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2019 VRC Spring Carnival

Victoria Racing Club Unveils New Birdcage

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) has announced a reimagining of Australia’s most prestigious corporate hospitality real estate – The Birdcage – unveiling an entrance reflective of the global nature of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, an injection of colour into the streets and the all-star line-up of partner marquees in Lexus, Network 10, Kennedy, Furphy, Seppelt Wines, Tabcorp, Mumm, Bumble, News Corp Australia, Schweppes and the VRC’s 1 Oliver Street members marquee.

The VRC’s world-famous Birdcage has earnt its reputation as the playground of the rich and famous and this year a new level of excitement will weave throughout the Birdcage in beguiling style with vibrant experiences brought to life from the jaw dropping arrival moment to the all-new Bird Bath Bar, magical moments throughout and elements of discovery including a new intriguing bar exclusive to Birdcage guests.

“In 2016 we changed the game with the introduction of The Park, revolutionising the experience for our general admission guests. Last year we unveiled the $128 million Club Stand, a commitment to our 33,000 members and in 2019, our attention turns to The Birdcage, the corporate hospitality arena that is one of the key differentiators from every racing club and sporting event in the world,” said VRC Chief Executive Officer Neil Wilson.  “To further enhance the incredible marquee and brand experiences delivered year after year by our partners, the VRC is committed to making the Birdcage experience spine tingling from the moment you enter this premium enclosure,” concluded Mr Wilson.

New to the famed Birdcage, the VRC’s broadcast partner Network 10 gallops into millionaires’ row taking up residence in prime position on the coveted strip after announcing a landmark media deal incorporating a live studio for programs including The Project and Studio 10. 10 News First and The Loop will also be broadcasting live from Flemington.

Network 10’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Anderson said, “Our partnership with the VRC is continuing to go from strength to strength. As the new broadcast partner for the Melbourne Cup Carnival, we wanted to transform the broadcast experience for audiences. What better way to do it than to broadcast directly from the best place to be during Cup time – the Birdcage. This is unprecedented access for audiences and one of the many things we’re doing to bring the Carnival to life, better than ever before. We can’t wait to share more of our plans.”

Leaders in corporate hospitality, entertainment and fashion with a premium trackside location, the Birdcage will also play host to returning sponsors including VRC Principal Partner Lexus and Major Partners Furphy and Seppelt Wines whilst all eyes will be on Champagne House Mumm featuring spectacular feats.

“We are thrilled to be moving into our second year as Principal Partner. In 2019, the Lexus Design Pavilion will welcome, host and excite all those who enter. We will hero our commitment to creating amazing experiences. Every moment will be consciously crafted to encapsulate the Lexus lifestyle – the Lexus ethos experienced without getting behind the steering wheel of one of our cars,” said Lexus Australia Chief Executive Scott Thompson.

“Furphy Refreshing Ale is excited to be in the Birdcage again in 2019 with our Melbourne pub-inspired marquee, which celebrates great storytelling. Like any good pub, the marquee will have a range of Lion beers on tap for guests to enjoy whilst taking in the magnificent views of the track,” said Lion Brand Director – Craft, Malcolm Eadie.

“We’re delighted to return to Flemington for the anticipated 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival. The Birdcage enclosure is the perfect setting to showcase our elevated Seppelt Wines Marquee, featuring an expanded al fresco area, with coveted views across the parade ring. Guests will enjoy a selection of our leading wines, including the iconic Seppelt Original Sparkling Shiraz, paired alongside a menu inspired by Seppelt’s Victorian heritage,” said Treasury Wine Estates Managing Director ANZ Peter Neilson.

“Mumm champagne is celebrating its 10th year as the official champagne of the Melbourne Cup Carnival and our long standing partnership with the Victoria Racing Club. This year, Mumm will host one of their most luxurious and stylish celebrations yet. We have curated a ‘degustation’ of premium experiences for our guests in the two-storey marquee and we look forward to unveiling more in coming months,” said Pernod Ricard Marketing Director Eric Thomson.

Gracing the front row of the Birdcage sits VRC Major Partner luxury jewellery and watch specialty retailer Kennedy as it shifts to millionaires’ row between News Corp Australia and VRC’s owned property The Perch, with Tabcorp retaining its expanded footprint in the coveted front row of the Birdcage.

