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Derby Day Horse Races

Spring Carnival for the Melbourne Cup


One of largest events to touch down across Melbourne is the Spring Carnival for Horse racing. Spanning across half of October and into November the whole carnival whips up a buzz of excitement as people get ready to witness "the race that stops the nation". The Melbourne Cup is likened to the Grand National in UK, where all walks of life have a bet on the horses and try to catch the action on the TV.

Before the Melbourne Cup day, there is Derby Day which is part of the same collection of special race days within the Carnival and luckily for us we had got ourselves some tickets to join in the spirit of the occasion. Derby day is considered by many to be the most prestigious day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival and all the ladies dress to impress with a black and white theme whilst the men come suited up.

Sarah and I had done some pre-carnival shopping to try and find an glamorous but affordable dress for Sarah as I was lucky enough to be lent a suit from a friend Abe, meaning I only needed to get some smart shoes. I think you can agree that Sarah done a good job, spending only $70 bucks and looking beautiful with her little fascinator. Especially when some of the ladies going to the races would spend upwards of $500 !!!!


During the morning of the races we posed for our cover shot.


We were up early because we had been invited to Dougo and Erika's place for champagne breakfast. They live walking distance from Flemington race course and so were perfectly positioned for us to enjoy breakfast and also make into the grounds to grab a spot amongst the crowds before the chaos unfolded. Broomy had told me about the previous time he went and the story goes that everyone turns up looking their best and as the day goes on, with the drinks flowing people leave not looking their best.

The sun was out at 8am and it we were expecting to hit the high twenties in temperature so the jackets weren't going to be worn for long. We got our stuff together, hailed a cab and made our way to Dougo and Erika's. Their place was really nice and had a fantastic balcony come dining area with standard Aussie BBQ and Dougo was hard at work getting breakfast prepared.

It was a full table as we were expecting others too join, two of Erika's friends Vanessa and Bianca and our friends Mary and Stefano who bizarrely knew Ericka and had planned to come to Derby day with her unbeknown to us. It was only when Sarah was asking Mary about what to wear that Mary mentioned she would ask her friend Ericka who was going and they both realized they were talking about the same person. Small world!


We cracked open the bubbly before sitting down to eat.


After a superbly made breakfast we headed out for the short walk to Flemington by the riverside.


With Picnic rug in a pack, Broomy looked oddly like a door to door salesman


We made it to the grounds in no time and the crowds were already present.


Entering the grounds you get the sense that it was a big occasion with ladies dressed head to toe in all types of black and white dresses and everyone having either a drink in their hand or a betting slip.

En-route to the general admission area the girls stopped for photos as we would be splitting up because the others had grandstand tickets.


Sarah, Broomy and I found a spot near the racetrack to put to the picnic rug and then it was time to get in line for a drink and place our bets for the second race. As with most heavily attended events the queues were long and so Broomy and I picked up enough drinks to tied us over. It did mean that we were double barreled for most of the morning.


Sarah took it one my level up when she went to the bar


It was such a gorgeous day and there were so many people in the general admin.


From that point it was get your bets on and get your drink on! Each of us going up and taking our chances, and for a while it wasn't looking good for any of us...until...Sarah's horse won. Being the slight outsider the odds were in her favor and she bagged a cool $130, which helped her to pay off the cost of the outfit for the day.


We were all smiles from that point.


There is always a main event at the races, the one with the biggest winnings and one that everyone wants to get a glimpse of. The Victoria Derby race was no different and as we made our way back from the betting slips we found ourselves by the track edge trying to elbow amongst the crowds as our horses zoomed past.


After the excitement of the race we decided to get together with the others on the Grandstand so we made our way up to the top and managed to do a shifty ticket switch meaning we could all it together, take in the views and get some much needed break from the heat of the sun.


The views of the grounds with the back drop of the city were stunning.


After the last race we all decided we had to go down on the track and get some photos so we made our way down and it was clear that some people had won big on the last race as the winner was 44/1!! Money was falling out the pockets of one guy who passed me! Why wasn't that me !!!! Haha!

On the track we were able to get a great group shot.


Right at the end I had Sarah on my back and pretended to be a horse but unfortunately for her, her skirt ridded up and the group of lads behind us called out with a big wha hay!!!


Sarah was a little embarrassed but took it well, I though it was hilarious!


Broomy was in pieces!


Despite finding out that his beloved picnic rug had been nicked! No more sales that day!


We had such a good time that all three of us were shattered by the evening and so the obligatory curry was ordered and we all fell asleep.

Stay tuned for more tales


Posted by doyledan 00:02 Archived in Australia

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