Home Trending News Drama, socialites and rain on first day of Spring Racing Carnival

Drama, socialites and rain on first day of Spring Racing Carnival

Drama, socialites and rain on first day of Spring Racing Carnival

“She didn’t drink or even have a dance,” revealed a spy. “She was very understated and cool.”

Meanwhile, fellow single AFL WAG, Nadia Bartel, who recently split from her Brownlow medallist husband Jimmy, ruled the dance floor inside the luxury car retailer’s marque.

With a distinct lack of VIPs and celebrities in the famed Birdcage enclosure, the social parade was made up of somewhat different red carpet fauna to previous years.

Nadia Bartel makes an appearance at Flemington Racecourse.

Nadia Bartel makes an appearance at Flemington Racecourse. Credit:Getty Images

And that wasn’t just because of the weather forecast, with horse racing facing one of its greatest public relations challenges in years thanks to recent revelations about allegations of animal cruelty in the industry.

Surprisingly Racing Australia boss and former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell was not in the VRC Committee Room but opted for the lounge suit dress code of the Tabcorp marquee – anyway, who really wants to spend their day trackside in a top hat and tails?


Wallabies players Kurtley Beale, Adam Ashley Cooper and Bernard Foley were out in full force in the Birdcage off the back of their World Cup disappointment.

The Wallabies were knocked out of the World Cup, with Australia slipping below Japan in the latest world rankings.

But a day at the races is not what it once was, with sensitivities running high about the treatment of thoroughbred horses following the ABC’s explosive reports on the industry and claims of animal cruelty creating a particularly delicate dilemma for the many VIPs who flock to Flemington year after year.

Racing sponsor Myer’s top model Elyse Knowles won’t pose with a horse. Her decision has caused problems for the department store’s marketing ambitions, while its other celebrity ambassador, Asher Keddie, refuses to go the races.

Social media fashion influencer Nadia Fairfax was resplendent in Loewe and with a Napoleonic-inspired hat, though she could have dressed as Snuggle Pot or Cuddle Pie in the May Gibbs-inspired Lexus marquee.

Sarsha Chisholm, Julie Bishop, Elyse Knowles and Rachael Finch at Myer's Glam Bar on Derby Day.

Sarsha Chisholm, Julie Bishop, Elyse Knowles and Rachael Finch at Myer’s Glam Bar on Derby Day.Credit:Getty Images

Sydney fashion anarchists Christian Wilkins and Andrew Kelly ruffled feathers in their Picnic At Hanging Rock meets Rocky Horror Picture Show get-ups, all straw hats and lace frocks, but their brave fashion choices at least gave the celebrity-starved photographers something to focus on.

Former foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop can add a new feather to her cap: fashions on the field judge. She even enlisted the help of her boyfriend David Panton, who strutted the catwalk at his lady-friend’s behest.

Lindsay Lohan was enjoying her first day at a major Australian racing meeting, but she refused to talk about it to the media, preferring to enjoy the largesse of her Channel Ten sponsors inside the network’s marquee, which was replete with its own television studio.

Lindsay Lohan attending the Network 10 Marquee.

Lindsay Lohan attending the Network 10 Marquee.Credit:Network Ten

Champagne house Mumm built its own Parisian hotel for the day, which outshone most of the other marquees, even those festooned in gumnuts.

But spare a thought for those not on any marquee guests lists, who were overheard trying to bribe the door staff at certain marquees with $100 to get in. Sadly, they failed.

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