AT THE START: Chrystal Campbell from Grafton Shoppingworld, naming sponsor of the Grafton Cup Rob Blanchard, Chairman of CRJC Graeme Green and Shoppingworld Manager Greg Hayes surround Lady of the Carnival 2014 and face of this year’s July Racing Carnival Kimberley Cootes at the Grafton Regional Gallery on Saturday night.
AT THE START: Chrystal Campbell from Grafton Shoppingworld, naming sponsor of the Grafton Cup Rob Blanchard, Chairman of CRJC Graeme Green and Shoppingworld Manager Greg Hayes surround Lady of the Carnival 2014 and face of this year’s July Racing Carnival Kimberley Cootes at the Grafton Regional Gallery on Saturday night. Adam Hourigan

Get set for the July Racing Carnival

HANG onto your racing hats, the July Racing Carnival is approaching at the speed of a thoroughbred gelding with the official launch of the 2015 event set for this Saturday, May 30.

The evening promises to be reinvigorated event with less emphasis on the stuffy and more on the sociable.

Live music by The Funk Thieves and a glamorous fashion parade will be highlights of the evening.

The other notable difference is the day the Clarence River Jockey Club decided to hold the official launch on this year.

Clarence River Jockey Club executive officer Michael Beattie said the main reason they moved the day was because they felt a general drifting away from the event.

"That was understandable when it was held on a Friday night. For a lot of people it's the end of the long working week and having to go home and get dressed up was too much," Mr Beattie said.

He said there weren't a lot of events held on a Saturday night and wanted the launch to be a stand alone social event that was more than just listening to "a couple of speeches."

Winner of the Grafton Cup naming rights for 2015 Robert Blanchard from Herb Blanchard Haulage said he was absolutely excited about this year's event.

"My wife certainly is. She loves this time of the year and because we have the naming rights this year the whole family is excited. That's been the icing on the cake really.

Chairman of the CRJC Graeme Green said the feedback from the industry so far about this year's carnival has been very positive.

"The city based trainers are looking forward to coming and supporting us. We have Darren Beadsman coming up for our barrier draw lunch and we expect to see quality fields across all races."

Mr Green said the general feeling was that they expected visitor numbers to be up on last year's carnival.



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