Welcome to Westlawn Day
By Adrian Miller
It's July, so that can mean only one thing ? it's racing time in Grafton.
Today marks the beginning of Grafton's much-loved July Racing Carnival, and once again the Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup Prelude Day heralds the start of the 10-day event.
Black and gold will dominate the racetrack today and Westlawn Finance chairman Mike Dougherty urged everyone to get into the spirit of the day.
"We really encourage as many people as we can to dress in the black and gold, which is not only our colours, but the colours of the Grafton Rowing Club and the Yamba Surf Life Saving Club," he said.
Mr Dougherty said Westlawn Finance was proud to continue its long association with the time-honoured carnival.
"We hope we introduce a good feeling to July and we enjoy making it a nice family fun day," he said.
Even though the day will be packed with a nine-race card, which features the John Carlton Cup and the Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup Prelude, the focus of the event, as always, will be family enjoyment. While the horses and the fashion parade will provide the bulk of the entertainment for the adults, pony rides, face painting and a jumping castle will keep the kids entertained.
And a special guest, in the form of TV magician Super Hubert, will also be on hand to wow the little tackers.
"He hasn't been here for about 10 years and he'll put on a couple of shows and the kids will really love him," Mr Dougherty said.
Even though Mr Dougherty's runner in the first, Bluefire Mountain, isn't expected to be among the favourites ? "we live in hope," is the way he describes his chances ? Mr Dougherty said he hoped the day set the tone for the rest of the carnival.
"I just hope we keep the nice fine weather for everyone and we hope to contribute to the success of the town, and the club, which continues to put Grafton on the map," he said.