Issued: Tuesday 10 July, 2012 [PDF,80kb]
One of country NSW’s premier racing carnivals will be bigger and better than ever this year thanks to a substantial increase of total prize money to one million dollars and a major upgrade of facilities, according to Minister for Racing, George Souris.
"There is no doubt that the Grafton Cup Carnival is the pinnacle of country racing in Northern NSW, attracting tens of thousands of punters and spectators alike as well as some of our top thoroughbreds. It comprises five days of racing and fashion, and attracts patrons from around Australia and overseas," Mr Souris said.
The Carnival begins tomorrow, with the Ramornie Handicap ($150,000 prize money) first run in 1917; followed on Thursday by the feature race, the Grafton Cup ($150,000 prize money) first run in 1910. I will be pleased to attend the Grafton Cup on Thursday.
"Its value to the local economy is enormous and the Board of the Clarence River Jockey Club (CRJC) – an organisation founded in 1861, just a year after Royal Randwick was opened – has done a great job in promoting and enhancing this country racing spectacular.
"Last November, together with Racing NSW CEO, Peter V’Landys, I was privileged to announce the provision of $200,000 to the CRJC to upgrade customer facilities at the track which has been completed in time for this year’s Carnival.
"Major racing carnivals are important events for regional areas, providing a chance for local residents and visitors to come together in a relaxed and fun social setting to spend time with friends and enjoy some real racing action".
"Grafton’s annual Racing Carnival is a perfect example, attracting more than 30,000 people over its five days, including over 10,000 people for the Grafton Cup and over 5,500 for Ramornie Handicap.
"Country racecourses such as Grafton are beautiful tracts of land and I congratulate the CRJC for working to put on community-friendly events that can make families feel welcome and comfortable to experience the overall package of an exciting day at the races.
Media contact: Norm Lipson 0467 734 679