THE BIG question facing Grafton tomorrow is, will a reanimated Michael Jackson lead a Thriller zombie boilover in the Jacaranda Thursday Gold Cup competition?
Staff at Bailey & Gough have brought the pop music legend back to life in a bid to wrest the Gold Cup from Westlawn Finance for the first time in five years.
Their choice forced rival agents Elders Grafton to go down the Blues Brothers path after both had chosen the Michael Jackson theme for their performances.
"We couldn't believe it. We heard they were doing Michael Jackson and then we heard it was a Thriller as well," said Elders' Karen Gorton.
"We had done the costumes so we had to do a quick change of direction."
Karen said the staff had a quick flirtation with Grease before settling on the Blues Brothers (and sisters).
Bailey and Gough's Rod Ford said their costumes for tomorrow's zombified version of the Michael Jackson classic were wild.
"I'm sure they choose the theme that gets me into the dodgiest thing they can get me to dress up in," he said.
One thing both groups have in common is the determination to keep the cup out of the hands of the Westlawn Finance juggernaut, rumbling towards its fifth Gold Cup.
Karen said the whisper going around the Elders camp was the Westlawn production machine was not running at full tilt this year.
"We've heard they've only had one rehearsal this time," Karen said. "Normally they're rehearsing three months out."
Although the two agencies have been eyeing each other off as competitors, they're well aware the Gold Cup is not a three-horse race.
"I know the council are doing something and WHK have put a show together as well," Karen said.
Bailey & Gough show times are 9.15am, 10.15am and 11.15am. Elders times are 9.30am, 10.30am and 11.30am.