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The Daily Examiner

ON TRACK JULY RACING CARNIVAL 2018 + FREE

GRAFTON SHOPPINGWORLD

SPECIAL GUEST

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CELEBRATING

BEST BY A COUNTRY MILE

YEARS OF FASHIONS ON THE FIELD

Trainer Darren Weir is proof you can give city operators a run for their money from the back blocks

MILESTONE RIDE

CARNIVAL LEGEND

View from atop

Magical Akwazoff

Jockey Jeff Lloyd’s stellar 40-year career comes full circle in July

Remembering the Grafton Cup winner and his devoted trainer, Merv Corliss

PROFILES + EVENTS + FASHION + HISTORY


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N O T F A R G D L O XXXX G L A V I N R A C G N I C A R Y L U J


GRAFTON’S JACARANDA SEASON IS A THING OF BEAUTY

Every now and then, you just have to stock up on the feelings that remind you that life – and the world we live in – is beautiful. Our Jacaranda Season evokes that sense of wonder. In late October and early November, the streets and parks of this Northern NSW city are transformed into something out of a dream when the Jacarandas explode in all their purple glory. So come to the heart of Grafton in the Clarence Valley, and lose yourself in the loveliest way imaginable!

myclarencevalley.com/jacaranda @myclarencevalley #myclarencevalley #graftonjacarandas

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5 July - Westlawn Finance Cup Prelude (Free Entry) 8 July - Grafton Toyota South Grafton Cup 11 July - Grafton District Services Club Ramornie Handicap 12 July - G McMullan Contracting Grafton Cup 15 July - Maclean Bowling Club Maclean Cup

There’s Nothing Like It...

3-13 JULY 2014 * BE THERE

Live Music Each Race Day Fashions On The Field Competitions on Westlawn, South Cup, Grafton Cup & Maclean Cup Days Corporate Marquees available Limited tickets in the Parade Yard Pavilion Children’s Entertainment on Westlawn, South Cup & Maclean Cup Days

JULY SOCIAL ACTIVITIES 4 July - Westlawn Finance Calcutta @ Grafton Hotel 7 July - FM104.7 Breakfast @ The Racecourse 7 July - South Cup Calcutta @ South Ex Services Club 9 July - Barrier Draw Luncheon @ The Racecourse 10 July - Ramornie Calcutta @ Grafton Dist. Serv. Club 11 July - Cup Calcutta @ Grafton Dist. Serv. Club 14 July - Maclean Cup Calcutta @ Maclean Bowls Club

For details on any of the above please contact the CRJC - (02) 6642 2566 www.crjc.com.au

Grafton District Services Club

G. McMULLAN CONTRACTING

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LOANS & INVESTMENTS INSURANCE WEALTH MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING & TAXATION


CRJC JULY RACING CARNIVAL 2018 ::

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Contents WELCOME to the 2018 July Winter Racing Carnival

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SPECIAL guest trainer Darren Weir on winning that race and making history

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MATTHEW ELKERTON talks to veteran jockey Jeff Lloyd

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VALE racing writer and Grafton track fixture Tony White

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CELEBRATING 10 years of Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field

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FASHION art and architecture in July

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SHOWCASING the Clarence beyond the track

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DOGS on course for big carnival

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REMEMBERING the Grafton Cup legend of the people Akwazoff

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LIFE ON TRACK Simon Commerford reflects on growing up on course

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WESTLAWN DAY the meet that starts a carnival

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RACING SCOOP John Hall’s work begins at the ground level and goes up from there

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ON TRACK 2018: EDITOR: Lesley Apps. WRITERS: Matthew Elkerton, Lesley Apps. PHOTOGRAPHY: Adam Hourigan, Simon Hughes. ADVERTISING: Peter Smajstr, Renae Smidt, Rob Burley. DESIGN: Angela Carroll/Centro. COVER: July Racing Carnival special guest Darren Weir with horse Ceibo at his stables in Ballarat. Picture: Aaron Francis

PUBLISHED BY: The Daily ExaminerPty Ltd ACN 000 006 959/55 Fitzroy St. Grafton NSW 2460. Printed by APN Print Warwick/56 Kenilworth St. Warwick Qld 4370. C. The Daily Examiner Pty Ltd 2018/ Unauthorised reproduction is prohibited under the laws of Australia and by international treaty.

99 Prince Street Grafton Large carpark at back of theatre Ph: (02) 6642 1633

Visit our website for more details and previews at

THE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE OF THE COAST

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Live events staged at 1000 seat historic heritage theatre with wonderful acoustics, airconditioning, comfortable seating and superb line of sight.

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IAN MOSS NATIONAL REGIONAL THEATRE TOUR – 2018

S SOLO, ACOUSTIC & INTIMATE

AUG 31 SARATON THEATRE GRAFTON, NSW THE NEW SELF-TITLED ALBUM OUT NOW

We also screen all of the must see movies, for more information go to our website www.saraton.com or find us on facebook. ON TRACK 2018

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CRJC JULY RACING CARNIVAL 2017 ::

Our July carnival is on the money $1.4 million reasons to come out and enjoy the Clarence Valley’s premier event

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ello 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 prizemoney 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 per cent to $45,000. For the first time, every event on Grafton Cup Day will offer prizemoney of $40,000 or more. Overall the total increase in prizemoney 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 prizemoney 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. At the 2017 carnival, our local trainers certainly held their own, winning a fair share of the great prizemoney 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 of 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 be the 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, Darren Weir, will be joined by one of the funniest and most knowledgeable racing commentators and radio personalities in Australia, Shawn Cosgrove. 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. 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. 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

ON TRACK 2018

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The ground-breaker While trainer Darren Weir hasn’t had much luck on the Grafton track so far, the trail of success that follows him back to his country base of Ballarat is one of the country’s ultimate racing success stories. From his knack for turning out winner after winner against his metropolitan counterparts to that historic moment in Australian racing history, Weir has become one of this country’s premier industry figures. Daily Examiner journalist Matthew Elkerton spoke with the low-key achiever ahead of his appearance at the July Racing Carnival’s Barrier Luncheon.

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HERE is a proverb that says actions speak louder than words and, for Australia’s leading trainer Darren Weir, it could not ring any truer. The boy from Berriwillock, a small town 332km north-west of Melbourne and south-east of absolutely nothing, has taken on the giants of the racing industry and come out on top every time. From the humble country Cups of Victoria to the race that stops a nation, the Melbourne Cup, Weir has seen it all and done even more. And all the while, he has kept his talking to the bare minimum. But there is one thing the veteran trainer was unable to accomplish, winning at the jewel of North Coast racing, the Grafton Racecourse. Weir has had one runner in the July Carnival before, former Schweppes Stakes winner Skewiff who ran in the Ramornie Handicap in 2003. It was a race Weir has not forgotten. “She was only a young thing at the time, but she ran s**t-house,” Weir said. “I haven’t been back to Grafton since then. It’s hard enough to win at home, let alone when you’re on the road.” While he may not have the fondest memories of the Grafton track, Weir will make his return to the North Coast this winter as one of the special guest speakers at the Clarence River Jockey Club’s Barrier Luncheon, a highlight of the July Racing Carnival. “I am excited to have the opportunity to support the carnival,” he said. “I think these country carnivals are great. They are great for the town and for the grassroots of racing. “I have been a long-term supporter of Warrnambool carnival and several other country Cups in Victoria.” In a training career that spans more than two PROUD MOMENT: Prince of Penzance jockey Michelle Payne with trainer Darren Weir (left) hold the winning trophies after the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse in 2015. Payne became the first female jockey to win the Cup when she rode the 100-1 outsider to victory in Australia’s most famous horse race. PHOTO: ANDY BROWNBILL

ON TRACK 2018

decades, Weir has built a training empire on the back of Australian bush values like hard work, loyalty and respect. While he may not be a household name like some of Australian racing’s biggest stars in Gai Waterhouse and Chris Waller, that is not to diminish the level of success Weir has experienced. Training winner after winner, the recent season numbers for Weir are staggering. In the 2015/16 racing season he racked up an Australian record of 347 winners. If that was an incredible feat, a year later he took his success to an ethereal plain as he smashed his own record with 449 winners Australia-wide. His horses have won more than $50 million in prize-money for the past two seasons. And this season he is again on track to break the record for a third consecutive season, averaging more than 1.7 winners every day. It is a staggering feat, but at the heart of it all is just an honest country bloke with a penchant for hard work. Then there was his Melbourne Cup victory. When he won the industry’s rockstar event in 2015 with 100 to 1 chance Prince of Penzance, he became one of the first country-based trainers to clinch the prized chalice. As climactic moments go, this was the pinnacle, but in Weir’s case the ride also proved to be a ground-breaking moment in Australian racing history, with Michelle Payne becoming the first female jockey to win the iconic event. While Weir might have had a major hand in booting down the door for females in the industry by standing by Payne, even when owners requested her not to ride the horse, Weir refused to buy into the monumental moment. “At the end of the day she was just the right jockey to ride in the race,” he said. “The horse was in great shape and had drawn a good barrier, but they have got to be ridden properly, and that’s what Michelle did.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 10


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I THINK THE REAL FORGOTTEN HEROES OF RACING ARE ALL THE PEOPLE WHO WORK WITH THE HORSES 365 DAYS OF THE YEAR. LOCAL HERO: Trainer Darren Weir (centre) mixes with the general public during a parade to celebrate Prince of Penzance winning the Melbourne Cup at a celebration in Ballarat in 2015. PHOTO: JULIAN SMITH

FROM PAGE 9

While he celebrated the Cup victory long and hard, true to his country roots, Weir admitted the best part of winning the Cup “was taking it back to the bush”. When he and the horse arrived in his hometown, with a population a touch more than 350 people, it was to rapturous applause. Weir’s crowning moment has been immortalised in a floor-to-ceiling mural on the wall of one of his favourite haunts, the Golden Crown Hotel on the town’s main drag. At the time of Weir’s triumph, the hotel’s publican Bob Borlase said it had come at a perfect time for the town, and had “livened the place right up”. Speaking with G1X Racing, one of Weir’s childhood friends Max Nunn said the success had breathed new life into the proud town.

