From the Newsroom

Brekkie meeting racing with positive news

Emma Pritchard


It was all about racing at the Grafton Chamber of Commerce’s breakfast meeting on June 21 as the monthly get-together focused on two upcoming sporting events in the Clarence Valley.

Special guests including Clarence River Jockey Club (CRJC) CEO Michael Beattie and CRJC Chairman Graeme Green were joined by Grafton Greyhound Racing Club representatives Janine Roberts and Jacaranda Festival Manager Mark Blackadder, who spoke on behalf of Grafton Greyhound Racing Club CEO Brennan Naidoo, as they shared the latest news and updates surrounding their respective racing carnivals with attendees throughout the morning.

Describing the 2023 XXXX July Racing Carnival as the biggest country carnival in Australia, Mr Beattie said the CRJC will host close to 40 race meetings between July 2-16.

And with the Bureau forecasting favourable conditions, he anticipates thousands of visitors will travel to the Clarence Valley for the popular annual event.

On behalf of the CRJC, Mr Beattie gratefully acknowledged local businesses for their ongoing support and sponsorship of the carnival through the Kensei Club, which previously allowed them the opportunity to race for naming rights of the prestigious Grafton Cup.

With Westlawn Finance securing naming rights for the feature staying event for the next four years, Mr Beattie said the CRJC will honour Kensei Club members this year with the first day of the carnival officially named the Kensei Club Community Race Day.

“We’re very thankful to all the local businesses who have been part of the Kensei Club for the last 15 years,” he said.

“And it’s very important to the CRJC that they remain part of the carnival each year.”

On behalf of Mr Naidoo, Mr Blackadder said the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club is looking forward to hosting their 2023 July Racing Carnival from July 2-30, adding the club is keen to continue to build new relationships with local businesses as the event draws closer.

“The carnival will be fantastic, and the club is thankful for the ongoing support of local businesses who have helped to make this event possible,” he said.

Local businesses in Grafton and South Grafton have also been encouraged to become involved with the sporting festivities by entering the July Racing Carnival Shop Front Competition, with prizes awarded to the best displays which capture the essence, spirit, and history of the occasion.

Judging will take place between June 29-30, with the winners to be announced on July 4.

President of the Grafton Chamber of Commerce Natasha Hillery said the competition is also a great way for local businesses to help promote the carnivals to visitors and tourists alike.

“Many visitors walk up and down our streets at this time of year, and they love to see the local businesses decorate their front windows,” she said.

During the breakfast meeting, Ms Hillery also reminded local businesses they have until June 30 to nominate for the 2023 Spring Gala Business Awards online at