Melbourne Cup Carnival – Crown Oaks Day

Day Three of the Carnival.

Official Flower: Pink Rose

Ladies day. The ‘ultimate style day’. Women are to dress in their ‘most feminine ensemble’. Come one ‘cosmetic bloom, romantic looks and delicate fabrics’, come all. And come they did.

The course was awash with colour. I witnessed a mix of patterns, lace, floral pieces, peplum, maxi, short, fitted, flowing, bold, muted, printed and plain. Today I sat in amongst the general admission public, close to the horses and amidst the crowds. My positioning gave me greater viewing of the people and their apparel. Many women looked stunning. They seemed to have it worked out today. Accessories were paired well with dresses, clutches were matching or made a statement and broad-brimmed hats were common. White dresses stood out with detailed fabrics and soft-hued heels. There was again, a rush of tangerine and fuchsia mostly on the younger crowd.

I was surprised to see some race-goers in hoodies. Some worse fairly plain tops and pants or even jeans, and flat shoes were noted. Men came quite casually, while others wore skinny ties which I felt were a bit tired. I also noticed a trend amongst younger males – wearing their sunglasses on the back of their necks. Please inform me of how this is fashionable, practical or appealing in any way.

I took generally smaller bets from a wider group of patrons. A few punters stood in front of the screens above my tote the entire day. They were the regulars, dressed down and putting out the big bucks on greyhounds as well as horses.

Drinking was more obvious here than in the marquee and I saw more girls in ill-fitting heels struggling to walk with confidence regardless of alcohol’s influence.

Race 6 (The Oaks) was the most popular for punters, with numbers 2 and thirteen being popular horses. I was oblivious to the proceedings of ‘one of the world’s great outdoor fashion events’, Myer’s Fashion on the Field, but am sure it would have had many well-deserving place-getters.

I finished short $13.25. After three days at the track I am yet to have faith in one’s ability to balance their count at the end of the day.

The train ride home was one to remember. Rowdy groups of men sang chants while everyone raised their voice to be heard above the masses. Sardines we were again, as one passenger reminisced about her ride home from Big Day Out. There was a larger presence of young men and women on the train yet an even balance between the genders. As one supervisor told me, ‘We call it blokes day because they come to check out the birds’.

Changing trains in the city, I sat down and listened to a conversation the rest of the way home between two men. I gained insight into the different between a Whopper burger from Hungry Jacks, and one with added cheese, ‘It makes all the difference, it gives it a better flavour. A Whopper needs cheese, man.’ Then I heard that one of the men’s wives was at home with the baby waiting for her hubby to get home so she could go and get a spray tan for Emirates Stakes Day on Saturday. The conversation is here, bland, but the way they spoke, how they verbally treated this man’s wife and her wishes, was far from it. To my ears, the men had been considerate, but by the end of the day were in no place to take over looking after a baby. The main man’s friend made it very clear he was in no way after a wife of his own because ‘they just don’t get it, a man needs his time. I mean we even chucked out a beer!’

I’m not rostered on to work the last day of the Carnival, so today was my last at the track. I’m unsure as to whether I’ll post about Day Four but in conclusion, my races adventure was well worth it for the Spring fever I felt and people watching I indulged in. See you next year, fillies.

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