“Kennedy is thrilled to be celebrating our third year in the Birdcage with a move to the front row. The all-new and expanded luxury Kennedy Pavilion will reflect our brand’s reputation for elegance, quality, attention to detail and impeccable service – all with the best view of the world’s greatest horse racing,” said Kennedy Executive Chairman James Kennedy.

News Corp Australia Managing Director, National Sales Lou Barrett said, “The Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of the greatest sporting events in the world and we are very excited to again host our valued clients in the Birdcage. This year, we are taking the Birdcage to the next level – literally – with a bigger, better and bolder experience that embodies the excitement and glamour of the Carnival. Our guests are going to love it.”

Tabcorp GM Wagering – Victoria, Trevor Parkes said, “True to our racing heritage, we will have screens throughout our Birdcage marquee bringing our guests – including some of the biggest names in the industry – all the action from the track. The marquee design is all about light, colour and floral touches, and guests will enjoy a menu designed by a top Melbourne chef.”

Social networking app Bumble will be abuzz in the Birdcage as it commits to hosting a hospitality space for all four days of the Carnival as the brand brings its woman-first platform to life in the exclusive facility for a second consecutive year.

“We are delighted to be back in the Birdcage this year. We saw phenomenal results from our participation in the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival and by all accounts the plans for 2019 are set to make the celebrations bigger and better than ever. The Bumble marquee will again host the most inspirational women in Australia, and our theme is something that even seasoned racegoers won’t have seen before! Download Bumble to be across all our updates, events and giveaways in the lead up to MCC 2019,” said Bumble Associate Marketing Director Michelle Battersby.

Cup Week is the single biggest economic contributor to the national economy of any sporting event with last year’s event generating a record $447.6 million in gross economic benefit to Victoria.

The 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival begins with AAMI Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 2 November, followed by Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 5 November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 7 November and Seppelt Wines Stakes Day on Saturday 9 November.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit: Join the conversation across social media with #MelbCupCarnival and follow us on Instagram @flemingtonvrc, Twitter @flemingtonvrc, and on Facebook



The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) has announced that Western Australian-born model and businesswoman Nicole Trunfio will return to the Melbourne Cup Carnival as its special guest attending Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 7 November 2019.

Trunfio’s visit will include attending the VRC Kennedy Oaks Club Lunch at Crown and Kennedy Oaks Day at Flemington where she will be a guest in the VRC’s 1 Oliver St Birdcage marquee and judge the Myer Fashions on the Field National Final in The Park.

Speaking from her home in Texas, Trunfio said she was delighted to be coming home for the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“To say I’m excited to be returning to the Melbourne Cup Carnival and attending Kennedy Oaks Day for the first time as a guest of the Victoria Racing Club would be an understatement!” she said. “I have been looking forward to making my way back to Flemington for my favourite racing event in the world since the last time I visited in 2016. I’m told the Birdcage is being reimagined this year and I can’t wait to see it when I visit the VRC’s 1 Oliver St marquee.”

Having modelled for international designers including Chanel, Versace and Christian Dior, Trunfio is perfectly placed to judge the Myer Fashions on the Field National Final and offered some advice to participants.

“It’s about the full picture. You have licence to push the boundaries with fashion and styling on Kennedy Oaks Day, however, remember that at the end of the day it’s about how the outfit comes together from head to toe,” she said.

VRC Executive General Manager Customer Engagement Caroline Ralphsmith said the Club was looking forward to welcoming the impeccably dressed Trunfio to Flemington again.

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival, and the Birdcage in particular, has since its inception been the playground of the fabulous and famous. We can’t wait to welcome Nicole back to Flemington and think she is a perfect fit for Kennedy Oaks Day, embodying everything the day stands for with her effortless style and high fashion credibility.”

The VRC special guest features on the cover of ELLE Australia’s October edition in an ethereal fashion shoot captured at the model’s ranch in Texas where she resides with husband Gary Clark Jr and their children Zion (4) and Gia (20 months).

The tradition of Kennedy Oaks Day is beauty, femininity, style and grace. It’s a day that the racegoer can embrace wonderment and escape the normal of a week day.

