CRJC throws gates open to see region's best racehorses
RACING: Clarence River Jockey Club is not about to let a 24-hour postponement rain on the parade of one of its biggest race days of the year.
The club has thrown the gates open to the public for today's $150,000 Country Championships Qualifier.
"We've made it a free day including free use of the members facilities," CRJC executive officer Michael Beattie said.
"The main championships race is now at 6.30pm and a really good opportunity for people to come and watch the best horses the Northern Rivers has to offer."
Of those will be five Grafton-trained hopefuls in the 1400m feature. Daniel Want has Dantga, Spun Dry and Clang's Victory, Teo Torriate will start for Greg Howells while Beattie suggested Scott Henley trained Hotel Drive could be the one to watch.
"Hotel Drive's had a bit of an interrupted preparation but he's an outstanding horse."
Beattie was confident the postponement due to the predicted extreme weather conditions which did hit Grafton yesterday (record hottest ever temperature of 44.6C) would not take the gloss of the prestigious meeting, which doubles as Yamba Cup Day.
"In my view it was the only viable decision given the oppressvie conditions we would've been racing today," Beattie told The Daily Examiner yesterday.
"Animal welfare has to be paramount and in my view it would've been too much to ask to have horses gallop over considerable distances.
"I think the cooler weather will be welcomed by everybody."
Beattie added he didn't think the alteration would play in or out of the hands of any of the trainers and their horses.
"I would've though a one day delay would cause very, very little difference to any of the trainers," he said.
"I would doubt that the small amount of rain that is forecast would affect track conditions at all."
First race jumps at 3.25pm.