The first Tuesday of every November is Melbourne Cup Day in Australia. At first I thought it had something to do with a yacht race (sorry - that was America's Cup). However, I found out that it was actually a horse race. It's touted as "the race that stops a nation." Kind of like the Kentucky Derby I guess - but bigger! In Melbourne, Cup day is an official holiday. Although it's not a day off for the rest of Australia, it's definitely an excuse for people to slack off or go for lunch and not come back. Unfortunately in my current position as "mum extraordinaire" - I could not just abandon my post. Even though I had a 2:30 p.m. curfew I decided I had to see what Cup Day was all about.
The actual race itself only takes a few minutes but the wagers, partying, and fashions make up the rest of the day. For most of the women - the race is merely a side bar - the outfits are the main event! Some of the headpieces worn are almost bigger than the jockeys! And the shoes - the girls of Sex and the City would look like bag ladies!
I opted to go small and understated for my first Cup outing - a cute Banana Republic sundress with a matching peacock feather headband. That's not all I kept small and understated! I'm the kind of person who cashes out when I'm ahead $9 at the slots. Needless to say, I wasn't going to bet the kids' college funds - I made three bets for a grand total of $18. Big money!! While the more seasoned racegoers were researching their horses, I chose my bets according to what the jockey's jersey looked like, and what the coolest horse names were. A surefire method!
As my friend H.J. and I gathered around the big screen T.V., with all the other party goers, clutching our precious betting tickets, it did seem kind of exciting! Next year I may have to go big - o.k. maybe not with my wager but with a extraordinary hat! By the way - I did win. My horse, Crime Scene, placed second. I knew blue was a lucky colour - and he matched my outfit!!