“It has taken people’s jaw roofs from the bitumen to two foot above the clouds,” Nunn said. “People are buzzing, you’d think we had come from Amsterdam. “I am really proud of Weiry, it’s just unbelievable. (It’s been) one hell of a ride this story.” Weir has never left his roots, worshipping at the altar of bush trainers as a fledgling trainer in the 1990s, before setting up his own stable in the heart of Victoria’s goldrush, Ballarat. Over the years that stable has grown and grown, and the trainer along with it. He opened a subsidiary stable in Warrnambool – a place he refers to as the beach – as well as a pre-training facility in the works at former stud property Treverson Park in the country town of Maldon. He has more than 200 horses in work across his facilities, and a waiting list of thoroughbreds longer

ON TRACK 2018

than the one at Melbourne Grammar School, but the trainer is proud to say he knows each one of his runners by name. With that number of horses comes a hefty amount of staff but, true to his loyal nature, Weir credits each of his more than 100 workers as the key to his success. “I think the real forgotten heroes of racing are all the people who work with the horses 365 days of the year,” he said. “Not knocking the jockeys at all, but they are not the ones walking the horse each day, they are not there to muck out a box or feed the horse.” The Weir empire is only growing each year, with the trainer putting every cent he earns back into the development of the business. “Most of it at the moment is going into the farm (at


CRJC JULY RACING CARNIVAL 2018 :: 11

Maldon). We are about halfway through construction but we are doing it as the funds come in,” he said. “I am not one for the high life – as long as I have enough for my beer of a Saturday night, that’s what I am happy with.” While he is only coming to Grafton as guest of the carnival, Weir has not ruled out a potential run in the Ramornie Handicap or Grafton Cup, with a decision likely in early July. “If there is a race suitable, and a horse suitable, then I would love to bring something,” Weir said. “I have heard a lot about how good the Grafton carnival is, I’m looking forward to experiencing it firsthand.” Weir will be joined at the barrier luncheon by fellow special guest, Sky Racing Radio’s Shawn Cosgrove. Cosgrove has had a career in the entertainment industry for more than three decades, including stints

as the voice-over for television show The Price is Right and a long career as a racing reporter. ■ The Barrier Luncheon will be held at the Clarence River Jockey Club at 11am on Monday, July 9. Tickets can be purchased from the club office for $95pp.

RIGHT: While 2003 wasn't a great one in Grafton for Weir with Skewiff, his 40-1 shot She's Archie, pictured, nearly pulled off a huge boilover in the Melbourne Cup that same year. Beating home all bar the mighty Makybe Diva, the four-year-old mare put little-known trainer Darren Weir on the map for the first time. PHOTO: ROBERT WINDMILL

come for the Carnival, stay for the memories

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ON TRACK 2018 | 11


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CRJC JULY RACING CARNIVAL 2018 :: 13

Leaving a lasting legacy After more than four decades on the track, international jockey Jeff Lloyd will come full circle at Grafton this July. Words: Matthew Elkerton

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HILE most jockeys at his age have long since climbed out of the saddle, evergreen South African Jeff Lloyd just keeps finding ways to reinvent himself. The truly international hoop started his career more than four decades ago in South Africa, and has since ridden winners in England, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. More than 5000 of them and still counting. But there are a few he remembers above the others. One of those was on heavy six-year-old gelding Art Success when it shocked the industry to claim the 2008 Grafton Cup. It was an international moment. Lloyd, a South African riding for the first time at the Clarence River Jockey Club, and Art Success trained by New Zealand’s John Collins, who was having his first start at Grafton as well. “I remember that day well, it was my first year in Australia and I didn’t know anything about the Grafton Cup,” Lloyd told On Track. “My manager just told me it was a big carnival out in the bush. At that time I took whatever rides he suggested. “I had no idea what to expect. When you are new to a country I guess you just take everything as it comes. “I remember the crowd was raucous near the finish line. It was a great moment. I think I rode a winner for Jenny Graham on the same day.” It would prove to be one of the first doubles Lloyd rode on an Australian track but far from the last. It was a bit of a breakthrough success for the

Jockey Jeff Lloyd rode Shamardashing to win the Maclean Bowling Club Grafton Cup 2350m in 2012. PHOTO: DEBRAH NOVAK

South African, who had hit a form slump during the winter months and was facing pressure from a racing-hungry media he had never experienced. Lloyd had hit the turf running when he first moved to Australia at the start of 2008, landing the biggest win of his career, the Group 1 ATC Australian Derby on Nom De Jeu. However, with big wins come big expectations and the spotlight of the Australian racing media soon blistered the struggling hoop. “There just wasn’t that pressure when you’re in South Africa, you would be lucky to get a column in the paper,” Lloyd said. “Over here it is much different. People want to read racing content, and the pressure from the punters can be tough for new riders.” His return to the winner’s ranks at Grafton that July was the springboard Lloyd needed to find top form in time for a tilt at the Sydney Spring Carnival. It was form that would never quite leave the ageing jockey. Lloyd took that form abroad on another international assignment to Hong Kong, where he thrived under the high pressure. It was his second time in Hong Kong, and he was not going to let the opportunity pass him by again. When he returned to Australia in 2011, Lloyd relocated to the Gold Coast as he chased the climate closest to his native Durban. While he made a habit of returning to the Grafton Carnival in the following years, success would rarely follow, until he struck employment with Patinack Farm, the former breeding business of then-billionaire Nathan Tinkler. As the retained rider for the business, Lloyd was tasked with piloting short-odds chance Shamardashing in the 2012 edition of the July Carnival. CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

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ON TRACK 2018


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FROM PAGE 12

While a helping of rainfall certainly upped the gelding’s chances, it was a supreme ride from Lloyd that helped the John Thompson-trained mudlark power away from stablemate Saint Encosta. It was the second time Lloyd had claimed the Cup at the Clarence River Jockey Club, and he said both moments of glory held special places in his career. The year following his last Grafton Cup win, Lloyd’s life would be turned upside down when he was felled by a stroke. Doctors thought Lloyd had severed an artery to his brain due to the whiplash effect when he fell from a horse in trackwork in 2013. At 52 years old, he was told he would never ride again. For the average rider, that would be the end of a career. But Lloyd has proven he is not your average rider. “Fourteen months I was out of the saddle,” he said. “When you’re 52 years old and you have a major stroke no one would expect you to be riding races again. But I still felt I had more to give.” The break from the racing rejuvenated the veteran. It gave him time to reflect on a career well-worked. But also made him realise what was in front of him. Since returning to the saddle, Lloyd has won the Queensland Jockey’s Premiership three years in a row and last year smashed the Brisbane metropolitan winner’s record with 137. More than 30 more than the previous record. But according to Lloyd, there is no real secret to his against-the-odds success. “I am just trying to keep focused on everything, I do my own rides now so I study a lot of form and I find the right horses for me,” he said. “I think you always need to remember what got you where you are, and keep working on that. It is always going to take extra efforts.

“There is no secret to the success. It is just hard work, and trying to find the right stables to work with.” In the past few years, Lloyd has taken up a permanent residency with the Toby Edmonds stable on the Gold Coast, riding work and most race rides for the experienced trainer. The pair tasted their biggest success in 2017, when young upstart Houtzen stormed to victory in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic. Lloyd heaped the praise on his close friend, and said the partnership between the pair was as much a factor in his recent season successes as his own riding skills. While he is still finding the winning post on a regular basis – he has passed the century mark this season – Lloyd said he has entertained the idea of climbing out of the saddle for the last time at the end of this season. With two teenage sons, Jaden and Zac, both trying to find their way into the racing industry, Lloyd will likely pull back from his own career to help them kickstart theirs. But it is not a concrete decision yet for the jockey, with the love of racing keeping him firmly on track. “I think if I knew what I wanted to do I would have done it years ago,” he said. “It could be the end of the season, it could be the end of the year, it all depends on what horses I am on and what I want to still work with. I do know it is definitely coming near the end. “I just think you have to try and be realistic, I am 57, and I have been the leading rider in Queensland for three years. It is also a long way to the bottom.”

