EARLY START: Ready for Cup Day are Ballina Jockey Club CEO Sarah Wills (left), The Point general manager Kerrie Grayndler and its business development manager Jason Mumford, with Paint the horse who only came for the photo shoot.
EARLY START: Ready for Cup Day are Ballina Jockey Club CEO Sarah Wills (left), The Point general manager Kerrie Grayndler and its business development manager Jason Mumford, with Paint the horse who only came for the photo shoot. Doug Eaton

Ballina's off - to see the races

BALLINA Shire residents may be the only folk in the country with an official pass out of work tomorrow.

The Ballina Cup kicks off after midday with all the fashion, fanfare, and the half-day public holiday, that normally accompany one of the biggest local social events of the year.

The Point is serving up a tasty dish in honour of the races.

The restaurant and bar in the Ramada Hotel and Suites, Martin Street, Ballina, is the major sponsor of the $50,000 Point Ballina Cup.

It's the first time for several years that a local business has been able to sponsor the cup, Ballina Jockey Club CEO Sarah Wills said.

Previous sponsor Carlton Draught is still involved in the event.

Ms Wills said the Jockey Club was pleased to have a 'prestigious' local business sponsoring the major race on the card.

General manager of The Point, Kerrie Grayn- dler, said the restaurant's owner, John Cordina, was involved in the racing industry, being an owner of racehorses based in Sydney.

But there is a crack-down this year on child ren attending the event.

Ms Wills said under- 18s won't be allowed entry to the Ballina racecourse unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

And 18 to 25-year-olds will be given a wristband to identify them after showing proof of age.

Gates open at the course at 10.30am and tickets cost $20.

Jazz musicians will wander around the field providing live entertainment throughout the afternoon.

For more details and bus timetables from Lennox Head, Alstonville and Ballina, see www.ballinajockeyclub. com.au.



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