Rotorua ready to party for Melbourne Cup

By Georgina Harris

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Novotel Rotorua will be hosting a Melbourne Cup event in Clarke's Bar. Pictured is staff member Lukas Schlaadt. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
Novotel Rotorua will be hosting a Melbourne Cup event in Clarke's Bar. Pictured is staff member Lukas Schlaadt. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

With several Melbourne Cup events being held around the city, it will be the perfect opportunity to put on your glad rags and have a flutter.

Novotel Rotorua general manager Edward Judd said it would be a family affair at the hotel's free Melbourne Cup event tomorrow - the famous race that "stops a nation" is traditionally held on the first Tuesday of November.

"We know family are important to the local community - so we wanted to make it a family day."

There will be a bouncy castle, face painting and a best-dressed prize for the kids.

Adults won't miss out with best-dressed prizes up for grabs, a pig on the spit and entertainment from 3pm.

Mr Judd said he wasn't a betting man himself but knew many people liked to put money on the Melbourne Cup.

The prestigious race will take place at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne at 3pm (5pm NZ time).

This year there are three New Zealand-bred horses competing; Who Shot Thebarman, Pentathlon and Rose of Virginia.

New Zealand-bred horse Prince of Penzance took home the cup last year.

Three Kiwi jockeys will be riding the event: James McDonald, Michael Walker and Mark Du Plessis.

The Melbourne Cup is the richest prize in Australian sport, with the winner taking home A$6 million.

Rotorua Citizens Club president Colin Elstob said the club always had a Melbourne Cup event and was looking forward to the day.

He said there would be free finger food available, and the bar and restaurant would be open at their club premises on Rangiuru St.

A local racing specialist would be there to help their punters' club, advising on where and how to bet.

Each person puts $20 into the punters' club pool, said Mr Elstob.

The public are able to attend after signing themselves in on entry.

Club manager of the Rotorua Club Incorporated, Colin Wood, said there had been lots of interest so far in their first Melbourne Cup event.

"The more the merrier. Anyone is welcome."

He said they would be open from 11am. Their premises are on the first floor of the Arawa Park racecourse and have TAB facilities and sweepstakes.

Raffles have been organised and there will be prizes for best-dressed man and woman.

"We encourage people to dress up."

Mr Wood said his own horse will be running in a Melbourne Cup event at Ellerslie Racecourse in Auckland but he was unable to be there.

His tip for punters would be number 20, Oceanographer.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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