FINE FORM: Veteran International jockey Jeff Lloyd after taking out the Magic Millions 2YO Classic on board Houtzen.

PHOTO: GLENN HUNT

If he does decide to call it quits at the end of the season, it will be a fitting finale with one of his last assignments at the Clarence River Jockey Club’s winter showpiece. While he could not confirm if he had any runners lined up for July, Lloyd admitted he was looking forward to getting an opportunity to come back, maybe for the last time. “We will just have to wait and see what comes up,” he said. “It is hard to aim at a particular race from a long distance out, but if the runners are there then so am I.” OT

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CRJC JULY RACING CARNIVAL 2018 :: 15

King of the trackside yarn Tony White – a name synonymous with July

PAGE 16 TRIBUTES TO TONY

HERE’S a toast to Tony White – a dark ale of course. The world-ranked surfer from Maroubra who became the king of the trackside ‘yarn’ passed away on May 7, aged 64. Tony was no stranger to On Track readers, with his colourful writing style a dominant feature of its pages each year. His presence was especially felt during July Carnival; his signature retro moustache announcing his arrival well before his outstretched hand. Even as his health started to fail him, there was no keeping Tony away from his craft, especially at July. Bedridden with a heart condition on Ramornie Day in 2016, he fronted up to the track the next day, no doubt against the best medical advice, to write his final Grafton Cup masterpiece - Rednav’s ‘Fairytale Cup win’. Two months later a stroke would spell the end of his writing days and he battled health issues ever since, requiring daily specialist attention. A top bloke to have around who made a huge contribution to the racing media industry, his presence is dearly missed. Cheers mate. Bill North Editor, The Daily Examiner

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• Lawn Bowls • 888 Poker • Darts • Live Shows • Meat Raffles • Trivia • Bingo • Courtesy Bus

Maclean Cup Family Day

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• Grafton Shoppingworld kids fashions on the field • Kids activities and entertainment • Live Music on the Westlawn

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Colleagues and friends pay tribute to racing writer “B

eing closely associated with Tony White through the CRJC, he was always a thorough gentleman, helpful, friendly and most professional. Although he came from a surfing youth background, he was a natural “racing journo”, as this was his love later in life. He enjoyed his racing and was very well respected for his accuracy in his stories. He loved a bet and was quite happy to give his followers a tip or two.” Graeme Green, chairman, Clarence River Jockey Club “Tony was a great racing journalist for decades – there is no doubt he had the nose for a good story. “Tony could be critical of officials or jockeys if he felt the circumstances required, however he did it in such a way as to not put any permanent pressure on the relationships he had built up over many years. “More recently Tony was a great ambassador, not only for the July Racing Carnival but for the Clarence Valley in general. “In Australia we have a tendency to improve people’s character when they pass on. In Tony’s case, this will not be needed. He was simply a good bloke and will be sadly missed.” Michael Beattie, executive officer, CRJC “Tony worked in a golden age of racing journalism, alongside such luminaries as Keith Robbins and Tom Brassel, and more than held his own in breaking big racing news stories. He will always be remembered for his laconic wit, laid-back style and, of course, his robust moustache. The profession of racing journalism is poorer for his passing.’’ Daily Telegraph head of racing Tony Thomas

“Tony was a dedicated journalist who was extremely popular, not only with his peers, but with all participants in the NSW racing industry. He devoted much of his life to writing on thoroughbred racing and, after covering racing in Sydney, moved to Grafton where his passionate coverage of country racing earned him our (Racing NSW) Country and Provincial Media Award (2005).” Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys “Tony White was one of racing’s authentic ‘good blokes’. He was always helpful and, when he moved to Grafton, he was a great supporter of not only Grafton but also all the northern region as well as country racing throughout the state. He is genuinely missed.” Bob Pavitt, chairman of NSW Country Racing “A good bloke who always helped other journos out with extra information or tips. “He was an accurate and committed journalist intent on writing the right story.” Geoff Newling, race writer “Tony and I shared the same surname, but weren’t related yet we called each other dad and son. We became close when he was working for The Daily Telegraph and covering Wagga Cup carnivals and I was doing the same with Wagga Daily Advertiser. “Tony did a This Is Your Life presentation for my 40th birthday, travelling all the way from Grafton to Wagga – some 12 hours. We talked at least twice a week and would catch up at holidays for a beer and a bet. It’s easy to say nice things about someone when they have passed, but in Tony’s case it’s so true because he was just a good guy.

“He wasn’t my dad by blood, but that didn’t matter. We were pretty close and I’m going to miss all our talks and social get-togethers. But we have the memories and they will never leave my memory.” Graeme White, racing writer and Wagga Harness Racing Club chief executive “Tony would be on the phone to the source and, once he realised he was onto something big, he’d stand up and talk to the person with such excitement, you would swear he was speaking to Santa Claus for the first time.” Mark Brassel, editor Racing NSW magazine “Having known and worked with Tony for more than 40 years, I came to regard him as a true friend, a staunch work colleague and a true professional dedicated to his craft.” Chris Scholtz, racing editor, Racing and Sports

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ON TRACK 2018


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18 :: GRAFTON SHOPPINGWORLD FASHIONS ON THE FIELD 2018

Face of 2018 carnival Lauretta Lewis Crowned Lady of the Carnival 2017, the primary school teacher is looking forward to continuing her role this July WORDS: LESLEY APPS

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HE students taught by reigning Lady of the Carnival Lauretta Lewis are yet to discover the secret title their teacher holds, but that may change once July comes around. Now based in Yamba, she was sure her kids at St Joseph’s had no clue about racing carnival connection. “My students last year at St Mary’s (Grafton) were definitely excited about my win. They all said we saw you in the paper.” Lauretta is no stranger to the Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field, having already proven her form by taking out Best Dressed Lady two years prior to the Lady of the Carnival category. And as July fast approaches, Lauretta said she was on track with her South Grafton Cup Day outfit in readiness for her role on the judging panel. “I’ve been concentrating so much on 2017 Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique Lady of the Carnival Lauretta Lewis.

LADY

OF THE CARNIVAL

Enter to win!

Sunday 8th July 2018

Simply enter our Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field events for your chance to WIN A 2 NIGHT GETAWAY thanks to Angourie Resort and Blue Dolphin!

SOUTH GRAFTON CUP

OVER $10,000 WORTH OF PRIZES!

working at my new school but, yes, I’m getting excited about this year’s carnival now it’s back on my radar,” she said. “I can’t wait to see this year’s fashions. I’m really looking forward to seeing how people interpret the criteria and the latest fashion trends. I’m really just happy to sit back and enjoy it all this year.” She said the July Racing Carnival was “always a really nice chance to catch up with everyone”. “You tend to run into the same people each year. Quite often because everyone’s lives are so busy it’s probably one of the only times of the year you get to see everyone at once.” She said it had been nice to experience everything that goes with being Lady of the Carnival but really entered the fashion competitions for the fun rather than the titles. “It’s also about supporting local businesses as much as possible because at the end of the day it’s fantastic if some of the carnival funds go back into the wider community.”

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FOR DETAILS AND ENTRY CRITERIA GO TO WWW.GRAFTONSHOPPINGWORLD.COM.AU ON TRACK 2018


GRAFTON SHOPPINGWORLD FASHIONS ON THE FIELD 2018 :: 19

Fashion flair goes beyond city crowd Last year’s Best Dressed Lady Angela Carroll reveals how FOTF has evolved thanks to social media

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ACING fashion is having a bit of a moment. Thanks to social media apps like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, racing fashion enthusiasts have been able to connect, support and share ideas more than ever before. As a consequence we are seeing trends that would normally stay within metro areas make their way to regional racing carnivals across Australia – Grafton being no exception. Take the stunning Lady of the Carnival winner for 2017 Lauretta Lewis. Wearing a beautiful pale blue Talulah dress or what is often referred to as the “Jen dress” after Jennifer Hawkins wore it for Oaks Day 2016, paired with a stunning boater, it was a fashion moment that only a couple of years prior wouldn’t be seen in Grafton. It’s an evolution that has been most welcome by Fashions on the Field (FOTF) participants and observers. Go to Facebook and Instagram and you can find pages and hashtags dedicated to FOTF. Follow It’s all about the Sash, Fashion fillies, On Track On Trend, Milano Imai Field Fashion, and you will get a glimpse of what’s trending trackside across the country and access

tips on what to wear to our own carnival. What you will notice when browsing FOTF images is that racing fashion is fun. It’s an opportunity to express yourself. How often do we get to dress up and wear millinery? So why not make the most of it. But while expressing your individual flair, there are a few rules you should keep in mind. Firstly it’s a winter carnival, so dress accordingly. It’s good to take risks with your fashion, but let’s not make it with a high hemline. Millinery should be felts, furs or leather, while sinamay should be saved for springtime. For me, closed-in shoes and hosiery are essential for a winter carnival. Being in Grafton, our winters can be very mild, so think about layers, so you can adjust to the weather throughout the day. Regulars to the carnival will tell you that once the sun falls behind the public stand, the temperature drops and you will be glad to have a coat with you. LADY IN BLUE: Grafton racegoer Angela Carroll took out Red Hot Hair Best Dressed Lady on Grafton Cup Day 2017 in a stunning Alice McCall dress and custom-made mllinery to match.

