Carnival off to a flyer
By ADRIAN MILLER
BLACK and gold ruled the day at the Grafton racecourse yesterday as near record numbers basked under sunny blue skies for the Westlawn Finance Royal Race Day.
The July Racing Carnival enjoyed a dream start as thousands of racegoers had a flutter on the gallops to kick-start the week.
It was a real family atmosphere at the track, as people of all ages enjoyed the carnival atmosphere in the lead-up to the 2005 Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup Prelude.
The day had something for everyone, with the kids entertained by face-painting, a jumping castle, Big Dog and Westlawn Wally, while for the older patrons there was plenty happening on the track to keep them interested.
Fashions of the Field proved a massive hit, with so many entrants they could barely fit in front of the grandstand.
Westlawn Finance's Mike Dougherty thanked all participants, and was extremely pleased with the turnout.
"I'm not sure if it's a record, but there are a lot of people and families here, which we encourage, and we're very proud to be a part of the carnival and to start the week off," he said.
Clarence River Jockey Club chief executive Dale Thompson said the record numbers, the weather and the great atmosphere made for a perfect start to the 10-day carnival.