ALL DRESSED UP: Emeila, 7, and Naomi Cooke of Coffs Harbour are all smiles at the Maclean Cup.
ALL DRESSED UP: Emeila, 7, and Naomi Cooke of Coffs Harbour are all smiles at the Maclean Cup. Adam Hourigan

CRJC boss delighted by July Carnival's success

WITH trainers and crowds coming from everywhere, Clarence River Jockey Club CEO Michael Beattie said he was extremely happy looking back at the July Racing Carnival.

"We conducted 41 races, which is up from 37 last year,” he said.

"And it was extremely well patronised, with all the leading country trainers supporting us.

"We also had city players from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane supporting, and in addition to two New Zealand-trained runners in the Cup.”

The lengthening of the carnival was the major change to this year's event, with Westlawn Day moving back to Sunday, something that Mr Beattie said would remain into the future.

"The success of Westlawn Day going back to its previous figures attendance-wise, moving it to 11 days before the Cup, means that configuration will stay into the future,” he said.

"It enables everybody in the Valley to get to at least one day of racing and we think that's great.”

Despite early forecasts for poor weather, only South Grafton Cup was interrupted by weather.

"Really we probably only had 20 minutes of no-good weather, and that affected the track to some degree on Ramornie Day,” Mr Beattie said.

"If that's the worst weather we get, we'll be doing all right.”

Mr Beattie said overall the crowds were up for the carnival year on year by about 100 people, with the crowd up 200 on Ramornie Day, and down 200 on Cup Day.

"Overall our crowd has been extremely stable across the five days of the carnival, and has been like that in real terms over the last three years,” Mr Beattie said.

"I think that's because we have a good mix. Certainly Wednesday and Thursday focus on high-quality racing, and while on the other days the racing is much better than a normal country race meeting, they focus on family-style entertainment and we think that's been very well received.”