930am – In a flurry of fascinators the gates are open. The rain has eased off but it’s hot and muggy. Favourite #accessoryoftheday – a brolly! Helicopter arrivals at the Birdcage entrance have been put on hold. I have just seen a man has take off his trousers so they don’t get wet and he scans into the gate in his boxers.
1030am – A giant deluge of water from the sky drowns the celebs as they settle into their respective tents in the the birdcage. The overall style vibe is predominantly 1950’s prim and proper with full skirts, tea length frocks, swing shifts, pencil silhouettes. There are narrow high waistlines and modest midi length hems. The conservatism is quite a contract from the bum skimming, booby baby size dresses we passed at the carpark parties in The Nursery.
Out of the rain in the shelter of the Myer marquee media call we catch Rachael Finch in a full skirted mandarin Elliatt dress just skimming the knee and millinery by Lady of Leisure with matchy matchy open toed block heels.
Kate Waterhouse drives into Lexus in a green $4000 Miu Miu wiggle dress with ruching and big bows, channeling Sabrina from Bewitched.
Megan Gale in muddy black stilettos air kisses past Kate elbowing into the Lexus marquee wearing custom Paolo Sebastian midi dress and Stephanie Spencer Millinery.
12noon – The old school blue bloods make their birdcage entrance led by Gina Rinehart, rocking the all white again this year with sensible flat sandals (a good call after her 2016 tumble down the marquee stairs).
Julie Bishop follows in an elegant black, feathered hat and muted floral dress quickly trotting from the Bumble marquee to her perch at the Lexus marquee. (She’s just realised what Bumble is and she’s escaping the awkward cougar feels around her).
1pm – Lara Worthington in a white lace Chloe dress and beret joined the buzzy Bumble marquee.
130pm – Rachel Griffiths wearing red and tartan at the TAB marquee spills all the behind the scenes fun on her directorial debut of the Michelle Payne story – Ride Like a Girl. Can’t wait for the classic underdog story.
Sam Smith, singing sensation admits to Dionne Warwick his favourite for the day is Sound Check before she hit the stage with a surprise performance of Say a Little Prayer at Oliver Street marquee – wow, best Birdcage guest performance eva.
215pm – The sky has cleared as Sam Smith croons Stay With Me to the chants of the decently champagned crowd and leads us to the entrance of the shiny, gold Melbourne Cup. The parade of the prestige horses in the rose lined mounting yard begins. The favourite Magic Circle is looking proud and ready. The sun has finally breached the clouds for the run up to the big race.
300pm – The big race kicks off. Celebs cling to their tickets excitedly. Runaway stays true to his namesake at the front of the pack for most of the race. In the ever glamorous Mumm marquee Jodi Anasta in all silver is jumping for joy. But then her face drops in the last length and Georgia Love in an original oramge tuxedo and Lee Elliott are suddenly hold hands tightly and scream with their hands in the air. Their tickets are all on Cross Counter. From 3rd last he has run it in for the win. What a race.
330pm- And now we all hit the dance floor with the honey badger.