The style is not just for the females, men are also encouraged to take it up a notch, making it one of the best days of the year for men to dress up and explore fashion. Kennedy Oaks Day’s significance on the fashion calendar is further reinforced with the crowning of the Myer Fashions on the Field Women’s Racewear national winner.

The racing highlight is the $1 Million Group 1 Kennedy Oaks (2500m), which will see the best three-year-old staying fillies battle for victory in the ultimate test of their staying credentials.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit:


***Tegan Martin revealed as this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival ambassador***

The Victoria Racing Club’s (VRC) spring celebrations are officially in bloom with the announcement of Australian model Tegan Martin as this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival ambassador.

Her first official appearance will be at Flemington on Thursday 12 September for the highly anticipated Myer Spring Fashion Lunch, ahead of Sofitel Girls’ Day Out on Saturday 14 September and Turnbull Stakes Day on Saturday 5 October along with every day of the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

The 27-year-old is a passionate racegoer and said she was delighted to be this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival ambassador. “To be announced as this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival ambassador is an absolute dream come true,” Tegan said. “Nothing compares to a day at Flemington, Cup Week is my favourite time of the year and I’m really looking forward to being part of all the action and showing everyone how to get the most out of their day trackside.”

Tegan’s love of horses began at an early age, encouraged by her dad. “I have such fond memories of dad putting me on a horse for the first time when I was quite young. I’ve had a soft spot for horses ever since,” she said. “Every year when we were kids my dad would meet me and my brother at the school gate with the sweep from the newspaper and we’d race home to watch the Melbourne Cup together. Dad’s passion has definitely rubbed off on me!”

The appointment proves timely, with the Newcastle-born model set to move to Melbourne ahead of this year’s ‘race that stops a nation’.

“It’s hard to put into words what it is like to experience Cup Day at Flemington, other than it’s something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. From the moment you walk through the gates and see the roses in full bloom and the most breathtaking racetrack, to the social atmosphere throughout the day and the sheer excitement when the horses approach the starting gate,” she said.

“I have had some incredible experiences at the Lexus Melbourne Cup over the years, from brushing shoulders with racing royalty in the Birdcage to fine dining in the stands but hearing one of my favourite artists Sam Smith perform live last year was a real ‘pinch me’ moment. I can’t wait to see who will be entertaining us this year!”

VRC Executive General Manager Customer Engagement Caroline Ralphsmith said Tegan was the perfect person to represent the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival. “We are delighted to announce Tegan as this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival ambassador,” Ms Ralphsmith said. “Her sunny disposition and love of a day at Flemington make her the perfect fit for the Melbourne Cup Carnival. We can’t wait for Tegan to showcase to racegoers where to find the best food, fashion and entertainment every day of the Carnival.”

Tickets for AAMI Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 2 November, Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 5 November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 7 November and Seppelt Wines Stakes Day on Saturday 9 November can be purchased at


***Homegrown artists to light up The Park***

Some of the biggest names in Australian music – Ball Park MusicBirds of TokyoDean Lewis and Kian – are set to shine on stage in The Park during the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington Racecourse.

The diverse all-star line-up will entertain guests across-the-board over AAMI Victoria Derby Day (Saturday 2 November), Lexus Melbourne Cup Day (Tuesday 5 November), Kennedy Oaks Day (Thursday 7 November), and Seppelt Wines Stakes Day (Saturday 9 November).

AAMI Victoria Derby Day will play host to ARIA chart-toppers Ball Park Music and their melancholic pop melodies, and the cruisey surf-rock sounds of Lime Cordiale.

ARIA award-winners Birds of Tokyo will turn things up a notch on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, complementing the electricity of ‘the race that stops a nation’ with their contemporary rock sound. And alt-pop darling Owl Eyes will serenade Cup goers with her much-loved harmonies.

Kennedy Oaks Day sees the #1 ARIA chart topping and billion plus streaming artist, Dean Lewis take to the stage, fresh off the back of his North American tour. The Sydney singer-songwriter who emerged on the scene in 2016, is riding a wave of global success with multi-platinum hits, WavesBe Alright and 7 Minutes among the tracks he will perform from his ARIA #1, Gold selling album ‘A Place We Knew’. In addition Australian indie royalty The Jungle Giants are sure to deliver an electrifying set with scream-your-lungs-out choruses and charging dance hooks.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival reaches its crescendo on Seppelt Wines Stakes Day featuring Victoria’s own Kian, who emerged as one of Australia’s hottest new acts in 2018, as well as Aussie DJ Young Franco.

Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Executive General Manager Customer Engagement Caroline Ralphsmith said the 2019 Park lineup is bound to please music fans young and old.

“The VRC places priority on delivering an all-encompassing experience for racegoers at Flemington, and The Park embodies this vision,” she said. “With such a variety of musical acts, from alternative to ARIA award-winning, we’re confident The Park will again be the place to party for all racegoers. We’re delighted to be able to provide a platform for local emerging music talent and bring some of the country’s biggest names to Flemington for all to enjoy for the cost of a general admission ticket. This is also just the tip of the iceberg with more exciting entertainment announcements to come. We are thrilled to continue to elevate the Melbourne Cup Carnival experience with world-class performances. Watch this space!”

In addition to the main stage, the Rotunda in The Park will host various performances across all four racedays.

Showcasing pop-ups from Melbourne’s trendiest food institutions, Myer Fashions on the Field, and activations from official sponsors, The Park offers an unforgettable experience for everyone. Spoilt for choice with ways to play, The Park is one of the hottest destinations over Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Entrance to The Park is free for all racegoers. Tickets to all four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival are available at


***New-look Kennedy Oaks Day***

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) has announced the evolution of Kennedy Oaks Day which will see the program of the third day of Australia’s premier racing event enhanced to include a fabulous front lawn luncheon, a later start to the race card and a spectacular entertainment line-up.

Gates open at 11.00am with the first race to be run at 1:50pm and shorter gaps between races designed to amplify the electric atmosphere that accompanies Cup Week celebrations at Flemington.

Kennedy Oaks Day becomes the most unique raceday in Australia with an uninterrupted luncheon period where guests can connect with friends and colleagues, enjoying a range of entertainment across the course before tuning into the racing action at 1:50pm, with the nine-race card set to conclude at 6:25pm.

To top and tail a spectacular day of racing with entertainment, the popular general admission precinct The Park will host a double-header of headline acts on centre stage from the early evening.

Australian indie royalty The Jungle Giants are set to deliver a sensational set before the #1 ARIA chart topping artist Dean Lewis takes to the stage, fresh off the back of his North American tour. The Sydney singer-songwriter is best known for multi-platinum hits, WavesBe Alright and 7 Minutes.

Traditionally known as Ladies Day, Kennedy Oaks Day features the final of the iconic Myer Fashions on the Field National Competition and the running of the $1 million Group 1 Kennedy Oaks (2500m), to be run at the revised time of 5:50pm.

VRC Chief Executive Officer Neil Wilson said the Club is excited to deliver a reimagined program for Kennedy Oaks Day as part of its long-term strategic plan for the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“As the custodians of Australia’s premier racing event it is incumbent on the VRC to look at new ways to innovate and redefine the experience for all on course and this is just one of many exciting changes for the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival,” Mr Wilson said.

“Kennedy Oaks Day is immensely popular every year and the Club believes providing a dedicated lunch period and a later start to the race program is the logical step forward to further enhance the success of the day while broadening the appeal to a new audience. Those who want to enjoy the day in full can make the most of Flemington’s acclaimed dining venues during the lunch period, or take up their place on the front lawn before the racing action begins at 1:50pm. The updated program of events will also make it easier for those with work commitments to take a half-day or finish work and get to the track to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and first-class racing that the VRC’s Melbourne Cup Carnival is known for.”

Outside of the feature race, Kennedy Oaks Day also includes the running of the $500,000 Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Final (1600m), restricted to trainers and horses located in country Victoria.

Kennedy Oaks Day is the fourth most attended day on the Australian racing calendar, and forms part of the biggest week in racing alongside the VRC’s AAMI Victoria Derby Day, Lexus Melbourne Cup Day and Seppelt Wines Stakes Day.

The 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival begins with AAMI Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 2 November, followed by Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 5 November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 7 November and Seppelt Wines Stakes Day on Saturday 9 November.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit:


***Crystal Kimber announced as the 2019 Myer Fashions on the Field Ambassador***


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