MILLINERY AWARD

Enter to win!

Sunday 8th July 2018

Simply enter our Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field events for your chance to WIN A 2 NIGHT GETAWAY thanks to Angourie Resort and Blue Dolphin!

SOUTH GRAFTON CUP

OVER $10,000 WORTH OF PRIZES!

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FOR DETAILS AND ENTRY CRITERIA GO TO WWW.GRAFTONSHOPPINGWORLD.COM.AU ON TRACK 2018


20 :: GRAFTON SHOPPINGWORLD FASHIONS ON THE FIELD 2018

5 1

must haves this July Carnival THE GO-TO COLOUR FOR WINTER 2018 – RED WINE/BURGUNDY 1. MUST HAVE TECH: Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (Waterproof IPX7) $96rrp, Optus. 2. MUST HAVE HAIR: Book your appointment for the perfect races ‘do and remember your Nak Haircare products for glossy healthy hair, Red Hot Hair. 3. MUST HAVE HEAD TO TOE: Mollini Erland Chalk Leather Boot $199.95, Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique and Kooringal Mid Brim Vista Wine felt hat $54.95, Blooms the Chemist. 4. MUST HAVE GADGET: Almond Brown Front Charging Purse $130, Telstra. 5. MUST HAVE WARMTH: PU leather gloves in black $18, Millers.

4

5

2 3 BEST DRESSED

LADY

Enter to win!

Thursday 12th July 2018

Simply enter our Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field events for your chance to WIN A 2 NIGHT GETAWAY thanks to Angourie Resort and Blue Dolphin!

GRAFTON CUP

OVER $10,000 WORTH OF PRIZES!

|

FOR DETAILS AND ENTRY CRITERIA GO TO WWW.GRAFTONSHOPPINGWORLD.COM.AU ON TRACK 2018


GRAFTON SHOPPINGWORLD FASHIONS ON TEH FIELD 2018 ::

Young and stylish Just because you’re pint-sized doesn’t mean you can’t be a sharp dresser: (from left) Halle wears Faded Opulence Girls T&T Dress navy $20, Faded Opulence T&T Hooded Jacket grey dawn $39, 2pk School Tights navy $10, all Target. Felt hat, wine, $20, Millers. Charlie wears Flannel Shirt blue/red $10, Puffer Vest navy/blue $18, Pull-on Chino midnight navy $12, all Target. Charlie wears Chambray AOP Shirt blue $15, Chino Pant dark tan brown $15, Eley Senior Canvas Midtop navy $20, Basic Scarf navy blue $4, all Target. Charlie wears Herribone Shirt white $18, Exotic Botannical Suiting Jacket $49 and Pant, black $20, Cobie Senior Hightop Khaki $15, Harriet 11 Wool Felt Fedora hat $20, all Target. Halle wears Faded Opulence Girls Satin Dress navy $25, 2pk School Tights navy $10, Girls Ballet Slipper, gold $18, Basic Scarf navy $4, all Target. Distinctive Hats fascinator $69, Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique. MAIN: Taya wears Modern Nomad Jaquard Dress navy $20, Modern Nomad Faux Fur Vest natural $20, Lunee Senior Foil Back Boot neutral $25, all Target. Felt Hat, camel $20, Millers. Navy blue bag $79, Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique. Models: Halle & Taya Graham, Charlie Howlett.

KIDS

FASHIONS ON THE FIELD

Enter to win!

Sunday 15th July 2018

Simply enter our Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field events for your chance to WIN A 2 NIGHT GETAWAY thanks to Angourie Resort and Blue Dolphin!

MACLEAN CUP

OVER $10,000 WORTH OF PRIZES!

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FOR DETAILS AND ENTRY CRITERIA GO TO WWW.GRAFTONSHOPPINGWORLD.COM.AU ON TRACK 2018

21


DON’T FORGET MILLINERY MUSTS

BEST FOOT FORWARD Katie & Me Maze Shoe navy $169, Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique.

ABOVE: Crochetta Collections Fascinator navy $139, Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique ABOVE MIDDLE :Crochetta Collections Grey Crown $129, Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique. ABOVE FAR RIGHT: Crochetta Collections Black White Fascinator $99, Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique.

FURS, FELT & WINTER TONES

Models: Zahli Smyth and Mason Graham. Hair/makeup: Red Hot Hair, The Link Grafton Shoppingworld. Styling: Grafton Shoppingworld. Photography: Adam Hourigan. GRAFTON SHOPPINGWORLD STOCKISTS: Ally Fashion: 6669 1008 Autograph: 6643 5592 Blooms the Chemist: 6643 1241 Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique: 6643 1034 Jeanswest: 6642 8196 Lowes: 6642 7355 Millers: 6643 2971 Noni B: 6643 1484 Optus: 6642 3002 Red Hot Hair: 6643 5617 Sussan: 6642 4535 Suzanne Grae: 6643 1299 Target: 6642 8800 Telstra: 6642 8488 All products were correct at time of printing and are subject to availability. Conditions apply, see in stores for full details.

Style grace

&

Zahli wears: LEFT: Fashion Cross Front Mesh Detail Midi Dress $39.99, Ally Fashion. Olla Oh Clutch $59, Crochetta Collections Crown $99, all Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique. CENTRE: Fashion Cross Over Jumpsuit $45.99, Fashion Fur Gilet Grey $49.99, Fashion Fedora Hat $12.99, all Ally Fashion. PU gloves $18, Millers. Cosgrove & Beasley Clutch steel, $89, Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique.RIGHT: Deep navy dress $89.95, Sussan. Crochetta Collections red fascinator $129, Distinctive Hats Red Clutch $49, all Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique. COVER IMAGE (page 17): Zahli wears: Fashion Fur Coat $69.99, Ally Fashion. Liz Jordan Jennifer Shirt Ivory $89.95, Liz Jordan Maribelle Skirt printed $129.95, Noni B. Distinctive Hats navy fascinator $99, Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique.

ON TRACK 2018

ON TRACK 2018


24 :: GRAFTON SHOPPINGWORLD FASHIONS ON THE FIELD 2018

GRAFTON SHOPPINGWORLD FASHIONS ON THE FIELD 2018 ::

GIVE BORING THE BOOT

FROM LEFT: Mason wears Robert Huntley James navy suit jacket $130, Street Trousers beige $29.95, Premium Long Sleeve Dress Shirt blue $29.95, Traders Leather Belt brown $39.95, Connery Lace Up Dress Shoes Brown $39.95, Men’s Scarf Grey $13.95, all Lowes. Zahli wears: Black Animal Print Jacket $69.95, Suzanne Grae. Willow Wrap Shirt Black $59.99, Jeanswest. Skirt black $59.95, Sussan. Felt Hat wine $20, PU Leather Glove wine $18, all Millers. Mason wears Cooper Suit Separates grey/blue Jacket $130 Trousers $59.95, Premium L/S dress shirt White $29.95, Traders Soft Leather Belt black $29.95, Black White Striped Tie $25, Woollen Driving Hat $19.95, all Lowes. Zahli wears Liz Jordan Heather Dress Printed $169.95, Noni B. Anabel Wool Blend Jacket $199, Jeanswest. White Black Felt Pillbox $180, Gabbe Nude Clutch $59, all Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique. Mason wears black suit separates jacket $130, trousers $59.95, dress vest $39.95, Premium L/S dress shirt lilac $39.95, Traders soft leather belt black $29.95, Whippa Black Slip On Dress Shoes $39.95, Tex Purple Plain tie $25, Shelta Black 50+UPF Umbrella $36, all Lowes. Zahli wears Shirt Dress Broken Stripe $79.95, Autograph. Fashion Tie Waist Coat Camel $59.99, Fashion Fedora Hat $12.99, all Ally Fashion. Distinctive Hats Black Clutch $55, I Rock black leather Boots $219.95, all Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique.

KEEP IT CLASSIC & SUIT UP

I Rock Black Leather Boots $219.95, Jacqui’s Shoe Boutique

TELSTRA STORE GRAFTON

BEST DRESSED

BEST DRESSED

COUPLE

Enter to win!

