It was cold and blustery. The icy downfall laid a mist upon the track’s famous Flemington roses and green turf. Freezing winds whipped through the hallowed birdcage corridors, fluttering men’s suit coats and sending fascinators tumbling. Little did guests realise, the lucky Irish had brought their winter weather with them.
But despite the shivering the glam crowds were warmed up by the endless glasses of bubbles, bespoke cocktails and artisanal morsels.
Bachelors and bachelorettes danced with supermodels and housewives at the fabulous G.H.Mumm marquee. The daughter of the the king of pop, Paris Jackson mixed with mere mortals in the Myer manor. Taylor Dayne told it to our hearts at the Sensis social club. All amongst the finest millinery and fanciest frockery.
And, of course, all were there for the race that stops the nation, the richest – two-mile handicap in the world of thoroughbred racing where 4 year old Irish stallion, Rekindling charged to victory.
Rekindling’s 24-year-old trainer Joseph O’Brien overshadowed his legendary father Aidan O’Brien for the first ever family double win. Joseph’s Rekindling edged past his father’s Johannes Vermeer with 100m to run to win by a short head in a dramatic finish.
Both horses were wearing the navy silks of Lloyd Williams, whose obsession with the great race has now been translated into six Melbourne Cup triumphs, with the Willie Mullens-trained Max Dynamite 2½ lengths further back in third, making it an all Irish trifecta.
The trifecta of best birdcage Marquees though? Now that’s an even more dramatic finish.
The Sensis Digital marquee, a relative foal in the marquee stable, came out strong at the gates with a fun club vibe that saw Taylor Dayne belting out her singalong hits ‘Tell It to My Heart’ and ‘Love Will Lead You Back’ followed by a dose of the medicine woman Jane Seymour, OBE elevating racegoers to an elegant high. Pushing Sensis Digital over the finish line was the upbeat, best set of the day at 5pm from UK DJ Jay Sean amplifying the party mood with silky smooth tunes, full of swagger and electro-pop dance anthems.
The Myer Marquee was the scene of pop royalty as Ms Paris Jackson graced the stylish jewel toned pavilion. Beautiful in bold colours, Myer ambassadors, Jen Hawkins, Rebecca Judd, Rachael Finch and Jodi Gordon lined the (media) walls, playing their roles as modern day courtesans. The Myer marquee had their best stilettoed toe forward, winning the crown for the most fashion forward crowd. But best of all was when the fash pack dropped their airs and uptown bloggers pocketed their phones to get down and share their best robot and moonwalk moves with the funster Jackson heir.
Sailing in as Cup Day marquee winner was champagne supernova, G.H.Mumm launching the delectable Grand Cordon, a stylish new bottle with the signature red ribbon indented into the glass. A journey inside this wonderful marquee took punters on a nautical voyage reminiscent of Aristotle Onassis’ star studded parties.
Moored amid the marquee, the giant super yacht staged a disco divine performance that had surrounding marquee patrons jealously peering out with ‘grass is greener’ sad emoji faces.
The dance floor heated up to the hip tunes from French troupe Strut and Fret with the Real Housewives of Sydney letting loose with Georgia Love and Lee. Bachelor winner Laura (sans Matty J) showed off her dance moves in a sheer lace jumpsuit flanked by Bachelor/Bachelorette eliminees Cam the fireman and Olena. Pia Miller rocked her wide brim with the cheeky Kate Peck. Celebrity milliners Neil Grigg and Ann Shoebridge admired their lovely handiwork as heads bobbed up and down to the flirty soul music.
Whether you backed the Irish trio or lost your shirt, everyone in the G.H.Mumm marquee indulged in the power of a solid dance floor session all arvo long.