Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Melbourne Cup...

Waaaaay back in 1977, I was handed a Form Guide by my Dad and instructed on how to choose a horse. I was all of seven years of age.
I was to choose a horse I liked.
Dad was to place a bet on that horse.
If that horse placed, it was explained, I could win money.
It was Melbourne Cup Day and my first ever memory of the big event. (Fun for me, thinking of the lollies I could buy if my choice won).
And the reason I remember it so well? 
I DID choose the winner of the Cup that day. 
The problem was my Dad (exercising all his fatherly wisdom), did not place my bet. 
You see the horse I chose was almost scratched. It fell ill or for some hazy reason, was not deemed to be up to the task on the day. Odds were stacked against it and the betting returns were likewise huge.
In the hour before the race that stops the nation, my Dad secretly and foolishly decided to save his money.
I chose the horse after 'vibing' it in my childish way - I liked the name and it stood out to me.

That horse was Gold And Black. 

Gold And Black ran a freakish run. Rocketing from the rear of the pack to the finish line by a huge length, my legendary horse went on to win the world's most famous horse race in an equally legendary finish.

I would have been VERY wealthy indeed had my Father placed that bet!

Not surprisingly, Dad never forgave himself. And I never let him forget!
Every year since, my unorthodox knack for sussing a winner was tested again and again with anticipation. 
Sadly however, I have never again picked a winner...

But, who's to say we can't have a darn good time trying!
This year I am heading out to Flemington to be a part of this most spectacular event in Lady Melbourne's culture. (For Melbourne becomes a 'Lady' of refinement on the world stage on this day).

My favourite race day experiences:

The sea of roses, many of them in the form of extraordinary-looking women. 
Velveteen horses preened to perfection. 
Infectious enthusiasm and excitement blended with the scent of earth and flowers.
The musky odour of horses intermingled the perfumes of 1000's.
Crowd cheering - so much cheering.
Champagne, smiles, happiness...
My favourite memory of all: Standing at the rails as the horses gallop past and feeling the thunder! Whoosh!
I have just written myself into a frenzied state and now I am just so excited!

This week I have been busily planning my outfit. I have chosen to spend my day at the races in this elegant black lace frock. It is an Australian design by Smith And Miles. It features a double layer of French inspired lace and has capped sleeves and cream satin lining. I am in love with it. I was even more inspired after I saw a very recent picture of Kate Middleton donning a remarkably similar gown! (Got my finger on the pulse of fashion this girl)!

I am topping off my lovely gown with this stunning fascinator. It is currently on its way to me via express post from a milliner in Tasmania. It features netting and ribbon with a diamonte centre, feathers for height and a little contrasting spotted ribbon to add interest. I literally searched through 100's of these online to find the right one. It can be quite difficult to match the colours, fabrics and trims to the finer details of the gown. I am more than happy with my choice despite not having seen it in real life yet. The trim is fastened to a headband for maximum comfort. 

My shoes are thankfully already in my wardrobe. They are black Asian-inspired satin heels with matt silver ribbon trim and tiny flower features which will finish off the fussiness of the hairpiece. And the bag? Well, since I have far too many, the choice will be a real ordeal of which I cannot even begin to fathom! That would be another blog post all on its own!

Now I know you are just all dying to know my race day picks given my extraordinary past experiences. Hehe!
I will be heading here to learn all I need to know to pick myself a winner!
I am loving the sound of Voleuse De Coeurs and My Quest for Peace. (I can really identify with the latter)!
Tac De Boistron - is yet another name of interest. (Pretty, don't you think)?
I may have to choose all three...
They're all great horses in The Melbourne Cup, every single one of them.
Good luck choosing yours!
I will be a guest of at this year's Melbourne Cup.
Are you going to the Melbourne Cup?
What strategies do you use to pick a winner?


  1. I remember picking a winner using similar instincts once upon a time. 'Tawriffic' won me what I considered an absolute fortune at the time :) Your will look absolutely stunning in your outfit. I hope you have a awesome time!

  2. That's a lovely dress. Would love to actually attend a Melbourne Cup one day. I can see myself sipping champagne in a gorgeous dress. We are having a small local do and a sweep. no TAB out here.

    1. I am sure it will be every bit as enjoyable Annaleis!

  3. I am also going to the Melbourne Cup and will be a guest of Luxbets. It will be date day with the hubby. Your dress is beautiful! I have nothing to wear. :(

    1. It is really stressful isn't it - choosing an outfit! That's the subject of my next post. Hopefully will see you there but also doubtful in all those faces! Have a great day!

  4. Best of luck on Tuesday, Jody. Even if you don't win anything you will look amazing in that dress and fascinator (hey, we were born in the same year, yay for the 70s!)

  5. Going to the Melbourne Cup is a bucket list entry of mine. I cant wait to read all about your day :)

  6. I am going too for the first time and also very excited. I won last year but it was in a sweepstake, so I reckon I will follow that again - close my eyes and stick a pin in the form guide.
    Good Luck hope you win this year!

    1. Oh hadn't thought of the pin method - must give that a try too!

  7. Fab dress very elegant. Hope you have wonderful day. Sending you lots of Irish luck !

  8. I have almost the exact same story. In (I think) '75, my mum let me pick a horse and she promised she would put some money on it for me and I could keep the winnings if it won. She got distracted at the club and my bet went on the pokies instead. And yes, of course my horse won, and yes of course I remember its name. Think Big. And yes of course I never let her forget.
    *Clicked through to you from your comment on MelbourneMum about predicting things and felt an afinity with you, and whaddya know! We both predicted a winner in the '70's!

    1. I laughed so hard at this! I would fume forever if my parent/s blew my bet money on the pokies! Hilarious!

  9. Have a fabulous day at the races! Love your dress and fascinator! Good luck! :-)

  10. Ooh your dress is gorgeous. And I love the fascinator. You must post pics before you head out. I'm so jealous, I'd love to go to 'The Cup' just once. Have a fantastic time!

  11. I LOVE your dress. Have a fabulous time!

  12. Love your outfit! I've never been to the Melbourne Cup but will be stopping at work today for a small lunch and sparkling wine to celebrate the race. Have a wonderful day!


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