Credit: Karon Photography
The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) today launched the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival in style with the help of industry luminaries including VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott, VRC ambassador Gai Waterhouse, Melbourne Cup Carnival ambassador Tegan Martin and legendary jockeys Damien Oliver, Kerrin McEvoy and Corey Brown.
Australia’s premier racing destination hosted VIPs and media for a preview of The Park, a free destination for racegoers that combines the excitement of world-class racing with a lively mix of entertainment, interactive offerings and gastronomic delights.
Three-time Lexus Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy arrived on horseback alongside his wife Cathy and their four children Charlie, Jake, Rhys and Eva who delivered the 1919 Melbourne Cup trophy to the stage. This year marks 100 years of the iconic three-handled design of the Melbourne Cup trophy, first presented to Artilleryman in 1919.
Melbourne Cup Carnival ambassador Tegan Martin and Lexus ambassador Corey Brown delivered the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy to the stage in a striking yellow Lexus LC 500, marking the end of the Cup’s 39-destination tour that saw it traverse Australia, United Kingdom, Japan and beyond.
VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said: “The wait is now over, five days to go, until the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival begins, Flemington looks stunning and the sun is out. The 17,000 rosebushes are blooming and people everywhere are putting the final touches to their preparations, for the most glamorous, the most exciting and the most compelling week of international horse racing, Cup Week, where we celebrate the best of everything and in particular our beautiful horses.”
Proceedings were hosted by Network 10’s Matt White and Jennifer Keyte, before Victorian Minister for Racing the Hon. Martin Pakula officially declared the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival open.
Other attendees included Network 10 presenter Michael Felgate, trainer Ciaron Maher, Prince of Arran groom Natasha Eaton, VRC official stylist Elliot Garnaut, Myer Fashions on the Field ambassador Crystal Kimber and Very Special Kids ambassadors Olivia Molly Rogers and Lisa Leverington.
And, in a finale fit for Flemington, a 20-ballerina troop from Ministry of Entertainment closed out the launch under a cloud of confetti.
Guests were able to enjoy interactive fun at Bumble Arcade where they were able to show off their competitive sides on the giant claw machine, have a shot at basketball or a quick round of air hockey. They were also invited to experience express hair styling at the Myer Glam Bar, and create insta-worthy moments at the custom-built Network Ten Carousel.
Foodies sampled delicacies of fine fare from Duke’s Pizza, Pinchy’s, The Bearded Jaffle, Slider Diner, Son In Law, Lomah and Agathé Pâtisserie accompanied by thirst-quenching activations from Seppelt Prosecco Bar, Furphy Beer Garden, Lillet Spritz Bar, LION’s Quincy and the VRC’s own Pony Bar.
Melbourne Cup Carnival racing highlights include the AAMI Victoria Derby, Lexus Melbourne Cup, Kennedy Oaks and Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes. The feature races will be supported by a stellar line up of home-grown Aussie music talent including Birds of Tokyo, Marcia Hines, Ball Park Music, The Jungle Giants, Dean Lewis and Kian performing in The Park.
As well as music, racegoers can revel in the finest fashions with Myer Fashions on the Field competitions incorporating two days of Men’s competition, three days of Women’s competition, Emerging Designer Award, the Millinery Award and Stakes Day fashion for families and children all culminating in the highest prize pool ever, totalling over $430,000.
The 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival begins on Saturday 2nd November with AAMI Victoria Derby Day, and continues with Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 5th November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 7th November and concludes with Seppelt Wines Stakes Day on Saturday 9th November.
The 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival injected more than $447.6 million into the Victorian economy, and was broadcast into 163 territories worldwide.
Tickets are available for purchase from Flinders Street, Southern Cross, Richmond, South Yarra, Essendon, North Melbourne and Werribee train stations or racegoers can buy online here.