As Scott Spits winds up The Age's coverage, it's the day devoted to the ladies and not even threatening grey clouds failed to deter thousands of punters enjoying Oaks Day at Flemington today. A crowd of 71,659 descended on the famous racecourse, and the day was highlighted by a dominating and ruthless win by Mosheen in the 2500-metre feature race.
Racegoers also set themselves for some serious celebrity spotting. Sarah Jessica Parker was joined in the Crown pavilion by the closest thing Australia has to a royal couple, Shane Warne and Liz Hurley. When Parker and the star couple made their way to the mounting yard presentation to the connections of Mosheen, racegoers clamoured for a closer look. When the American starlet responded to calls for a wave from the punters, they responded with whoops of joy. Likewise, racegoers were happy with any sign of acknowledgement from Warne and Hurley. Another day at the Melbourne Cup Carnival draws to an end. Many racegoers will now go about nursing those sore legs (and many sore heads) before doing it all again on Emirates Stakes Day on Saturday.
Just before the highly-anticipated race, Dowager Queen was still being well supported by punters with a bet of $30,000 at $3.80.Mosheen drifted out to $5, while Gliding has been $7 into $6.But in a strong display from start to finish, Mosheen disproved the doubters, and delivered victory to jockey Danny Nikolic, trainer Robert Smerdon and the Aquaninta connections, winning by several lengths.Nikolic said he knew if he got an easy lead she could not get beaten.“She just played with them. She had a great run,’’ Nikolic said.Her trainer Robert Smerdon said Nikolic helped convince him to run her the 2500m.saying she could do it if she had an easy run."They were all saying she wouldn't run the trip but I knew if she got an easy run in front, which she did, she would take a power of beating," Nikolic said.
Read more of our race report here.
Under mostly grey skies, the lawns became a riot of colour on Ladies Day, as women parade in their finery and blokes live in hope.Spots of rain greeted earlier arrivals as they disgorged from packed trains, but only enough to freshen pink lapel roses.In Race 2, Quench the Thirst was better backed on-course than off.While it failed to deliver for the omen punters, strawberries and fizz are the popular picks on track.Beside the mounting yard, a camp full of hopeful blokes, thorns among the roses, are offering "Free Suntan Cream Application".With what looks like a litre bottle, they are praying for sun, and patches of blue sky show promise.Cup Day's blue-faced Smurfs are back, but today's dress ups are more about fashion than face paint.Fur coats are back and were a winning look early, but as the action heats up, they are coming off.Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker headlined the biggest day for fashion during the Spring Racing Carnival after dazzling crowds in an oversized Treacy hat at the Crown Oaks Lunch yesterday.She presented the trophy to the winner of the $1 million VRC Oaks.Meanwhile Shane Warne and Liz Hurley tweeted their arrival and Joan Collins brought a touch of old-style Hollywood glamour to Flemington's famous Birdcage.Wheelers Hill bride-to-be Lara Yachou and her entourage of 15 are among the 70,000-plus crowd, using the occasion for her hens party.Her tips for the day were "colour, lots of flowers, having fun, a couple of horses".Other famous faces in the crowd were Ashley Hart, Rebecca Judd, Jennifer Hawkins, Kris Smith, Ruby Rose, and Brynne and Geoffrey Edelsten.With Atlantic Jewel sidelined with injury, Dowager Queen is favourite for the classic.Meanwhile, At 7pm, there were 3 arrests for drunkenness and 104 evictions for unruly behaviour, police confirmed.