See & Do

The Melbourne Cup 2013

Yesterday was the famous Melbourne Cup race and my partner Theo and I had “smashing” good time.

We woke up bright and early, had a hearty breakfast, packed a light lunch, and hopped on the train from our suburb into Flinders Street Station. A fun Elvis impersonator was there to guide people to the right trains and we were at Flemington Racecourse just a little after 9am. Mother Nature was on our side. It was a bright spring day, cool in the shade, and warm in the sun.

Racehorse cuff links.
I bought Theo a pair of racehorse cuff links for the occasion.

Elvis impersonator at Flinders Street Station.

Entertainers at Flemington. Entertainers at Flemington.

The train conveniently stops right inside Flemington Racecourse. The tickets I won from the guest blog competition at SportsBet were great. They gave us access to the area known as the Precinct with plenty of food and drink bars and seating. Our seats inside the Lawn Stand put us near the finish line and gave us an excellent view of this three-and-a-half minute race that stops the nation.

After exploring our areas, we had a cup of coffee, chit-chatted with a delightful older couple from Queensland, and went to the Front Lawn East to check out what turned out to be my favourite part of the day, Myers Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field.

Myer Fashions on the Field competition stage.

The competition area is very small and direct access is limited to the contestants, judges, media, and VIP. There’s a general viewing area upstairs, but it’s small and crowded, which makes it hard to see below. Fortunately, the contestants come out and are more than happy to pose in front of the Myer marquee. Armed with my point-and-shoot camera, I stood by the pros with their very expensive DSLR cameras and snapped away. I wasn’t shy about approaching other ladies and asking if I could snap their picture. They were more than happy to smile and strike a pose. Even if you’re not competing, this is the place to show off your outfit.

For more Myer Fashions on the Field and to see what the celebs were wearing in other, more exclusive areas of Flemington, check out Myer’s 2013 photo album on Facebook.

As for my own outfit, I mentioned in my previous entry about fashion and the Spring Racing Carnival that I had a change a heart and exchanged a beige and black dress for something more colourful, and I’m so glad I did. I got a bright, spring dress and added a black bolero, a coral-coloured fascinator, yellow handbag, and low, black heels. The shoes were an especially smart choice. I didn’t get any blisters and my tootsies felt good at the end of the day. The dress and jacket are from Citi Chic. The fascinator is by Gregory Ladner, the handbag by Olga Berg, and shoes are by Allino, all from Myer.

Melbourne Cup Day outfit.

Melbourne Cup general admission area.

Melbourne Cup general admission area.

Melbourne Cup general admission area.

The general admission area gives you a pretty good view of a lot of the action at Flemington. It appears to be standing room only, but many people bring chairs and blankets. You’re also allowed to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages.

After checking out the fashions, we went to Parade Ring to get a closer look at the magnificent horses. After a short while there, we found a lovely shady spot on the grass, and sat down to have some sandwiches we packed. The food at Flemington is not terribly overpriced, but the queues are very long, and since you’re allowed to bring food, why not?

Melbourne Cup Parade Ring.

Melbourne Cup Parade Ring.

Melbourne Cup Parade Ring.

Melbourne Cup Parade Ring.

Melbourne Cup Parade Ring.

Statue of a horse.

Racegoers relaxing on the hill.

Melbourne Cup Day race.

Melbourne Cup Day race.

Melbourne Cup Day race.

Melbourne Cup Day race.

Melbourne Cup Day race.

Passing the Hill, we returned to the Precint for some drinks, placed our bets, and off we were to our seats in the Lawn Stand for the Melbourne Cup race. I bet on Green Moon, my favourite and the winner from last year, and on Dear Demi. I lost, but Theo bet on two of the winning horses, Fiorente, which came in first, and Mount Athos, which came in third. Red Cadeaux came in second. Theo won a whopping $139.

After the Melbourne Cup race, we returned to the Precinct for drinks and snacks and to take in the sights. Although a few folks bring the kids, this is primarily an adult event. The Melbourne Cup day is described as one of the “booziest” days in Australia. There is a lot of drinking going on. People will party on into the evening and the place is trashed by the end of the day. But it was early in the day. We only saw one incident of security dragging a man out of the Precinct, and didn’t see any obnoxious, drunk behaviour. Rubbish bins were plentiful and the bags were collected often and we didn’t see too much trash around. Also, although there are thousands of people, the event didn’t feel crowded. Although the queues for food, drink, and betting were sometimes long, we had ample time to do everything we wanted to do, and we could always find a place to sit.

Security removing someone from the park.

Musicians.

Flemington Racecourse train stop.