Thursday 12th July 2018

Simply enter our Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field events for your chance to WIN A 2 NIGHT GETAWAY thanks to Angourie Resort and Blue Dolphin!

GRAFTON CUP

OVER $10,000 WORTH OF PRIZES!

|

FOR DETAILS AND ENTRY CRITERIA GO TO WWW.GRAFTONSHOPPINGWORLD.COM.AU ON TRACK 2018

GENT

Enter to win!

Thursday 12th July 2018

Simply enter our Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field events for your chance to WIN A 2 NIGHT GETAWAY thanks to Angourie Resort and Blue Dolphin!

GRAFTON CUP

OVER $10,000 WORTH OF PRIZES!

|

FOR DETAILS AND ENTRY CRITERIA GO TO WWW.GRAFTONSHOPPINGWORLD.COM.AU ON TRACK 2018

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26:: GRAFTON SHOPPINGWORLD FASHIONS ON THE FIELD 2018

Celebrating a decade of fashions

Kids compete in Target’s fashion competition on Maclean Cup Day in 2010.

Winner of 2015 Lady of the Carnival title Renee Adams. Michelle Everson was announced as 2010 Lady of the Carnival.

Lady of the Carnival entrants 2015.

PHOTOS: SIMON HUGHES & ADAM HOURIGAN

Grafton Shoppingworld celebrates its 10th anniversary with another $10,000 plus worth of prizes for the fashionistas

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undreds of hats and handbags, stunning ensembles and well-coiffed ladies, gents and youngsters have graced the stage of the Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field over the past nine years. So this year they are going all out the celebrate their 10th anniversary milestone by offering another huge opportunity for racing fashionistas to stake their claim in more than $10,000 in prizes across six categories (check out page 28 for details) over three big carnival race days. This year Grafton Shoppingworld are getting into the swing of social media by running one of these categories through Instagram. The 2018 Telstra Best Dressed Couple will be open to any racegoing couples from South Cup Day through to Grafton Cup Day. Just post an image of the dashing duo on Instagram using the hashtags: #gswfotf10 AND #telstrabestdressedcouple2018 (make sure you use both). Winners will be announced on stage on Grafton Cup Day as part of the traditional Fashions on the Field competition. The winning couple if present on the day can collect their prize upon announcement or if not, from Grafton Shoppingworld office

post-carnival. The hard-working Grafton Shoppingworld team said it was hard to believe it had been a decade of sponsoring the colourful event. “We really appreciate how the community has embraced the competition and the ongoing support of our major sponsors some of whom have been with us for almost as long as we have run the event,” Marketing Co-ordinator Chrystal Davies said. “This year we are also excited to welcome Optus on board as our new Lady of the Carnival sponsor.” She said being involved in FOTF was a great way to see how much fashion had changed from carnival to carnival. “In the early days it was all about vintage and now it’s more contemporary shapes, classic tailoring and stunning bespoke millinery.” “We hope this year, our 10th year of sponsorship, we see more entries than ever. We are all looking forward to what amazing outfits people will pull together this year.”

Elyan Shotbolt lead the vintage charge at the 2010 Grafton Cup fashions.

Nicky Fletcher won the millinery award in 2010.

For all categories, criteria and terms and conditions see the GSW website.

Lindsay Corbett Best Dressed Grafton Cup 2016.

The guys are out en force to compete in Best Dressed Gent on Grafton Cup Day 2016.

The Millinery Award always brings out the best in competitors.

❝ 2012 Lady of the Carnival Elanna Browning. 2016 Lady of the Carnival runner-up Tanya Daniel.

Emma Binns was named Lady of the Carnival 2013.

ON TRACK 2018

F OTF IS A GREAT WAY TO SEE HOW MUCH FASHION CHANGES FROM CARNIVAL TO CARNIVAL. IN THE EARLY DAYS IT WAS ALL ABOUT VINTAGE AND NOW IT’S CONTEMPORARY SHAPES... AND STUNNING BESPOKE MILLINERY.

2014 Lady of the Carnival Kimberley Cootes.

2016 Lady of the Carnival Amelia Carson supports last year's event as one of the judges.

ON TRACK 2018


OVER $10,000 WORTH OF PRIZES!

SOUTH GRAFTON CUP

Sunday 8th July 2018 OPTUS - Lady of the Carnival JACQUI’S SHOE BOUTIQUE - Millinery Award

GRAFTON CUP

Thursday 12th July 2018 RED HOT HAIR – Best Dressed Lady LOWES – Best Dressed Man TELSTRA – Best Dressed Couple

MACLEAN CUP

Sunday 15th July 2018 TARGET – Kids Fashions on the Field Best Dressed Teen (13-17 years) Best Dressed Little Lady (1-6 + 7-12 years) Best Dressed Little Gent (1-6 + 7-12 years) For full details and entry criteria go to www.graftonshoppingworld.com.au

Enter to win!

Simply enter our Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field events for your chance to WIN A 2 NIGHT GETAWAY thanks to Angourie Resort and Blue Dolphin!

6808749aa

Thank you to our prize sponsors: Burrito Bar Grafton, Spendless Shoes, Go Vita, Connor and Ally Fashion.


CRJC JULY RACING CARNIVAL 2018 ::

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Fashionable flashbacks Vintage garments and mid-century modern architecture being showcased during carnival Words: Lesley Apps

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WO captivating exhibitions will be on display during the July Racing Carnival, so take advantage of your time in Grafton by paying its prestigious regional gallery a visit. Fashions of Yesteryear chronicles the clothing, stories and styles of several Clarence Valley women as the gallery presents a selection of outfits these women wore to major community events, including the July Racing Carnival and the city’s famous Jacaranda Ball. From tailored trackside fashion to contemporary art-inspired pieces, these clothes tell rich stories and hold special memories for the women. The pieces featured in this exhibition are from ‘The Way We Wore’ vintage clothing collection, curated over many years by Clarence Valley collector Kathy Smith. Among the items are Marea Buist’s black crepe cocktail dress with pleated cape, Barbie, Sydney 1989; Barbara Fahey’s floral polished cotton and satin ball gown, Two-Twenty, Melbourne c1955; Ellen Higham’s silver and brown silk taffeta dress, handmade 1960; Audrey Morgan’s green satin bodice and black taffeta skirt, handmade, Simplicity pattern 1955; Heather Roland’s red satin brocade ball gown, handmade 1980s; Heather Brown’s artistic and bold designs by Jenny Kee and Carla Zampatti among others; Sue Ibbott’s grandmother’s silk evening dress

worn to the Grafton premiere of Gone With the Wind in 1939; and the doyenne of racing fashion, the late Helen Pullen, whose iconic outfits will also be featured. Fans of mid-century and modern architecture will be in their element as the gallery showcases 30 of the most ‘Iconic Australian Houses’ from the past 60 years. Featuring distinctly Australian designs from the country’s pioneering architects including Glenn Murcutt, Peter McIntyre, Roy Grounds, John Wardle, Neville Gruzman, Peter Muller, Richard Leplastrier and Sean Godsell among others, the exhibition will reveal not only the physical nature of the building but also the experiences of those who live behind their walls through photographs, illustrations, 3D motels and videos. Curated by author Karen McCarthy, this Sydney Living Museum exhibition is a real coup for the Clarence Valley. Both exhibitions are on display until July 22. The Grafton Regional Gallery is at 158 Fitzroy St, Grafton.

F ASHIONS OF YESTERYEAR CHRONICLES THE CLOTHING, STORIES AND STYLES OF SEVERAL CLARENCE VALLEY WOMEN

RIGHT: Red polished cotton suit Irish Façade c1980. Worn by Sue Ibbott.

SOUTH GRAFTON EX-SERVICES CLUB Courtesy Bus Available

SOUTH GRAFTON CUP CALCUTTA

Saturday 7th July Tickets on Sale Now for $2 each. Drawn at 8pm. See club for details.

