Clarence River Jockey Club chairman Graeme Green.Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner
Clarence River Jockey Club chairman Graeme Green.Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner Bill North

Our carnival is on the money

Hello all and welcome to the Clarence Valley and to what is shaping up to be a great July Winter Racing Carnival. We have some great events planned to build on the terrific 2017 Carnival. At the time of writing this the weather is fine and perhaps, unfortunately, a little too dry for most of us at this time of the year, particularly with winter approaching.

The Clarence Valley Council and local businesses have again been most supportive with the half day public holidays approved for the Ramornie Handicap and Grafton Cup Days. These are vital to the whole valley and assist with the success of the carnival. Our club is most grateful for the community support which is afforded to this great event.

The July Racing Carnival is the Clarence Valley's biggest social and economic event of the year and of course benefits the area and surrounding regions, with accommodation often fully-booked out from year to year. It also provides an annual economic boost to most retailers, clubs, hotels and restaurants.

This year we have some fantastic racing planned with most races being allocated increased prize money such as the Tursa Inglis Grafton Guineas (Quality) over 1600m which has received a boost of $30,000 to make it worth a whopping $80,000 plus the very generous $50,000 bonus for Inglis qualified starters.

A country-trained horses only event of $40,000 has been added to Ramornie Day and the Cup Day Big Maiden (1200m) prizemoney has increased by a massive 50% to $45,000. For the first time ever every event on Grafton Cup Day will offer prizemoney of $40,000 or more.

Overall the total increase in prize money for the 2018 Carnival is $85,000. This is on top of last year's $45,000 increase which takes the Carnival grand total to almost $1.4 million. We are sure the new prize money on offer will be very attractive to owners and trainers from far and wide.

In addition to all the visiting trainers we are expecting and those who have indicated they are coming with their Group and City class horses we believe our local trainers will be most competitive again this year.

Many of the locals have some very nice horses and they have added to their stables since last Carnival. At the 2017 Carnival our local trainers certainly held their own winning a fair share of the great prize money which was on offer.

The 2017 Ramornie winner, Calanda is most likely to return to defend his title and I am sure he will have some very strong opposition, particularly from the Matt Dunn and Toby Edmonds stables, who have been great supporters of this Club throughout the year. It is anticipated that Australia's first lady in racing Gai Waterhouse will again target the Grafton Cup a race she has dominated in recent years.

One of the features of the Carnival will again be the ever popular "Monday Barrier Draw Luncheon” and we have two very interesting special guests to entertain you during the day.

Australia's most winning trainer in recent seasons Mr Darren Weir will be joined by one of the funniest and most knowledgeable racing commentators and radio personalities in Australia, Mr Shawn Cosgrove.

Our MC Chris Scholtz will no doubt encourage Darren to expand on his amazing ability to turn out winner after winner all over Australia at the highest echelon of Australian racing yet still managing a team of over 200 horses winning minor races on a daily basis. "Cossie” as Chris is affectionately known is the host of 2KY Racing Radio Show and has a truckload of racing yarns. I can assure you all both he and Darren will keep everyone entertained.

There's no doubt the 2018 Barrier Draw Luncheon will be one of the best we have put together. Contact the CRJC office to secure your tickets as numbers are strictly limited.

None of this great racing would be possible without the ongoing support of CRJC members, visitors, trainers and staff and of course our wonderful sponsors who we are so proud of. They continue to support our club from year to year both with individual race sponsorships and via our Kensei Club.

This year "Kensei” boasts 10 terrific members: Grafton Gas & Plumbing (12 years membership), Lion (12 years membership), Mark Bloomer Transport (10 years membership), along with Herb Blanchard Haulage, SMEC Australia, Gerry McMullan Contracting, McKimm Real Estate, Southside Pharmacy. We also introduce two new members into the fold including the Valley's iconic newspaper The Daily Examiner and the Maclean Hotel. Thanks to all those businesses and I am sure they will all have a great carnival.

Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field will again be a most important part of the Carnival. This year they celebrate 10 years of sponsorship and we sincerely thank them for their support. I hope racgoers enjoy participating in various fashion compeitions.

Should anyone require any assistance leading into or during the Carnival please do not hesitate to contact myself or our friendly staff.

I am sure you will all have a great time in the Clarence Valley so while you are here please take in some of the great attractions such as our beaches, cafes and restaurants, the galleries, the museums or just the races. Good luck and good punting.

Graeme Green

Chairman, Clarence River Jockey Club

Powell St, Grafton 6642 2566

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