July Racing Carnival pools social occasions for super launch
THERE'S barely a chill in the air here in the Clarence but thoughts are already turning to the cooler months, in particular the 2016 Winter July Racing Carnival as the Valley's signature sporting and social event is set to be officially launched at the end of this month.
And while this soiree is always a social hit with those counting down the days to our biggest race meeting, this year it will be teaming up with the Clarence River Jockey Club's (CRJC) other big carnival fringe event, its famous Kensei dinner.
CRJC executive officer Michael Beattie said combining the two events this year was a board decision and should result in a spectacular social gathering fitting for racing carnival of Grafton's calibre.
"The reality is that the true night to hold a launch is when the Grafton Cup sponsor is decided so the board has decided to pull it all together rather than host an alternative launch," he said.
Mr Beattie said everyone was invited to come along to enjoy the evening that celebrates the pinnacle of country racing in the Clarence.
Tickets are $130 a head and include canapes, two-course meal, all your drinks and live entertainment.
"There won't be too many formalities on the night as we want to keep things flowing. The focus will be more on the social aspects of the carnival rather than the racing."
Mr Beattie said there will be about 10-12 Kensei Club members vying for the naming rights of this year's Grafton Cup, the main race now richer than ever.
"The Cup has increased by $10,000, making it the $160,000 carnival signature race," he said.
"All over we have seen an increase in prizemoney across the whole July carnival of $200,000.
"Racing wise it will follow the same format as last year with a few minor changes to races to add to the competition of carnival. So it's all systems go."
Which is your favourite race day of the July Racing Carnival?
This poll ended on 06 July 2016.
Westlawn Prelude Day
South Grafton Cup Day
Ramornie Handicap Day
Grafton Cup Day
Maclean Cup Day
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Mr Beattie said the Kensei Club had been very well supported for the past couple of years, with rejuvenated interest through great value sponsorship deals with the ticketing and hospitality packages the CRJC have been offering.
Sponsors of the Fashions on the Field event, Grafton Shoppingworld, will also have some of their latest racing fashions on display during the night and there will be prizes for best dressed up for grabs.
Grafton Shoppingworld marketing co-ordinator Chrystal Davies said the dress code for the evening was cocktail or lounge suit, which was the perfect platform for a fashion rehearsal for the many functions and days that will be on offer throughout the July Carnival.
"By streamlining the social aspect of the launch with the important announcement of the 2016 Grafton Cup sponsor it's a great opportunity to dress up in race-inspired outfits nice and early. It should be great night," Ms Davies said.