THE scent of horses filled the air, a spirited crowd swept across Grafton Racecourse in a sea of black and gold attire; punters rose and urgently cheered their selections home.
On day one of the 2012 XXXX Gold July Racing Carnival, the Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup Prelude had made a successful start.
In a fashionable start to the annual sporting event, the Westlawn Finance Black and Gold Fashion Stakes attracted a large group of competitors.
Dressed in their finest race wear, entrants paraded on the course proper under the eye of the Westlawn Finance judges.
Pam Sutherland of Yamba was declared the winner.
"I was so happy. I was so thrilled I couldn't believe it," Ms Sutherland said of her win.
"I love the fashions on the field during the July races and I thought all the girls looked beautiful. I love Gold and Black Day and I think it is the best day of the carnival.
"I am a regular competitor in fashions on the field and my daughter Kerry is very excited by my win because she bought my outfit," she said.
Runner-up, Judy Eggins said the races were a wonderful opportunity to "get dressed up".
"I love seeing everyone turn out in their finest," she said.
Helen Commerford of Westlawn Finance was "thankful the weather was kind to racegoers at the start of the carnival".
July 8 - Black Auto South Grafton Cup, Ladies Day at the races.
July 11 - WHK Ramornie Handicap.
July 12 - Maclean Bowling Club Grafton Cup Day.
July 15 - Maclean Bowling Club Maclean Cup, Family Day.