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Why you should experience The Melbourne Cup

Why you should experience The Melbourne Cup

story by: Anna Sarjeant

It’s not just any event, it’s racing's biggest event of the year. Pulling in more than 700 million viewers from around the world, Australia’s Melbourne Cup is the country’s most thoroughbred horse race. 

Held at the prestigious Flemington Racecourse and attended by 120,000 of the world’s glitziest guests, it’s an annual Aussie tradition with roots as far back as 1861.

As much about the frocks (and frolics) as it is about the thoroughbreds, here’s the lowdown on the full Melbourne Cup experience.

1. The venue
It's all about The Birdcag​e
The premium marquee enclosure (and premium hangout) for the country’s elite; the race sponsors, VRC full members and every VIP celebrity, supermodel, WAG and IT girl under the Melbourne sun. Want in? Of course you do. Trouble is, unless you can blag your way across the threshold and you’re dressed from head to toe in haute couture, you’ll have to settle for one of the lesser known marquees instead. But don’t ditch your race-day plans just yet, all venues are still fancy.

The Archer Marquee 
For premium views of the winning post and top-class dining facilities.

Champions Cocktail Marquee
​Found amongst the trackside of Elms Precinct, with an al fresco courtyard, outdoor bar, plasma screens and more cocktails than you could throw a bottle of grenadine at.

Carbine Marquee
Boasting a unique vantage point across the race course from the banks of the Maribyrnong River. 

2. The fashion
Some would say the Melbourne Cup is more about the fashion than it is the horse racing, but let’s not tell the jockeys that. From head pieces to high heels, frills, fascinators and a whole heap of fun, this is the time to get your fashion A-game on. For as much as monochrome is expected on Derby Day, you can wear a similar display of colour, glamour and general fabulous-ness for Cup Day.

The Myer Fashions on the Field
From fab frocks to an undisputed fashion institution of the Melbourne Cup, The Myer Fashions on the Field was first held in 1962 and continues to be Australia’s most prestigious and flashiest outdoor fashion event. Showcasing the best of fashion’s rest, prizes are awarded for the best dressed, most elegant headwear and innovate new style, with prize-givers dishing out holiday trips, drinking tabs and brand new gorgeous garments. Graced by celebrities, fashionistas and fash-pack heavyweights, the main event doesn't start until late afternoon but you can guarantee the fashion Instagrams will be viral by 7am. #whathorseracing?

3. The shopping
The largest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere. It’s also only 24-minutes by car from the centre of Melbourne. Put your red-heeled Louboutin down and you’ll make it in less than nineteen. As if a girl needs any more reason to book a direct flight to Melbourne. You’ll be spoilt for spending-choice, with over 500 glorious stores, plenty of beauty services for a pre-race manicure and a free ‘fashion shuttle’ to transport you from Melbourne’s Federation Square directly to the mall.

4. The city
Pre-race shopping tours
The best way to find your bearings in Melbourne is with one of the city’s many guided tours. Why not make it a Melbourne Outlet Shopping Tour and you’ll secure yourself an epic city escapade and a whole new race-day outfit for a fraction of the price. Two birds, one stone – it’s how savvy girls roll. Start with a morning pick-me-up; flat whites and a danish from one of Melbourne’s niche arcade cafes will be well-received by your taste buds. Then embark on a full day of discount retail therapy, including pop-up sales and warehouse steals. You’ll enjoy shopping, lunch and a glass of bubbles as part of the great value itinerary. And with such an abundance of discounted offers to take advantage of, you might as well spend big. Because it’s that kind of logic every girl should live her life by.

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