In the Birdcage at The Emirates 2015 Melbourne Cup
WOW! WHAT A WHIRLWIND TRIP AND WHAT AN ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND TRULY MEMORABLE FIRST EXPERIENCE IN THE BIRDCAGE AT FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE FOR THE HISTORY CHANGING,
AND LADY LOVING, 2015 EMIRATES MELBOURNE CUP.
As guests of David Attenborough, Managing Director and CEO of Tabcorp, we were indulged with all things beautiful in uber cool, The Birdcage, in which Tabcorp’s Marquee shone brightly amongst all the star studded celebrity, the shining ladies and gentleman, incredibly creative and awe inspiring corporate marquees, the constant flow of entertainers, and of course – the fashions! A cornucopia of fully engaging entertainment for all of the senses, sights, smells, sounds, tastes and textures. It truly was heaven on earth for a day and the Tabcorp team performed perfectly. The Birdcage is a constant whirlwind with people moving from one space to the next, with the flow of guests to and from The Birdcage never ending. Photos with celebrities, brilliant pops of colour in a rainbow of fashion, shoes to covet - did I say shoes?, beautiful men – yes they were beautiful, stunning women, and lots and lots of bubbles of the real kind – champagne in all the brands we like to indulge in for celebrating all in life. For us on the day and with the generous hospitality of Tabcorp – we sipped deliciously on the divine MUMM. Michelle Payne was the heroine of the day for all ladies, especially for the lady jockeys, and the whole racing industry. She created another first for the day, as she put all of her long hours of training and years of honing her passion to work, as she rode home the winner, Prince of Penzance, becoming the first lady jockey ever to win The Melbourne Cup. Even writing this gives me goose bumps. And I saw her do it. More goose bumps. To top off my Michelle Payne and The Birdcage experience, I had the honour – and it was a real honour – to see and hear Michelle speak earlier in the day, when she was a special guest speaker for Tabcorp in the Marquee. Having been an Assistant Handicapper for Corbould Park Racecourse when I was in my twenties, and having had considerable exposure to the industry and all who play in it, Michelle was a breath of fresh air. Modest, honest, and totally passionate about what she does, who she is, and her family – including her equine one. Her ‘shoot from the hip’ speech was from her heart, nothing from a pen or notes. She chose Prince of Penzance as a Cup winner two years ago and this year she rode him home. My only regret of the day was not getting to speak with her afterwards, as we were booked on a flight home at a time that meant we had to leave straight after the Melbourne Cup race finished. Retrospectively, that regret has passed because how lucky was I to be there in The Birdcage and have the truly beautiful experience that I had on the day. Although it was my first experience in The Birdcage at Flemington, it will not be my last. I plan to be there again next year – hopefully with you next time, Cathi Meredith, and here’s to a repeat for Michelle Payne and all the girls on that day. A huge thank you to my friends, Lorraine and Cathi, for dressing me appropriately for this very special and forever memorable occasion. To the lovely Lorraine, who owns the beautiful and stylish Shoes on Scarborough, thank you for the stunning black Mela Purdi sheath, it was a dream to wear, and I loved it. To Cathi, the sensational Managing
Editor of this happening magazine, Ladies in RACING, thank you for skillfully finishing the outfit out with the very on trend pops of yellow – THE colour of the day - in the stunning Neil Grigg designed headpiece and perfectly matching handbag. Thank you also to Tabcorp, Qantas Business, Rydges Melbourne, and The Press Club (make sure you go if you haven’t already been!), as together you made the experience by setting the scene for all things beautiful and exquisite.
Story by Donna Willett-flockhart
Donna and the Tabcorp Team
1. TAB’S Jaimee Rogers learns from the Mumm master the art of Sabrage 2. Nick Quinn, Michelle Payne, Adam Hamilton
3. Gabrielle Lade, Paula Dwyer, Joanne Funke Kupper, Megan Bail