Rachael stops the na­tion

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TV -

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.’’

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