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It’s race week in Melbourne!

We went to Derby Day on Saturday with Barry and Sarah for an afternoon of picnicking and champagne, and maybe a few wayward bets… (I won $20 on Wall Street!)

The thing about the races is that you are at the mercy of the weather gods.  They must have heard my prayers for a few days of sunshine before we head back in to winter, because we ended up with an absolutely splendid day:  sunny, warm, light breeze.  It was Melbourne weather at its best, so we just sat back and soaked it in.  (‘Course all these pictures look overcast but it was sunny, I swear!  I’ve got the sunburn to prove it!!)

(the whites in white (and black…))

(What do yout think:  is this (A) a campaign ad for Heineken, (B) a print spread profile of a politician looking pensive or (C) a really tall Irishman??)

We’re headed to the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday!

Medda: And, I put on my best (Newsies: I put on my best!)

Medda: Oh, and I stick out my chest (Newsies: I sticks out my chest)

Medda & Newsies: And I’m OFFFFFFF to the races again!

Melbourne Cup is a week-long extravaganza for the biggest annual horse races and fashion. Women wear outrageous headpieces (I mean seriously, downright, outrageous – thousands of dollars made by professional milliners, 2 feet in height, bright colors, feathers, flowers, these hats and fascinators have got it all…)

We’ve got the day off (it’s a national holiday) and are planning to go general admissions (most people vie for VIP spots in a marquee or car park) in our finest, with a picnic blanket and some cheese and other goodies, and camp out and watch the festivities.

If you’ve got recommendation on how to pick a good horse, let us know!

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OK, so I’m WAY too excited about this whole horse racing thing… Maybe it’s because we’ve spent the last three weekends feverishly unpacking boxes, making multiple trips to target and IKEA and otherwise assembling, straightening, cleaning and setting up house…

Or, maybe its the fact that “real” Melburnians have all taken a long weekend, as evidenced by the dozen out of office replies I got today: “I’m out of the office. Tuesday is a public holiday in Melbourne, and I will have limited access to emails.” Read: “I’m out getting pissed. Try again Wednesday.”

Whatever the reason, I am delighted at the idea of a leisurely brekky of poached eggs and mimosas, and an afternoon sipping champagne and sitting in the sun. Oh right, and watching horses run around in circles. Here’s a sneak preview–my fabulously flamboyant hairpiece.

***

So, for those of you sitting on the edges of your seats for fashion photos from the Cup…. we didn’t go.  Let’s just leave it at that.

But, so I don’t disappoint with at least a few factoids from the 150th Emirates Melbourne Cup:

– main race won by a truly global horse named Americain — bred in the U.S.A, trained in France, owned by Aussies.  She won a recent local cup, which was a good precursor of the win today, but nonetheless upset the “King of the Cup”, a local Melbourne trainer looking for his lucky 13th win with So You Thought who came up third.

– fashion coverage on TV wasnt quite the same as the real thing, but showed a penchant for the dramatic for sure.  What I hadn’t realized was that men dressed up in crazy fashions too – bright yellow suits, 8-man band in matching patent leather blue straight from the 1950s, 24″ top hats… you name it, it was there. 

– on the female side, a few ridiculous statistics: apprx $6 million spent on hats and $6 million spent on shoes.  Seriously.  Not a typo, millions.

– level of corporate sponsorship = staggering.  Emirates (airline) was the big hitter, with the Cup Day named after it. Lavazza (coffee) and Myers (department store like Nordstroms) were also big players.  Probably a function of my viewing venue, it was impossible to go more than 30 seconds without hearing one of these three corporates names.  I guess though, with races only 90 seconds long, there’s a lot of air time to fill.  

Stay tuned for the 151th Melbourne Cup, live from this blog in November 2011.