Rachael stops the nation
THE Melbourne Cup will always be special for former Miss Universe Australia Rachael Finch. The Townsville girl ( pictured) had her first flutter on a horse at the event two years ago and won an impressive $ 900.
‘‘ I never used to put a bet on at all, but the first year I started covering the races I decided to put $ 100 on a trifecta. I won something like $ 900 on the first bet that I put on,’’ she recalls.
She is hoping her luck continues this year as she rejoins the Channel 7 and Southern Cross racing team to cover the entertainment and fashions on the field events for Melbourne Cup, Oaks Day and the Emirates Stakes.
It will be the 24- year- old’s third time covering the Melbourne carnival action for the network alongside Bruce McAvaney, Johanna Griggs and Pat Welsh and says she loves every second of it.
‘‘ The whole racing carnival there’s so much buzz and excitement,’’ she says. ‘‘ It’s just so much fun to be a part of.’’
This year will be even more special as the Victoria Racing Club celebrates 50 years of Fashions on the Field.
To mark the occasion, the broadcast will look back over the history and evolution of the glamorous event, with Finch chatting to some of the past winners, well- known milliners and judges.
‘‘ It’s a really interesting story actually,’’ she says. ‘‘ There’s the conservative outfits that were worn in the ’ 60s and right through that big flower power era of just crazy, crazy outfits, and now it’s gone back to that beautiful, conservative, classic era where the outfits are more inspired by the ’ 50s and ’ 60s.’’
What makes it even more interesting is how serious the women involved take the events. Many are serial entrants who spend months planning their outfits from head to toe, spending thousands of dollars getting their look exactly right.
And with big prizes on the line such as new cars, entertainment packages, shopping sprees and holidays, it’s no wonder.
Finch, on the other hand, says she is far less worried about what she looks like.
‘‘ I think as long as you feel comfortable and confident, it really doesn’t matter,’’ she says. ‘‘ I just enjoy the day and I don’t really take that sort of stuff seriously.’’
But she admits that’s because she has the whole Seven wardrobe team to worry about it for her.
‘‘ Every morning my outfit is just hanging there in my room with matching shoes,’’ she says.
As well as the fashion, Finch will cover all the entertainment and celebrity action from the birdcage where this year Prince Charles and Camilla will be in attendance, alongside British- born actress turned fashion designer Mischa Barton and a host of local stars.
‘‘ It will be really exciting to have royalty there this year,’’ Finch says. ‘‘ I can’t wait.’’