In the Bird­cage at The Emi­rates 2015 Mel­bourne Cup

Ladies in Racing - - Contents -

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.

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