The first two Saturdays of October marked the beginning of the spring racing carnival with the Guineas and Caulfield Cups at stake once more. Originating in 1879, this year’s carnival was its 136th. With many international horses, the race is known to be a stepping-stone for legends and up-and-coming superstars. Of course, punters (people who bet on horses) are also there for the fashion, gourmet food and the beautiful views for which Caulfield is renowned.
The Heath Area was exclusive to members, featuring marquee after marquee full of champagne, spirits and delectable treats created by some of Melbourne’s leading restaurants and chefs, such as Gazi (by George Calombaris) and Stokehouse. Savoury canapés of lobster rolls with caviar and salt-cured beef were served throughout the day, whilst Mövenpick, the Swiss ice-creamery, provided dessert.
Yellowglen Wines furnished a platform for viewers to oversee the race from a high vantage point, and they handed out playful yellow parasols to protect people from the sun. The Heath offers stunning views of the track, allowing punters to get within inches of the action and cheer on their favoured horses.
Pommery Champagne and David Jones, Australia’s largest department store, hosted the tents with the most fashionable guests. David Jones held a Tom Ford retouch booth where members could get their make-up professionally done. Celebrities such as Rebecca Judd and Delta Goodrem were spotted there.
Everyone within the marquees’ vicinity wore designer millinery, with intricate beadwork proving to be the season’s most favoured headpiece style. Outfit choices for women ranged from full- or knee-length dresses, to jumpsuits and playsuits. Tones of grey and white were popular, flavoured with occasional bursts of colour. Many wore designs by Manning Cartell, Scanlan & Theodore, SABA and Sass & Bide. Men stuck to navy blues and greens with The Tailored Man, a Melbourne label, featuring on numerous occasions.
The grounds hosted a marquee especially for new members under the age of 27. They were treated to live music by DJ Frida Harness and Chris Watts, and entertained with the annual Fashions on the Field runway competition.
As the day wound down, and the horses returned to their enclosures, ladies began to discuss what looks they planned to wear for next month’s Flemington races, home to the famous Melbourne Cup. The remainder of the racing season promises to deliver further outstanding looks courtesy of leading Australian designers.