HORSHAM and District Racing Club hopes a new twilight fixture for the Horsham Cup will boost attendance after waning interest in the event. The club moved away from its traditional October Sunday event last year because Racing Victoria would not allow two country cup meetings on the same day. The 2014 Horsham Cup was run on the Friday afternoon before Derby Day at Flemington. Manager Lisa Inkster said the club hoped to build on the Friday concept, but would start races later in the day in the hope more people would be able to attend. She said there was controversy last year about the timing of the meeting. ‘‘There was misunderstanding because of how it was portrayed locally,’’ she said. ‘‘The twilight concept has come about because we’re hoping people can work half the day and still have time to get ready and come to the races.’’ Mrs Inkster said the club had unsuccessfully lobbied Horsham Rural City Council for a public holiday for its premier event. Mayor Mark Radford said council had assessed its options and decided the Melbourne Cup public holiday would remain. ‘‘The state government gave councils the opportunity to shift the holiday. We consulted businesses and invited public comment,’’ he said. ‘‘We decided the best day to take was Melbourne Cup day, because there are many more people taking the Monday off. It creates an opportunity for people to have a four-day weekend.’’ Cr Radford suggested the club take advantage of a &nbsp;public holiday before the AFL grand final. Mrs Inkster said Benalla Racing Club had already secured the public holiday &nbsp;for its cup. ‘‘When two cups do clash, Racing Victoria alters the amount of prize money and the funding clubs receive,’’ she said. ‘‘We would end up running around with $8000 races, which is just ridiculous.’’ The Horsham Cup carries a $50,000 purse. Miller Contractors and Plant Hire re-signed as the cup’s major sponsor this week. Mrs Inkster said the commitment was an integral part of the club’s operation. ‘‘We’re absolutely rapt. It’s our backbone,’’ she said. ‘‘It directly supports the everyday operation of the race club and the maintenance of the surface. ‘‘That is vital, because it is a recognised training track and it needs to be up to a certain standard each and every week.’’ The 2015 Horsham Cup meeting will be on October 30. Races will start at 2.45pm and coincide with a night meeting at Moonee Valley from 6.30pm. Mrs Inkster said the night meeting would be shown on a big screen to encourage people to remain at the racecourse. There will also be live entertainment. She said the club would host its next meeting on May 9.