MULTISCREEN SUPERDRAW

$10,000 TO BE WON Every Thursday Night 2 Chances to Win Be Here to Win

BE A WINNER

BE ENTERTAINED

BINGO

Friday 6th July

Monday from 6pm • Thursday from 11am

Aqwa Duo

MAJOR CLUB RAFFLE

Saturday 7th July

Friday from 5pm • Drawn 6.30pm

Lazy Sunday

MEMBERS’ “LOADS of CASH”

Friday 13th July

Sunday, Wednesday & Friday Up to $10,000 drawn 3 times randomly, 5.30pm - 8.30pm

ON TRACK 2018

Matt Devitt Duo

Saturday 14th July Hekyl & Jive Band

RESTAURANT

Open 7 Days for Lunch and Dinner

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2 Wharf Street, South Grafton 6642 1422 | www.sgex.com.au


30 :: CRJC JULY RACING CARNIVAL 2018

CRJC JULY RACING CARNIVAL 2018 ::

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Valley has beauty at every turn When you are not looking for winners at the race track, it is a sure bet these Clarence attractions will take your breath away

he July Racing Carnival is one of the biggest events on the Clarence Valley calendar, attracting visitors from far and wide every winter. While it’s obvious most visitors are here for one thing, outside of the act of horses running around the track there is plenty of downtime in among the five race meetings of the carnival. Given its exquisite natural beauty, the Clarence Valley – where the hills roll down to the floodplains and stretch out to kiss the coast – it is well worth venturing out into and exploring while you are here. To make the most of your precious spare time, here is a handy guide to some of the amazing things you can see and do around the Clarence to enhance your racing carnival experience. You might even find some divine inspiration to help with your punting, like the Yamba pelican who might peck you a winner if you entice him with a couple of the local prawns. Take a drive into the hills Since you’ve made it to Grafton, it would be rude not to take a peek out west at the stunning

river country of the Upper Clarence hinterland. Within minutes of driving west of Grafton, the road rises from the floodplain and into the bush. Little rivers snake and weave through this rugged, rolling country, joining bigger rivers and towering ranges. It’s here the Clarence is reborn and replenished every day. Seafood and shopping in Yamba Forty-five minutes north-east of Grafton is the bustling seaside town of Yamba. Voted the best town in Australia, Yamba is a beach lover’s paradise – even in winter – with six beautiful beaches to enjoy.It has a vibrant mix of restaurants, cafes and boutique shopping. The farmer’s market every Wednesday morning is a great place to soak up the coastal vibe and rub shoulders with the locals. A few more must-dos (there are too many to list) include catching the ferry across the mouth of the Clarence River to Iluka, lunching at the pub while watching the whales migrate north, and, of course, you can’t leave Yamba without a selfie peeling a few Yamba prawns down at the marina.

Cattle and Cane Drive If you have a few hours up your sleeve, head off the beaten track and prepare to fall in love with the picturesque landscapes and riverside villages downstream. The two-hour scenic Cattle and Cane Drive will take you from Grafton, through rolling cattle country to Lawrence, across the free car ferry to Maclean, north to the historic village of Ulmarra and back to Grafton. Exploring Grafton As you drive through the Jacaranda-lined streets of Grafton, you can imagine how magnificent it must be in October when the trees are in full bloom. But it’s July so you get to enjoy all of the other treasures Grafton has to offer. Grafton is a city divided by the Clarence River, but joined by a bendy bridge built in 1932. Built on a floodplain, Grafton is flat and easy to explore on foot or by bike, including a trip across the Grafton Bridge via the footpath on the lower level. If you enjoy a trip down memory lane, Schaeffer House is the museum for you.

GRAFTON REGIONAL GALLERY 30 MAY - 22 JULY Captivating Fashions of Yesteryear

ICONIC AN EXHIBITION BY MCCARTNEY AUSTRALIAN AnKAREN exhibition by Sydney Living Museums in Partnership with the HOUSES Architecture Foundation Australia

Fashions are on the field again during the July Racing Carnival in July this year. Captivating Fashions of Yesteryear celebrates the vintage fashions from The Way We Wore clothing collection. Treasured items once worn by some of the Clarence Valley’s prominent women at the valley’s major events.

An exciting exhibition that looks beyond the physical structures to shine a light on the stories of the architects and clients. The result is an intimate portrait of the design, building and lived experience of that most elusive of creations – the iconic house. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program.

Travelling exhibition from Exhibition partner

Green satin bodice and black taffeta skirt handmade, Simplicity pattern 1955 Worn by Audrey Morgan

This project is proudly supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

The Wardle House, architect John Wardle, photograph © Michael Wee

ON TRACK 2018

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program

Principal partner

Supporting partners

Cafés and restaurants of ridiculously good quality are scattered across Grafton, along with a heritage trail that takes in a visit to the Christ Church Cathedral. And you haven’t truly explored Grafton until you’ve visited South Grafton, where the CBD is an mix of colorful murals, cafes, shops and old buildings reflecting turn-of-the-century architectural styles. Walk this way If you’re up for a walk, try the Yuraygir Coastal Walk, a 65km multi-day walk that hugs the coastline from Angourie to Red Rock. The great thing about this track is you don’t have to do the entire walk and you certainly don’t need to pack dehydrated lasagna. You can jump on the track at any coastal village along the way and walk as far as you fancy in either direction. ■ There is so much more out there to do and explore so visit www.myclarencevalley.com. RIGHT: The appealing Clarence Valley coastline.

TOP: Peaceful surrounds of the upper Clarence.

PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED

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WHAT ARE YOU DOING? KNOW YOUR LIMITS AND YOU'LL HAVE A MUCH BETTER TIME You don’t have to drink to have a good time - one or two drinks can make you feel relaxed and confident but if you have too many there can be a very different outcome. Passing out, vomiting, fighting or crashing a car are some of the more unattractive possibilities of excessive drinking that can do real damage. Not just to you but to others and to what your mates think of you. Many people know this and either choose not to drink or limit the amount they drink. If you’re under 18 and caught buying alcohol in a pub or bar you could be fined up to $2,200 - that’ll do some damage too.

ING. BINGE DRINK

are YOU

WHAT TO

DOING F? YOURSEL

DO YOU KNOW YOUR LIMITS? WANT TO TALK TO SOMEONE CALL (02) 9361 8000 NSW ONLY

One drink is not always a standard drink. A standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol. Keeping track of how many standard drinks you are having is a much more reliable method of knowing how much alcohol you are consuming - rather than counting glasses, bottles or cans cans.

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CRJC JULY RACING CARNIVAL 2018 :: 33

The carnival next door There is more than one big racing event each July Words: Matthew Elkerton

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Key dates GRAFTON GREYHOUND JULY CARNIVAL The Grafton Greyhound Racing Club is geared up for a big July Carnival too. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN

carnival,” Barnes said. “But that was the one that had eluded us.” While it might have eluded him for more than 30 years, it was a case of when it rains it pours for the Cudal trainer, as he collected back-to-back trophies with Nangar Warrior last year. Barnes travels with wife Ann, and has brought a convoy of family with him in recent years on what Ann describes as the annual family holiday. “Greyhound racing is a family affair for us,” she said. “We couldn’t do it without everyone else’s help. “Dennis has family (in Grafton) too, so this is our annual holiday. “It’s fantastic to be a part of the carnival – everyone makes you feel welcome. You see people from across Australia and some really good friends. “Leaving is probably the hardest part.” The Taylor and Family Maiden Classic final is one of several feature finals on the main night of the carnival on Wednesday, after Ramornie Day. With more than $120,000 in prizemoney available on the feature night of the carnival, it is a major drawcard for the industry and the region. OT

GRAFTON 2018 JULY RACING CARNIVAL PROGRAM

FRIDAY 6TH JULY WEDNESDAY 11TH JULY

Monday, July 2 ■ Taylor Family Maiden Classic Heats Wednesday, July 4 ■ Village Green Hotel Sprinter’s Cup Heats Friday, July 6 ■ Valley Protective Services 0-1 Win Heats Monday, July 9 ■ 5TH Grade Feature Heats Wednesday, July 11 ■ Village Green Hotel Sprinter’s Cup Final ■ Taylor Family Maiden Classic Final ■ Westlawn Finance Stayer’s Cup Final Friday, July 13 ■ GDSC 5th Grade Final ■ Willow Park Pre-Training 5th Grade Final ■ Paw Licking Best 8 ■ Cosmic Rumble Best 8

| MONDAY 9TH JULY | FRIDAY 13TH JULY

Bar & Canteen | Camping Facilities | Onsite Parking | Kennels Available

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t is no secret the July Racing Carnival brings people from across the country to the Clarence Valley – but it’s not just for the horses. Boasting more than five decades of history, the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club’s July Winter Carnival has become the perfect accompaniment to their neighbour’s festivities. Trainers and their families have travelled to Grafton for the six-day extravaganza for many years now, with the winter pilgrimage becoming a family tradition for most. Trainers will set up their base in the greyhound club’s caravan park for more than a month before the carnival as they prepare their kennel of runners for the multitude of feature finals. One training dynasty that has a storied history with the Grafton carnival is the Barnes family. Cudal trainer Dennis has been a long-term supporter of the July event and has tasted plenty of success at the Grafton track. But his biggest win came two years ago when he wrapped both hands around the Clarence Valley Sheds Taylor and Family Maiden Classic trophy for the first time. The $14,000-to-the-winner final is one of the richest prizes outside of metropolitan greyhound meetings, and is the carnival’s feature race. It took a blazing run down the back straight of the Grafton track from kennel champion Nangar Range to clinch the trophy, which Barnes still remembers. “It was unbelievable; you know we have won a lot of feature races over our time coming to the


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WEIGHING GAME: Simon Commerford, far left, in the bunker.

