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The event that usually draws a crowd of up to 4000 people will instead host about 700 attendees today.
Social distancing measures are in place, and colourful masks will take centre stage in the fan-favourite Fashions on the Field.
The fashion competition was cancelled last year, but returns this year with a range of Covid-related guidelines.
Event planner Samantha Lambert said the contestants would be practising social distancing and using the lawn space to make the catwalk possible under Covid-19 restrictions.
"Everyone will wear a mask," Ms Lambert said.
"We expect to see some fashionable ones this year."
Curious Clothing owner and first-time judge Renee Hodge said she would be showing off one of her masks, a sparkly sequin one, this year.
Otago Racing Club general manager Grant Gaskin said the 700 expected guests this year would be limited to members, owners and hospitality, and they would be separated in five different spaces.
"It was disheartening having to exclude groups of people because of the necessary regulations," he said.
No general admission tickets could be sold this year.
Mr Gaskin said the club was following the guidelines of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing.
The day would feature entertainment and nine races before the broadcast of the Melbourne Cup at 5pm.