The Grafton July Racing Carnival - the richest regional carnival in Australia - officially gallops into action tomorrow.
The Grafton July Racing Carnival - the richest regional carnival in Australia - officially gallops into action tomorrow. Adam Hourigan

Racing carnival underway

THE 2011 XXXX Gold July Racing Carnival officially gallops into action tomorrow, with the running of the Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup Prelude.

Known locally as Black and Gold Day and in keeping with tradition, Grafton Racecourse is expected to be swallowed by a sea of signature black and gold race wear, as punters head trackside in search of a winner.

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Westlawn Finance Grafton branch investment manager Helen Commerford, wife of local trainer Terry, describes the July races as the best country race carnival in Australia.

She has been attending the event since she was a child.

Helen is encouraging all locals and visitors to the carnival to deck out in black and gold colours tomorrow and have a crack at winning fashions on the field.

“It’s the start of the carnival and it’s the first opportunity ladies will have to showcase their race wear,” she said.

“Especially their beautiful hats and fascinators.

"Every year we see a lot of varieties.”

The number of finalists in Black and Gold fashions on the field will be selected based on the number of horses entered in the second feature race of the day, the John Carlton Cup.

“Each finalist chooses a bottle of Yellowtail champagne with a horse’s name on it.

"Whoever has the name of the John Carlton Cup winner wins fashions on the field,” Helen said.

Black and Gold fashions on the field will also be open to the kids.

Two sections, one for under five’s and another for 5-17 year olds will be held early in the day.

Other kid’s activities include free pony rides and an appearance by Westlawn Wally.

The first race of the carnival begins at 11.35am.

Entry is free and everyone is welcome.



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