PHOTOS: ADAM HOURIGAN

Heavy responsibility of racing’s weight watcher Simon Commerford is one of the first people jockeys see after every race and he has taken an unlikely path to holding a job that can be easily overlooked

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S OME DAYS, ESPECIALLY DURING THE CARNIVAL, YOU CAN JUST COME OUT THE OTHER SIDE WITHOUT REALISING IT HAPPENED, IT’S LIKE A WHIRLWIND. the town. You can feel that atmosphere from the jockey’s room. “My favourite thing about the carnival has to be the different riders you get to work with. Jockeys from all over Australia travel for the

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carnival. They’re not so much better riders because we have such great riders here, but it gives you such a variety to the job.” But Commerford has not always sat on the official’s side of the racing industry. He was raised in stables, working odd jobs for his father Terry, who took up his trainer’s license when Simon was only a child. It is his knowledge of the inner workings of the trainer’s side of the barrier that he believes makes him better clerk of scales. “A lot of the job is communicating and working with jockeys and trainers,” he said. “I know what these guys are going through, and I have that respect for them.” While he knows the inner workings of being a trainer, it is one reason Commerford will never open his own stables. “A long time ago I probably considered it, but I know how hard that job is,” he said. “It is not easy going, and it becomes your life.”

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Another reason Commerford will likely never go into training is his daily struggles with spina bifida. A rare birth defect, it has affected his movement from a young age and was the reason he spent seven weeks in a hospital bed 15 years ago. But it is also something the 44-year-old has learnt to live with over the years. “It probably has kept me back from a few things over the years, but I don’t really think about the things I am missing out on,” he said. “It is just about knowing my limitations. If I can’t do something, then I just know I can’t. That’s a part of life.” One thing it has not held him back from is his job behind the scales, something he just happened upon at a small race track in Casino more than a decade ago.

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clerk of scales at the Clarence River Jockey Club, he also knows it is a happy time as the atmosphere in the Clarence Valley heightens with every winner. When it comes to July Carnival, there are not many who have a more serious job than Commerford and he relishes in the opportunity to do it right. He weighs every jockey after each race, making sure they come in at the correct weight, allowing the winning punters to collect their prize. It is a role that might go unnoticed to the non-seasoned racegoer, and that’s just how he likes it. “To be honest, me and crowds do not mix,” he said. “That’s why I am happy to be tied down in the scales room for most of the carnival. “You only have to look out the door over the betting ring to see what the carnival does for

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VERY day Simon Commerford gets the chance to climb out of bed he counts it as a blessing. After a dance with death 15 years ago, the Northern Rivers Racing Association clerk of scales refused to ever be held back from his passion. “I got really crook with encephalitis and they thought maybe I wouldn’t get out of it, but I did,” he said. “I had an infection from a shunt, that got into my brain stem. “I used to wonder what was going to happen, I feared the future … but from that time I decided not to. I feel lucky to get through that. Every day I am alive is a bonus.” It is the reason Commerford has chosen to use his time to focus on his two main loves: racing and golf. When it comes to racing, according to the man himself, there is no better time than July. While it can become a stressful time for the

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At the track for just a day out, when respected NRRA steward Bill Fanning needed someone to take over the scales Commerford’s hand was the first in the air. “I had no idea how to do the job, I had no experience, but Bill was very good to me,” he said. “I had no idea that day I would still be in the role more than decade later. “Over the years I worked closely with Bill and Craig Pringle, and I probably did lean on them a lot at the beginning. It was pretty hard to get going and get used to that pace early on.” But now it is a pace which he appreciates. “Some days, especially during the carnival, you can just come out the other side without realising it happened, it’s like a whirlwind,” he said. “My first carnival was really daunting, but now I try to look at each day just like it was any other. I try to take the pressure off those big races. The Grafton Cup is just like a maiden on any other day. I have a job to do, and I want to do it right.” Commerford has seen plenty of faces come through the doors of the Clarence River Jockey Club’s jockey rooms but there is not one he rates above the rest. He cherishes watching young jockeys like Matt McGuren and Ben Looker, who rose through the ranks at Grafton to go on and become two of the most in-form hoops in New South Wales in the past three years. “I love seeing those guys working hard to make something of themselves,” he said. “So often you hear of jockeys spitting the dummy and burning out. I hate to see that unrealised potential.” But regardless of which jockeys come and go through those doors, one thing is for certain; it will be Commerford to greet them at the scales. OT

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Akwazoff: the people’s horse that became a legend

Racing writer Geoff Newling reflects on Akwazoff’s victory on Grafton Cup Day 1997

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He and trainer Merv Corliss wrote a heartwarming racing story . Geoff Newling takes a trip down memory lane

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ERV Corliss passed away earlier this year. He was 93. A huge gathering turned up at the Tamworth Racecourse on February 19 to pay their final respects to a trainer renowned for his gentlemanly demeanour and outstanding career over six decades. Akwazoff, a gelding son of Zoffany he had trained to win the 1997 Grafton Cup, won 36 races from 136 starts and $499,581 in prizemoney. He won from 1100m to 2400m and those wins spanned seven seasons from a 1200m Tamworth maiden he won on November 14, 1992, to the September 22, 1999, Lismore Cup (2300m). He also placed another 31 times for his breeders/owners Mia and Neil Latimer. Together they wrote one of the most heartwarming racing stories you’d want to hear – two relaxed and talented racing entities who made a wonderful partnership. They won 16 Cups including three successive Gunnedah Cups over 1600m, two 1900m Armidale Cups (as well as finishing second to Captain Starlight in two other Armidale Cups), a Quirindi Cup (carrying 63kg), a 2100m Lismore Cup and a Country Cup at Randwick. The pinnacle though was the 1997 Grafton Cup, a race where jockey Garry Baker only went around one horse to win one of the iconic country races against all his city opponents. Baker remembers that race as if it was yesterday. “We just had the perfect run,” he recalled. “It was a pretty good field too. Gai (Waterhouse) had one in it, Stoney Bay I think. But it just worked out perfect for me. He just sprinted away from them. Ran a race record too.” That win opened up doors for Baker to pursue his riding career in Queensland. He also trained in Macau and Korea and, while he still has a trainer’s licence, he deals mainly in horses now,

SECOND CAREER : Senior Constable Joanne Danks in 2003 with Akwazoff at the mounted police unit in Redfern, Sydney.

PHOTO: MICHAEL PERINI

Racehorse Akwazoff winning 1997 Grafton Cup, jockey Gary Baker. 10/07/97.Turf A/CT

selling them overseas, using his many contacts in Hong Kong and Asia. Akwazoff was truly the people’s horse, a bush galloper who never started out with any great wraps. Paul St Vincent, who trained The Jackal to win two memorable Ramornie Handicaps in 2007-08, learned his trade from Merv Corliss. Paul had moved to Tamworth in the mid ’70s from Narrabri and Armidale where he had been a professional golfer. He was introduced to Merv by Tamworth professional golfer Terry Hayes, who had horses with Merv. “I had dabbled in a few horses as a young bloke,” Paul said. “I helped out at Merv’s. He had a very handy horse, Akwitana, and she won a heap of races (also HNWRA Horse of the Year) and we travelled away a bit with her and Micky Johnson (jockey).” They were great days, with the likes of a young Bruce Johnson also riding for the stable. Akwitana foaled Akwazoff, but his early days at the track weren’t memorable. “I remember we were swimming a couple one day and I told Merv, gee that horse (Akwazoff) ran a pretty good race the other day,” Paul recalled. “I don’t know, he’s a four-year-old now.” Akwazoff was lightly raced early on partly because he had a “few issues with his legs”. However he made up for it later on. Merv persevered.

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“He gave him time to mature,” Paul said. “He was great to me. Always had some advice, never as an ultimatum but a few weeks or so later and you go, gee, that’s what Merv said a while ago. It was always constructive. “And he always had some advice about life in general. They were great days, we had a lot of fun. I even got to take him to Dominoes (a local nightclub) too. “He had some great horses – Easingwold, Belorrisimo, Victory Charm, Akwitana and Jonakini. But Akwazoff was the best. And winning that Grafton Cup was the pinnacle.” Merv Corliss started his working life as a butcher with Harry Keenan in Tamworth and then moved to Bendemeer where he also started training. “Dad won many races in the city and had a lot of very good horses including Steelswitch (won 34 races including two at Rosehill), Victory Charm (12 wins), Dollar and Duri Blue,” daughter Lesley said recently. “Charming Boy, Glenbarra Boy, Easingwold, Belorissimo and Cobbers Son too. There were so many. “But he always had a soft spot for Akwazoff who was an amazing horse. Dad trained his mother Akwitana, who also won a stack of races.” Akwitana was also an HNWRA Horse of the Year while Akwazoff won 16 country Cups including Quirindi, Lismore, Walcha features as well as three successive Gunnedah Cups.

