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Mercedes-Benz Canberra Cocktail Party Toasts the Carnival

A series of social events in the lead up to the Canberra Carnival kicked off on Thursday evening at the beautiful showroom of Mercedes-Benz Canberra. The John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes Cocktail Party saw 200 race-goers, fashionistas and industry heavyweights celebrating what is to be the inaugural Canberra Carnival. 

Hosted by local presenter Tim Shaw, proceedings kicked off with the debut of a Canberra Racing Club and Sky Racing produced hype reel detailing the introduction the two-day carnival event. Club Vice-Chairman Dan Carton delivered a welcome acknowledging dignitaries in the room including the Shadow Racing Minister Mark Parton, local participants and major sponsors John and Vickie McGrath.  

Models styled by Sofia Polak wore beautiful millinery by Cynthia Jones-Bryson who received a prestigious millinery award at last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington. 

Interviews with local Trainers Nick Olive and Barbara Joseph as well as local Jockey Kayla Nisbet delivered an interesting insight into life in the industry and the tight knit community that exists between all the stables at Thoroughbred Park. Barbara Joseph “It’s not like other places, it’s very much a family atmosphere at Canberra hence why we love training out of here”. 

The next event on the Canberra Carnival social calendar is the all-important Barrier Draw for the two feature races, the John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes and the TAB Canberra Cup, in Civic Walk on Thursday 5th of March from 12pm to 1pm.