Impeccable outfits and the biggest day of top tier racing in the country. No wonder the AAMI Victoria Derby Day is the hottest ticket in town.
Let's take a look at a few reasons why Derby Day has become the best day of racing and socialising on the calendar.
1. The racing
“Derby Day is like Christmas for racing enthusiasts, it’s some of the best racing in Australia all in one day,” says TAB spokesperson, Nick Quinn. “Picking the winner of the Derby itself is tough!”
His tip? No matter which runner you select in the Derby, the important thing is that you sound like an expert,” Quinn jokes. “So after making your selection justify it by saying, I just feel he'll stay the trip."
Derby Day hosts four elite Group 1 races, including the classic staying test for three-year-olds, the AAMI Victoria Derby. The other Group 1 races are the Coolmore Stud Stakes, the Myer Classic, and new for 2016, the Cantala Stakes over 1600m. While the Group 3 Lexus Stakes is the last chance to qualify for the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
2. The dressing up
For the women, the classic colours on Derby Day are black or white, or a combination of the two. According to Tenielle Ferguson, Myer Australian and International Designer Senior Buyer, the first day of the Carnival is often the best dressed.
It's the day where everyone gets the most dressed up,” Ferguson says. “It is nice to honour tradition and there is nothing more chic than wearing a classic and elegant monochrome ensemble.”
For men, apart from the suit, the traditional flower of the day is a cornflower. Buy one at the gates to pin on your lapel.
3. The fun
Derby Day is all about fun; from the outfits to the socialising to the racing, there is something for everyone.
This year sees the introduction of a hot new venue The Park, which sits atop the hill adjacent to the train station. Many glamouristas gravitate to The Birdcage, while some like to take in the scene down at The Rails. This is a day for every style and taste.
4. The after party
And what about before and after Derby Day? Crown Casino is heaving with trainers, stakes winners, highrollers, and racegoers alike.
It's always a delight to see the fabulous black and white fashion from those who continue to celebrate at Crown,” says Ann Peacock from Crown Melbourne. “The hotels and restaurants are all extremely busy with race goers and our private dining areas are in high demand for the captains of industry and race winners.”
5. The visitors
Melbournians should lock in their plans, as the secret is out. For the past few years there’s been a spike in visitors from interstate and offshore.
Combining world class racing with a great day out, there’s no topping AAMI Victoria Derby Day as the premier social event on Melbourne’s racing calendar.