Judy Ross, of Dunedin, tries on her Melbourne Cup ensemble
yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Their nostrils are flaring with excitement and they are
champing at the bit.
And that's just the punters.
Wingatui racecourse is odds-on to post its biggest Melbourne
Cup Day today.
The record 8000 crowd that trotted out to the racecourse last
year would easily be beaten, Otago Racing Club chief
executive Andre Klein said yesterday.
''Our pre-sales are already 30% up on last year, so we're
expecting a crowd of well over 10,000. It's just a Tuesday in
the middle of the week, but it's our biggest day of the year
by far in Dunedin,'' Mr Klein said.
''I absolutely love it and I'm very proud of it, too. It's
come a long way since we started it in 2004 and it is,
basically, the financial lifeline of the club now. I don't
know anybody who's not going.''
Melbourne Cup was a busy time for Dunedin fashion retailers,
Carlson manager Debs Lundy said.
''It's always a busy time. Everyone loves to dress up and you
don't get the chance very often, so you have to go for it -
any excuse to buy a beautiful new dress.''
The Fashion in the Field registration is open from 11.30am to
1.32pm, with the parade starting at 2.30pm.
The judges are Deborah Lambie, Nicky Rennie and Kylie Hayes.
A Taieri Gorge Railway service to the racecourse has been
popular, just 50 of the 350 seats remaining last night,
booking clerk Leagh Bartley said.
The train leaves Dunedin Railway Station at noon, arriving at
Wingatui at 12.20pm. The return trip leaves the racecourse at
8pm and arrives in Dunedin at 8.20pm.
The MetService is predicting mainly fine conditions today,
with a high of 15degC expected, before a southerly change and
isolated showers later in the afternoon.