CHICK MAGNET: You cant buy fashion like this, say Mathew Barnes (left) and mate Gus McFarlane at the Ballina Jockey Club Box
CHICK MAGNET: You cant buy fashion like this, say Mathew Barnes (left) and mate Gus McFarlane at the Ballina Jockey Club Box

Girls jockey to score a date with race day fashion guru

By MARY MANN mary.mann@northernstar.com.au MATHEW BARNES considers himself somewhat a fashion leader. So it only made sense he would sport a 'crazy green suit' at the%Ballina Boxing Day races.

The Lennox Head punter was the centre of attention in his group of mates, who yesterday pulled on their most fashionable outfits for a big day at the Ballina racecourse.

"It's a chick magnet," Mathew joked as he had his photo taken by The Northern Star.

"I've already lined up half-a-dozen girls for dates after the races."

And his mates had nothing but praise for his efforts. "It's amazing, you can't buy fashion like this," a couple of them said.

Mathew said he had the suit tailor-made especially for him to wear to the races while he was in Bali recently.

"It is made from imported silk from China, and breathes really well," he said.

Mathew and his mates weren't the only ones letting their hair down yesterday after a hectic Christmas.

Up to 4500 people were expected to spill through the gates and take part in the race day action, which included live entertainment by a band.

Most were dressed in their best outfits, some wearing suits and ties or flowing gowns; others taking a more casual approach and going for the three-quarter length denim jeans look. There was even a group of guys who made top hats out of empty alcohol boxes.

Garry Kliese, president of the Ballina Jockey Club, said the day was a great way to wind down after a busy year.

"Despite the horse flu crises we haven't missed our two feature races the Ballina Cup and the Boxing Day races which is a fantastic achievement," he said.

"Everyone has been well-behaved so far and seems to be having a good time.

"And to make things more enjoyable, it's not as hot as it usually is during the Boxing Day races. There's a good sea breeze coming through, which is nice."



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