had 2250 people booked in pre-sold hospitality across the course plus 1200 early-bird admissions, double the numbers at this time last year.
"People simply don't want to risk missing out. It's a wonderful position to be in and allows the team to now concentrate on delivering a first class event for those attending.
"The interest in Livamol Classic day has certainly ramped up this year, which is great for Hawke's Bay Racing and the wider Bay economy in general."
Economic impact reports showed more than 38 per cent of those heading to this weekend's Spring Carnival would arrive from out of town and stay an average of two nights, wining and dining around the region.
In among this strong crowd would be the "Gingernuts Army", who were expected to fire up the racecourse with a sea of orange.
The redhead horse with the kiwi classic name and his colourful entourage of owners, dressed in bright orange caps, is rousing a high level of public interest.
Mr Castles said having a horse with the rags to riches story and ability of Gingernuts was generating huge economic upside for the club.
"Having a horse like Gingernuts coming to Hastings is certainly creating a buzz and will help with the walk up crowd. Gingernuts inspired some phenomenal support on the tote prior to his winning run in the Windsor Park Plate and I'd expect the G-Nuts fans to put their money where their mouth is again."
So far Gingernuts had bagged a packet in stakes winnings, racking up 3 Gp1 victories and more than $1.2 million in prizemoney for his owners.
Part-owner Blair Alexander said when they were throwing ideas around the kiwi name just stuck.
"Redheads have been the butt of jokes for years which is what I think endears him to a lot of his fans."
Mr Alexander said what started as a bit of fun is snowballing into a social media frenzy, with the number of requests for their bright orange caps growing.
The Te Akau-trained Gingernuts is targeting a Spring Carnival double before heading to Australia for the Caulfield Cup and a possible tilt at the Melbourne Cup.
"Hawke's Bay will know we've won if we do. We'll be hitting Havelock North and might even end up at a winery on the Sunday, but win, lose or draw, we hope to do that anyway.
"It's a great excuse to get everyone together and make a real weekend of it enjoying great food and wine in the Hawke's Bay."
Gates open at 11am tomorrow with the first race beginning at 12.37pm. For more information visit: www.hawkesbayracing.co.nz/events/view/61.