“We had members come on board with machinery and expertise, we pretty well started from scratch and rebuilt it,” Wiltshire said.
“We did keep the inside running rail, we never gave that away, which was lucky and Mackay Turf Club gave us their outside running rail- we took a truck up there to pick it up.
“We had bulldozers, loaders and tractors to knock down all the timber down inside the track to get it back to being of standard and we have progressively over the eight years built up a camping area that can hold around 2,000 people.
“The committee we have got, we wouldn’t have been able to do it without them, a lot of people have been generous with their machinery and their time.
“There has been a lot of time spent there and still to this day to keep the grounds tidy for one day a year to race.”
The Alpha committee feel their club is going as strong as it ever has.
“This time around, things are going really well,” the president says.
“We have a few other events for the Club, the Jockey Club runs a big Australia Day event over the last four years, which is a good one,” she said.
After fighting through all the tough times, Alpha in 2021 sold out their 3000 tickets for Saturday’s race day within a fortnight but the phone keeps ringing, the committee say.
It has become an annual event for people from all different areas around Queensland, descending on Alpha for the Cup meeting and camping.
Wiltshire notes that the weekend in Alpha has became increasingly popular with the younger generation, which in turn brings new eyeballs to the racing industry.
Appleton, who was born into horses with much of her family involved, says it is always a special weekend in Alpha when they race.
“It is a really good community event, we are a town of 250-300 people probably and we end up with 3000 here for the race day, it is a really good influx for the town,” she said.
“We are close enough to the coast where trainers from Rockhampton and Mackay can come, as well as the people from towns near us - they are happy to travel that four or five hours to race
“We have a big weekend for the club and the town.”
When they do race their six-event non-TAB program on Saturday, there will be no locally trained horses entered with no permanent stables based in the town.
Wiltshire recalls a time when there was several trainers and jockeys based in Alpha, but not for over a decade, he says.
Plenty of people in Alpha race gallopers with other provincial and country trainers, with several having horses with Mackay’s Trinity Bannon.
The 2021 Alpha Community Cup will be held this Saturday over 1700 metres with an impressive purse of $25,000 on offer.
Club spotlight will be a regular feature that shines a light on the unique and individual racing clubs across Queensland.