Auckland locations lead the pack for the racing crowd.
The fashion stakes will be as high as the betting as Auckland’s best hotspots lay in “the works” for The Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
Warriors fans are in for a treat as a number of the team are expected to take part in the celebrations at Headquarters in Viaduct Harbour.
Fashion and racing will both be to the fore, as owner Leo Molloy is as famous for his love of horses as he is for hospitality.
Guests will enjoy champagne and cocktails on arrival, with a three-course buffet lunch.
Miss Ribena will host the day and former Real Housewife Angela Stone will MC the fashion competitions, assisted by Megan Alatini and Vanessa Bennett, with thousands of dollars worth of prizes up for grabs.
Molloy’s big screens are perfect for punters and he has organised an expert racing panel with trainer Stephen McKee and radio personality Mark Claydon. There will be live crosses during the day to various high-profile racing trainers, jockeys and owners across the Tasman.
Entain managing director Cameron Rodger is HQ’s honoured guest and has enabled NZ TAB to gift a $5000 bet for the Cup, with proceeds split - half to the BBM Motivation charity and some to the customers. If Molloy picks a winner, guests are in for quite an after party
Next door to HQ at Bivacco, the celebrations feature a four-course long Italian lunch, including a flute of Moët & Chandon Champagne on arrival, as well as a fashion show by Superette and Fashions in the Field.
Viaduct Harbour’s A-list hangout Soul Bar & Bistro’s famous racing lunch sold out in August, but from 5pm the doors will open for anyone wanting to come and watch the race. Then DJs Tom & Jarno will carry punters into the night with the Champagne popping and cheeky Altos Margaritas.
“We are looking forward to bringing a little glamour and elegance to the venue, so guests will really see this in the venue transformation they know, love and expect from Soul,” says Soul’s Olivia Carter.
She says guests will be a mix of regulars, sporting faces, TV personalities and fashionistas.
The event will feature games throughout the day including, quizzes, team challenges, wine o’clock and the good old ring toss, as well as best in fashion. The prizes are worth competing for including double passes to the ASB tennis.
Carter says Soul will have two onsite TABs for the day and locals are welcome to drop in to place a bet and have a bevvie.
Other waterfront establishments famous for their annual combined soiree are Harbourside Ocean Bar Grill and Botswana Butchery who are also putting on a four-course lunch and fashion show by Hailwood and Trelise Cooper.
SkyCity will be hosting “The race that stops two nations” in its Champagne Lounge in the clouds, opening Sky Bar up to the fabulous, and best dressed of Auckland.
DJ Karn Hall will be playing tunes, guests will receive a glass of Moët & Chandon on arrival before enjoying a high tea, and live coverage of the race.
Prizes will be awarded to the best dressed, with Dame Trelise Cooper leading the judging panel.
The pick of the city’s hotels for Cup lunching is the Park Hyatt. Its flagship restaurant Onemata promises opulence, entertainment, and excitement with a long lunch featuring exotic sustenance including crayfish corn dogs and Korean beef cheek cheese toasties.
The authentic lunch of the day is at DoubleTree by Hilton in Karaka, owned by New Zealand’s first family of racing — the Velas of NZ Bloodstock. Sir Peter Vela’s legendary race mare Ethereal won the 2001 Melbourne Cup and guests are invited to pose with the Cup, which is displayed in the artisan kitchen. The hotel is nestled in the very grounds where Melbourne Cup winners are sold — NZ Bloodstock’s Karaka Sales Centre, with its experts on hand for tips and commentary.