Under brilliant sunshine, a crowd of 63,673 watched the first lady of racing Gai Waterhouse win her first $1 million Group 1 Kennedy Oaks, with her filly Pinot clinching the feature race in style at Flemington.
Jockey Stephen Baster guided Pinot home delivering the victory for the training partnership of Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
Luke Currie was second on Bring Me Roses for Tony McEvoy, while third place went to trainer Mick Price with Hiyaam ridden by Michael Dee.
“Gai is an icon of Australian racing and much loved by Flemington racegoers, and it’s great to see her add the Kennedy Oaks to her 2013 Emirates Melbourne Cup win.”
“Melbourne delivered a picture perfect spring day to mark the first year of Kennedy’s sponsorship of Oaks Day, also known as Ladies Day. It was fantastic to see so many women enjoying Flemington in full bloom,” Mr Wilson said.
The quality undercard saw Hellova Street ridden by Brenton Avdulla secure the Group 3 TCL TV Stakes for Tasmanian-based trainer Scott Brunton, while jockey Hugh Bowman rode the Godolphin-owned Jorda to victory in the Group 3 Kennedy Plate Plate, and trainer Darren Weir took out the inaugural Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Final with Another Coldie ridden Damian Lane.
The Myer Fashions on the Field Women’s Racewear competition culminated with New South Wales winner Crystal Kimber reigning supreme, taking out the National Final. A floral embroidered skirt bequeathed to her by her grandmother and transformed into a dress by her mother was teamed with a pink turban-like headpiece, scoring Crystal the major prize, which included a Lexus RC 200t F Sport. Western Australia winner Annabel Davy was runner up.
Sarah Hope Schofield won the prestigious invitation-only Millinery Award with a gravity-defying white, black and orange creation inspired by the concept of youth.
First lady of Rock n Roll Priscilla Presley headlined the international celebrities attending Kennedy Oaks Day, with the American actress a special guest of Kennedy in the Birdcage. Others in the exclusive marquees included Jennifer Hawkins and Rachael Finch at Myer, Daria Gavrilova at Emirates, and Marcia Hines and Kate Ceberano at Sensis, while sprint legend Usain Bolt returned for another Kennedy Oaks Day at Flemington.
To coincide with ‘Ladies Day’, Racing Victoria and the VRC paid tribute to women who have achieved sporting greatness at a special Celebrating Women in Sport event.
Attendees included VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott, Emirates Melbourne Cup winning-trainer and VRC Ambassador Gai Waterhouse, Emirates Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne, swimming great Leisel Jones, and cycling legend Anna Meares.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival concludes on Saturday with Emirates Stakes Day, the Carnival’s traditional family day featuring two Group 1s – the Emirates Stakes and the Darley Classic.
Entry to Emirates Stakes Day is free for children under 16 with an adult. Racegoers will be able to purchase tickets on arrival from 10:15am at the Hill Gate, Rose Arbour, Flemington train platform, Elms and Infield entrances. Tickets can also be pre-purchased from Flinders Street, Southern Cross, North Melbourne, Richmond, South Yarra and Werribee train stations or racegoers can jump the queues and buy online from Ticketek on their mobiles.