High fashion as Aucklanders celebrate Melbourne Cup race day at Ellerslie

Jana Hurst (L) and Iyia Liu (R) at Melbourne Cup Day at Ellerslie Racecourse. Photo / Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
Jana Hurst (L) and Iyia Liu (R) at Melbourne Cup Day at Ellerslie Racecourse. Photo / Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

The fancy frocks and snazzy suits were out as thousands celebrated Melbourne Cup Day at Ellerslie Racecourse yesterday.

Dressed in their best raceday attire, those at the event honoured the turnout across the Tasman with the excitement of their own 10 race program, as well as big-screen live coverage of the 156th Melbourne Cup race.

Dozens of bottles of Mumm champagne were enjoyed, along with prawns, ham on the bone, cheese platters and Kapiti ice-cream, as both main hospitality areas were sold out.

Tom Leaman, left, and Callum Massie at Melbourne Cup Day at Ellerslie Racecourse. Photo/Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
Tom Leaman, left, and Callum Massie at Melbourne Cup Day at Ellerslie Racecourse. Photo/Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

They cheered as cup winner Almandin stormed down the straight to edge past Heartbreak City just before the line.

It was jockey Kerrin McEvoy's second win in the two-mile classic, and owner Lloyd Williams record fifth win in Australia's richest race, but it was not such a happy day for those with Kiwi connections.

The closest New Zealand connection to the front was pre-race favourite Hartnell, ridden by Kiwi James McDonald, which finished third in the $6.2 million race.

Guests at Melbourne Cup Day at Ellerslie Racecourse. Photo / Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
Guests at Melbourne Cup Day at Ellerslie Racecourse. Photo / Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

However, it was a better day for two Kiwi sisters, who shone in the fashion stakes at Flemington.

Olivia and Charlotte Moor were competing in the Myers Fashion on the Field, wearing outfits designed by their mum, Ali.

Olivia, a jewellery designer, won and Charlotte was third.

Meanwhile, the TAB marked another record-breaking Melbourne Cup driven by strong interest in the Cup's Kiwi contenders.

TAB general manager of betting, Glen Saville, said Kiwi punters placed 1.4m bets on the race - up more than 400,000 compared to last year.

A guest considers her options at the race day event at Ellerslie. Photo/Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
A guest considers her options at the race day event at Ellerslie. Photo/Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

More than 15,000 bets were placed on winner Almandin. including a $12,000 bet on the German-bred horse. They will collect more than $168,000.

More than $2.4m has been paid to punters who picked Almandin to win.

TAB customers also showed overwhelming support for McDonald, with $2.5m - or a quarter of bets - placed on Hartnell, Saville said.

The Cup is the curtain raiser to New Zealand's premier racing event, New Zealand Cup and Show Week, which kicks off Saturday in Christchurch.​

Callum Massie (C) at Melbourne Cup Day at Ellerslie Racecourse. Photo / Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
Callum Massie (C) at Melbourne Cup Day at Ellerslie Racecourse. Photo / Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
This woman was among thousands who enjoyed the race day atmosphere at Ellerslie. Photo/Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
This woman was among thousands who enjoyed the race day atmosphere at Ellerslie. Photo/Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

- NZ Herald

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