Ok, let's look at the 2020 Ballarat Cup in isolation (pun intended).
To be honest, it hard to sugar coat a day which would normally see around 10,000 people flock to the course, be reduced to 30 owners per race and a couple of media representatives there to record the occasion.
But credit to the Ballarat Turf Club, they did the absolute best they could under the circumstances of a disastrous 2020 which has ripped the heart out of major events across the state, the country and the world.
For those who were able to make their way to the track, getting a golden ticket pass to watch their steed go round, it was freedom they realised they had taken for granted.
Owners Racheal Barrett and Darren Sadler, who watched their $1.80 favourite get rolled in race seven, saw it as a first chance to get out somewhere.
"This is our first time back at the races," Ms Barrett said. "We're just thrilled we've been able to come along today.
"I think it's been great that we've still been able to keep racing going."
Mr Sadler said despite the lack of attendance, the exposure on national television was still important.
"Even today with the promotion of Ballarat, you've been hearing on the Melbourne radio stations about Ballarat having a stand-alone meeting, and $500,000 prizemoney for the Cup, it's getting a lot of coverage, not just in the state, but around the country," he said.
Swan Hill couple Joe and Leanne Bibby, who were also planning to spend the night in the city, said they were happy to be able to travel out of their Murray River town.
"We were here two years ago for the Cup when there were lots of crowds, and here we are today with no-one, it's quite the contrast," Mrs Bibby said.
"If it wasn't for racing and footy this year, I don't know where a lot of people would have been. At least we've had something to do.
"Racing has done extremely well to keep going. It's just a sense of where we are in today's society, it's the hand we've dealt, so we're thinking we are lucky to be here."
Ballarat Turf Club chief executive Belinda Glass was pragmatic about the occasion.
"In the next few weeks, I'm sure we'll see an easing of restrictions in some form, but it'll have come too late for us," Ms Glass said.
"We are rapt with the quality of fields across the day, including the Cup, we would have loved a local to get up, but we've had that the last couple of years, so we're not complaining."
Ms Glass said the Ballarat Cup was no doubt the biggest day on the calendar and the club would have to alter its financial returns in its budget over the next 12 months.
"We will have to be careful about how we plan, there's that loss of revenue without a crowd," she said.
"Not many sports were able able to continue as we did, but we were able to get the protocols in place, and annoying as this is as having to talk to you through a fence, it's these protocols that have allowed us to continue."