There may be no public holiday in NSW but the buzz of horses is in the air in every city, including the Illawarra.
Randwick may have the wealthiest horse race with the Everest, but Melbourne Cup Day is still the race that stops a nation with office sweeps, fancy luncheons, bubbles, pretty frocks and hundreds of thousands gof people lued to a television screen at 3pm (eastern standard time).
Kembla Grange bookie Grant Lynch will be celebrating his 50th birthday, and his 20th year on the track.
He expects his team to write around 3000 tickets on Tuesday, always their “biggest day by far”.
Mr Lynch’s favourites for the Melbourne Cup – race 7 at Flemington Racecourse – are 3 Magic Circle, 9 Marmelo, 10 Avilius and 12 Auray (the “roughie” or outside favourite).
“Auray’s got a very, very good jockey, and a good trainer – the people’s trainer Richard Freeman,” he said.
“Number nine has the best jockey in the world and number 10 is proving out the distance with [trainer] James Cummings.”
Jockey Shaun Guymer, 26, will be riding in three different races at Kembla Grange and said the atmosphere was always great at the Illawarra Turf Club.
“Kembla is one of the high profile provincial meetings on that day,” he said.
Mr Guymer said Melbourne Cup Day was very important to Australian horse racing in general but also to the world with so many international horses racing.
“It brings everybody together,” he said. “It’s a bit like the world rugby series I guess, people are intrigued by it.”
The turf club is again hosting fashions on the field with $10,000 in prizes to be shared. Categories include Best Dressed Female, Millinery Award and Best Dressed Male with registrations from 10am.
Kembla Grange Racecourse
- Gates open 10am
- Fashions on the Field registrations from 10am, parade at 12.30pm
- Entertainment on the main stage from 1pm
Cup Day Fast facts:
- The Melbourne Cup is worth $7,050,000. The winner will take home $4 million.
- The group 1 race is run over 3200 metres.
- Live TV broadcast on Prime7, Racing.com and Foxtel’s Sky Racing.
What’s on for Cup Day Illawarra
Venues across the region are hosting luncheons and live entertainment to celebrate the race that stops a nation.
Here’s some of them:
- The Tavern at Shell Cove is putting on seafood platters for two including a beverage for $120.
- Central Hotel in Shellharbour will have seafood, entertainment and fashion. For $10 you also get a glass of bubbles on arrival.
- Kiama Golf Club has live entertainment, the race on the big screen, plus lunch and dessert with a glass of bubbly for $65.
- Illawarra Brewing Company in Wollongong will open their doors from 10am with an ‘80s theme and prizes for best dressed. Live music and good beer.
- The Lagoon Seafood Restaurant will have fashions, four-course lunch and five-hour drinks package for $130. They’ll have an “after party” on the deck.
- Pepe’s On The Beach at North Wollongong is having an “after party” post-race with a djs and cocktail specials.
THE CUP FIELD AND BARRIERS*
- 1. BEST SOLUTION — 57.5kg – 6
- 2. THE CLIFFSOFMOHER — 56.5kg – 9
- 3. MAGIC CIRCLE — 56kg – 17
- 4. CHESTNUT COAT — 55.5kg – 4
- 5. MUNTAHAA — 55.5kg 13
- 6. SOUND CHECK — 55.5kg 16
- 7. WHO SHOT THEBARMAN — 55.5kg – 18
- 8. ACE HIGH — 55kg – 22
- 9. MARMELO — 55kg – 10
- 10. AVILIUS — 54.5kg – 11
- 11. YUCATAN — 54.5kg – 23
- 12. AURAY — 54kg – 1
- 13. FINCHE — 54kg – 15
- 14. RED CARDINAL — 54kg – 5
- 15. VENGEUR MASQUE — 54kg – 2
- 16. VENTURA STORM — 54kg – 7
- 17. A PRINCE OF ARRAN - 53kg – 20
- 18. NAKEETA — 53kg – 3
- 19. SIR CHARLES ROAD — 53kg – 14
- 20. ZACADA - 53kg – 24
- 21. RUNAWAY - 52kg – 12
- 22. YOUNGSTAR - 51.5kg – 8
- 23. CROSS COUNTER — 51kg – 19
- 24. ROSTROPOVICH — 51kg – 21
*As of Monday November 5