2018 VRC Spring Carnival – LEXUS Melbourne Cup Day
On a day that saw more than 50mm of rain fall at Flemington, a crowd of 83,471 witnessed Godolphin and Great Britain claim their first Lexus Melbourne Cup win, and jockey Kerrin McEvoy his third victory in the $7.3 million race at Flemington. Four-year-old Cross Counter took the lead in the final stages of the race, edging out Marmelo for jockey Hugh Bowman.
It was a British training trifecta, with the Charlie Fellowes-trained A Prince of Arran in third. Cross Counter’s triumph hands the Godolphin racing operation its first Lexus Melbourne Cup, 20 years after its very first runner in Australia’s greatest race.
Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chief Executive Officer Neil Wilson congratulated Godolphin on its victory. “The Lexus Melbourne Cup attracts the finest Australian and international staying horses as well as thousands of people who travel to Melbourne from interstate and overseas to join Victorians in being part of the race that stops a nation. In addition, an estimated 750 million people tune in to the race in 163 territories around the world, making it a truly global event. In a year that the VRC celebrates the 25th anniversary of the internationalization of the Lexus Melbourne Cup, it’s fantastic to see Godolphin and Great Britain break through for their first victory after so many attempts to claim Australia’s greatest sporting prize,” Mr Wilson said.
Team Godolphin secured a double on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, taking out the main event as well as winning Race 6 with Pohutukawa for trainer James Cummings.
Leading jockey Linda Meech enjoyed success on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, winning the TAB APP Trophy early in the day and young jockey Ben Allen experienced the thrill of riding a winner on the biggest day of the year at Flemington when he guided Fifty Stars to victory in Race 3. Following Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, James McDonald and Hugh Bowman lead the Ron Hutchison Award for jockeys during Melbourne Cup Carnival with ten points each, while James Cummings leads the Bart Cummings Award for trainers on ten points.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Sam Smith entertained Cup Day crowds, performing two of his smash hits in the Mounting Yard before the race that stops a nation, while The Presets hit the stage in The Park, Flemington’s fashion and entertainment destination free for all racegoers.
The popular Birdcage Enclosure was home to a host of celebrities including celebrities including five-time Grammy award winner and soul icon Dionne Warwick at 1 Oliver St. One of the funniest incidents of the day was the attempt by visiting actress Nathalie Kelley to crack open a bottle of Mumm champagne. She followed instructions to the letter but did not get out of the way when the cork opened. She was duly drenched, and it was about an hour before she reappeared and proceeded to clear away from any champagne bottles. Mumm also hosted my old mate Vince Colosimo and it was terrific to see him looking well. He’d had a trying last twelve months but he assured me he was well and was looking forward to a few good acting roles in the coming year.
Vince was also a guest of Lexus and he was joined there by ambassadors Kate Waterhouse and Megan Gale, plus ex cricket star Ricky Ponting, Jane Bunn and Matt Preston. Tabcorp was a lively marquee as usual and Cup Day saw the appearance of participants in the forthcoming movie “Ride Like A Girl”. It is the story of Michelle Payne’s 2015 Melbourne Cup win and Michelle and brother Stevie Payne were guests along with the film’s director Rachel Griffiths. Stevie had lost his replica cup some time ago and Tabcorp presented him with a new cup, which really thrilled him no end.
Pace Penthouse stepped up a notch with an array of colourful guests and some of their models who are representing the brand at the Cup Carnival. Guests included Lindy Rama-Ellis, several AFL footballers, and a special DJ performance by Havana Brown. It was a vibrant and lively place to be before and after the great Melbourne Cup race. Another marquee with a focus on a younger guest list and predominantly a female one, is Bumble. Led by its founder Michelle Battersby, the music was pumping loudly and the guests were totally engrossed in the atmosphere. Guests there included Marc and Jessie Murphy, Rebecca Judd, Nathan Jones, Nick and Rozalia Russian, Nick Cummins and Tegan Martin. Special guest on Cup Day was Lara Worthington.
At Myer Fashions on the Field, Queensland flight attendant Jordan Beard took out the Women’s Racewear Daily Final in a striking red dress with ruffles, pink heels, and gold millinery and clutch. Jordan will compete for the Victoria title and entry into the National Final on Kennedy Oaks Day.
In a case of second-time’s-a-charm, Palmer Mutandwa from St Kilda East won the Men’s Racewear Final on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, wearing a statement fedora in British racing green, a double-breasted sesame-coloured suit, multi-coloured tie, and tan shoes.
Kate Watts won the newly refocused Emerging Designer Award with her brand Only One Ashley, named after her late daughter Ashley. Kate bought the fabric a year and a half ago knowing that this fabric would form the foundation of the capsule she wanted to enter.
Photos are courtesy of Matt Deller.
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