The 2016 Spring Racing Carnival burst into life in NSW and Victoria over the weekend, with racing royalty, celebrities and punters turning out at Rosehill and Flemington to celebrate the start of the season.
A glittering Saturday in both states gave a glamorous glimpse of the action and atmosphere anticipated for the coming weeks, with some of the county’s biggest names in fashion and racing rubbing shoulders trackside.
At Flemington, Victoria Racing Club heralded spring in spectacular style with its Sofitel Girls’ Day Out, the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. With the key race, Makybe Diva Stakes, named after racing’s equine first lady, the focus was firmly on all things feminine and the fashion was as fabulous as you’d expect. Florals, elegance and classic styles dominated the day.
Trackside social hub Yellowglen Terrace was festooned with stunning blooms and a new, cute touch – tantalising wall displays of candy-hued donuts. The Terrace’s creative stylist, lifestyle blogger Emma Hawkins, complemented her own designs perfectly in a Dion Lee frock and Danica Erard Roman leaf headpiece, plus two special accessories: hubby and Geelong Cats forward Tom Hawkins, and the five-and-a-half-month baby bump responsible for the couple’s contented smiles.
Jewellery queen and Yellowglen ambassador Samantha Wills wore a cream, fitted Nicholas frock and Studio Aniss headpiece with an Olga Berg clutch, while Stephanie Smith made her first raceday appearance as the official 2016 Fashions on the Field ambassador in a floaty, black-and-white floral print frock by Asilio with Natalie Bikicki headpiece. Myer ambassador Jennifer Hawkins was in fine form in a White Suede frock and red rose adorned headpiece, also by Bikicki.
There was a strong contingent of top fashion bloggers trackside, with House of Klara’s @klarabelle rocking a stunning Asilio frock and Bianca from @biancamelb in a gorgeous black-and-white Mandolin dress by Thurley with a Viktoria Novak Rosette headpiece (rose-bedecked headpieces are definitely A Thing for spring).
Meanwhile, in NSW, Australian Turf Club celebrated De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Day, featuring Sydney’s richest spring race, the $1 million Golden Rose. While James McDonald rode to victory on Astern, the boys from South Sydney Rabbitohs had swapped their red and green footie gear for sleek suits for a day at the track. Star forward Sam Burgess had an extra reason to be excited: the day’s first race bore the name of his new app, Pockit Block-it. He wasn’t saying if he had money on winner You Are Golden, but the horse’s name certainly suited the day’s glorious parade of racing style and revelry.