There were other races throughout the day, but we didn’t see or bet on any of them. At about 4 o’clock, we decided to head home. The last race was at 5:15pm and the last train departing Flemington was at 9pm. There were DJs, food, drink, and space to dance or just hang out, but I was more than satisfied with my day and was glad to come home early enough to relax, put away my dress, and make dinner.

Once again, a big thanks to SportsBet for the tickets and to family, friends, and readers who voted for my guest blog entry. Attending the Melbourne Cup was a wonderful experience. The only question that remains now is, what will I do with my fascinator? I’ll just wear around the house whenever I’m feeling regal.

Comments

comments

  • julesdownunder

    Awesome photos- I felt like I was there! Gorgeous day as well.

    • Thank you! It was a beautiful day. Melbourne weather at its best.

  • Susie

    Beautiful photos, and a great telling of the story! I do love experiencing the country through your eyes.

  • Loved all these outfits! I wish they had something like this in the US (Kentucky Derby fashion seems to pale in comparison). And your outfit was super cute too! Looks like you had a great time.

    • The Kentucky Derby is the only American event that I can think that might be comparable, but not only am I not sure it’s as fashionable or as popular. The Melbourne Cup is watched all over Australia by people who don’t even follow racing. We talked to people from other parts of Australia and even New Zealand who traveled to be at the Cup. And thanks for the compliment about my dress. We did have a great time!

  • It sounds as though you had a fantastic day.The photos you and Theo took look as good as any professionals and you brought us a great variety.All those outfits and hats are so reminiscent of Derby Day in the UK. You could dye your fascinator ready for next year.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Thank you. And dying the fascinator is a brilliant idea!

  • and where’s the pic of you and theo? did i miss it? looks like a good time!

    • Haha! I thought about it. If you head over to my Facebook, you just might see one or two of us at the race.

  • Hi! I stumbled (seriously…no pun intended here lol) upon your blog a few days ago via another blog I was reading and I love it so far 🙂 I have been thinking about taking a trip out there sometime next year, but am in school so it would need to be around summer time here. How cold does it really get over there during about June/July? Silly question I know, but I think it helps to get the opinion of someone who is currently residing there (and has lived in the States) versus “listening” to statistics.

    • Hi there, creamychipotle (great name). It’s not a silly question. I’m not gonna lie; it gets pretty darn cold, it can be gloomy, and it sometimes rains. If you could come during your spring or winter break, you’d find nicer weather. Still, even in winter, Melbourne is a great city and there’s lots to do.

      • Yeah, I wanted to make it over there during the Spring, but with it only being a week break and the flight being so long (like 20-30 odd hours with all the tranfers) I didn’t think I would be able to enjoy the trip as much. I hope you don’t mind my questions; I have been looking through blogs trying to gain some insight on Melbourne and was delighted to find yours as I haven’t come across any from fellow Latinas. Truly I am planning this trip because I have been considering moving abroad (yikes!) and this all has been very intimidating to me as no one in my family (extended or otherwise) has ever moved abroad. -Wendy

  • I don’t mind the questions at all. If you fly out of LAX straight into Melbourne, it’s about a 13-hour flight, but with a rest and doing it twice, you’re right, a week isn’t very long. I’d suggest at least two weeks; three is better. I sympathize with your situation. My family is pretty traditional too and the idea of me moving across the world didn’t sit very well with them at first.

  • Mi mami thinks I have lost my marbles. lol Ugh I wish, I live in Arkansas so no chance of a nonstop flight there; this is one of the many times that I wish my family had stayed in Los Angeles. I am trying to swing a two week trip and have been checking out several areas; what has been your experience with the public transportation over there? Our public transport system here is weak, to put it mildly, so other than 2-3 trips to NY I haven’t really used public transportation.

    • Yeah, it will be a longer flight from Arkansas. From Miami to Melbourne, it’s about 25 hours door to door. Public transportation in Melbourne is excellent. There are trains, trams, and buses. The trains and trams are pretty easy to navigate; the bus system is a little more complicated, but it’s all pretty cheap, comfortable, and safe.

      • That is very reassuring to know as I don’t think I would be too comfortable driving in Australia and I’m pretty sure the people of Melbourne wouldn’t be too thrilled with the idea either. lol Thank you so much for all your information. If there’s anything else you think I should know about traveling over there please let me know. 🙂

        • One very important thing: bring money, lots of it. Melbourne is expensive. You can do a lot of tourist things free and cheap, but in general you’ll find things here are two and three times as much as in the USA.

  • Loved this, Cosette. Thanks.

  • Yes, I had heard and read about the prices. I am trying to pour over as much information as I can find on traveling in Australia in order to avoid “sticker shock” or any other surprises.