PHOTO: HAVERKAMP ROY “Lenny Todd won the first Gunnedah Cup on him, Greg Nock the second and Leanne Henry the third,” Lesley said. Merv’s last winner was Glenbarra Boy in the 2010 Warialda Cup and a huge crowd, about 1000, turned up for his funeral at Tamworth racecourse on Monday, February 19. It was a sad but joyous day, Lesley Jeffriess said. Sad to lose such a great bloke but also heartwarming to celebrate such a good life with some amazing sporting achievements and then to have a “whiskey or two” in his honour at the wake in the Racecourse bar afterwards. “He enjoyed it,’ Lesley said of her father’s life. “He loved Grafton too. Had been going there for so long before Akwazoff won the Cup. We were always lucky to win a race there, let alone a Grafton Cup. I watched the race that day from the trainers’ bar. They nearly threw us through the roof when he won.” Lesley used to ride Akwazoff in a lot of his work as well. “Everybody rode him,” she said. “He was such a good horse to do anything with.” It was a long road for Merv to educate and turn him into a winning proposition but, from the day Danny Frahm won his maiden on him at Tamworth, he continued to improve. Even after his racing career ended, he had some big “wins”, becoming a police horse with NSW Police and serving with distinction until his death at age 21. OT

had been attending Grafton Cups since the mid-’80s when Akwazoff turned out in the 1997 Grafton Cup. However I never “saw him win” that day. I had watched him develop and win some nice races in that time as well as become even friendlier with his trainer, Merv Corliss. I was in a great spot. My job as sports editor of The Northern Daily Leader gave me the chance to report on and chronicle his, and Merv Corliss’s, careers. I had marvelled at the stories Merv told of “old days” when he used to load up a truck and head north from Tamworth for a couple of weeks, chasing the local Cups circuit. One day I remember giving him a lift home from Armidale where Akwazoff, a younger up-and-coming horse, had won well. He said then he thought he’d go on and win some nice races. He did win many nice races, including two Armidale Cups and three successive Gunnedah Cups for Merv, who raced the son of Zoffany with breeders Mia and Neil Latimer. In 1997 Akwazoff was at the height of his career – he’d won another Gunnedah Cup, won a Quirindi Cup carrying a huge weight and was aiming for a Grafton Cup. I remember taking 10- or 11-1 about him that day before climbing the stairs into the main grandstand, behind Neil and Merv. They stopped and watched the race from the walkway. I stood beside them. My only mistake that day, for as

they turned for home, Garry Baker, who had sat second all the way, pulled out and sailed to glory. At the 200m mark Neil, who had played for the Wallabies and was a large individual about 2m tall, was so pumped and, celebrating already, grabbed me in a bear hug. For the last 150m of the race I dangled in mid-air, my toes six inches from firm ground and my chest being crushed by Neil’s exuberant jumping. By the time Akwazoff went past the post I was also touching down on terra firma and following Merv and Neil as they rushed down the steps. What followed was chaotic. All I remember is how will I write this story and send it back to The NDL.

E VEN AS GOOD AS HE WAS A TRAINER HE WAS AN EVEN BETTER BLOKE. In those days I used to take holidays to go to Grafton but would send back half a dozen stories a day on the Ramornie and Cup meetings extolling the many wins of our local horses from across the HNWRA. It was something I did gratis because we had so many great trainers such as Keith Swan, who won a Ramornie with Indian Chief and a Kirby handicap as well as numerous trainer of the carnival awards. It was an honour to write of Akwazoff’s brilliantly simple win and of his trainer, Merv Corliss, a most outstanding individual summed up so well by Garry Baker. “Even as good as he was a trainer he was an even better bloke.” I thank The Daily Examiner’s On Track magazine for giving me this chance to write once more of Akwazoff and Merv Corliss. It is an honour of high distinction for me. I hope I have done them justice. May they rest in peace, two of country racing’s finest. LEGENDS: Trainer Merv Corliss and his buddy Akwazoff. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

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It’s all there in black and gold Striking fashion is front and centre at the July carnival’s kickstarter - Westlawn Day Charlie Doggett with the winners of the Westlawn Black and Gold Fashion stakes on Westlawn Finance Prelude Day last year. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN

ESTLAWN’S traditional free race day is a golden opportunity for race lovers. “It’s always a good day,” says Charlie Doggett, a Grafton horse owner and most surprised winner in last year’s Black and Gold Fashions on the Field. The fashion competition is one of the highlights of Westlawn’s annual Black and Gold Race Day, which for more than 30 years, has started the July Racing Carnival in style. “Somehow I ended up being the only male in with the ladies,” says Mr Doggett, who had volunteered to escort several women from The Whiddon Group aged care home who were entering Fashions on the Field. At some point, he found himself standing with a contestant number in front of him, among many beautifully dressed women.

The judges awarded him the Spirit of Westlawn for his elegant black vest and gold tie and his warm attitude. “I got a prize because I was the only man, I think,” the humble winner said. For years, Charlie Doggett has been among thousands of racegoers of all ages who gather for the July carnival’s only free day of fashion, racing and frivolity. Many don their best — or silliest, most comfortable, most stylish — black and gold outfits. Those who enter Fashions on the Field are up for some great prizes — last year, the top trophy an accommodation package with Jester Hills Wines. “I think everybody should join in to these community events and try to make them bigger and better each year,” Mr Doggett said.

Amid the fashion and family friendly events — Wally the Westlawn Wallaby is always around for photos and hellos — there is a full racing program. The winners of the day’s John Carlton Cup and the Westlawn Grafton Cup Prelude will qualify for the carnival’s major races, the Ramornie Handicap and the Grafton Cup. “Being part of July racing is being part of Grafton and to kick off the carnival is an honour,” says Jim Dougherty, Board Chairman of Westlawn. “It is low-key for everyone to have some black and gold on and enjoy the day – or of course to dress to the nines if they’re feeling the spirit.” Westlawn’s Black and Gold Race Day is on Thursday, July 5. Admissions is free and all are welcome to all member areas. Details at www.westlawn.com.au/graftonprelud

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MAYOR’S STRONG INTEREST IN CUP S ’ share Son’s h iin ffavourite i gets the pulses racing THE family of Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons must declare a strong interest in today’s $160,000 McKimms Real Estate Grafton Cup. Cr Simmons’ youngest son Jason and wife Kerri have a share in the Gai Waterhouse, Adrian Bott-trained four-year-old Supply and Demand, who should start favourite today. He said business interests would keep Jason and Kerri away today, but other members of the family would be front and centre at the track this afternoon. “My wife, Lexi, is getting very excited that she might be the one to put the sash on

the winner,” he said. “I’ve got business at council until 2.30pm but I will be making a dash out there after that.” A spokesman for the Waterhouse/Bott stable, Neil Paine, said it was very likely the Simmons family would be in the winner’s circle. “He’s in great form,” Paine said. “He’s won two races over 1800m and 2000m in Sydney and then went on to win the Listed Caloundra Cup over 2400m in his last three starts. “He’s a remarkable horse, who has wins over every distance from 1100m to 2400m.”

Jockey Joshua Parr gestures after riding Supply and Demand to win race 6, Caloundra Cup at Sunshine Coast Turf Club in the Sunshine Coast on July 1.

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Tales from the tail end The July Racing Carnival could get messy very quickly without John Hall there to meet, greet, scoop and repeat Words: Lesley Apps Clarence River Jockey Club yard attendant John Hall.

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he July Racing Carnival would be a messy, smelly affair if not for John Hall. The veteran Clarence River Jockey Club employee is chief yard attendant; in fact he’s the whole department most race days. “It’s really like a PR job really. You’ve got to meet the trainers and the stablehands, have a happy face on and get them to enjoy their day out, whether their horse loses or not,” John said. He’s also there to greet the jockeys as they come in to get changed for the afternoon, while John issues the numbered bibs to signify who’s who out there. “After that you go back out with your smiling face and greet the strappers as they parade their horses, open the gates for them and the horses to go out onto the track,” he said. “You give them a smile and they give you a

smile back. You treat them with a sour face and they go, ‘what a bugger of a track this is’. You do your job and the meeting is partly a success because of what you do.” But there can be occasions in his role when conjuring up a smile can be a tough ask, especially when it’s time to check the mounting yard and parade ring to see if any of the horses have left their calling cards. “Some races there’s none, other times they never stop pooping and you hate the bloody things,” John said. He said the reason some races were worse than others when it came to the amount of scooping required was the type of horses being featured. “The younger ones get nervous. They come into the parade ground and they just poop everywhere,” he said.

PHOTO: BILL NORTH

After the mess is cleaned up, John is back to opening the gates to let the horses and jockeys back in after the race. “Then the bibs go away ready for the next race. It’s a full-on job once they start running,” he said. The Grafton racetrack veteran has seen a lot of carnivals during his 35 years on course, filling numerous other roles during that time including being on the fluctuation board, car parking attendant, and assistant judge. “I’ve done nearly every job there is to be done by the little guy and I still love it,” John said. “Grafton is rated as one of the best tracks outside of Brisbane and Sydney, given the quality of our fields now. And the July Carnival is our pride and joy so you try to make every one better than the last.” Let’s hope the horses are kind this year.

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