Greater than 80,000 punters descended on the Flemington Racecourse for the working of the 2023 Melbourne Cup — the 163rd iteration of the historic race.
Racegoers have been on the perimeters of their seats as Mark Zahra made historical past as the primary jockey in a long time to trip back-to-back Cup winners, when he steered Irish horse With out A Combat to victory.
The horse was educated by father-and-son duo Anthony and Sam Freedman.
Three horses have been discovered to be lame after the race sparking concern from RSPCA Victoria.
There was an opportunity of rain late within the day nevertheless it held off, with punters having fun with heat spring climate with temperatures within the low 30s.
The attendance determine for immediately’s occasion wound up exceeding 84,000, in keeping with Community 10. Finally 12 months’s Melbourne Cup — the coldest occasion since 1913, with the day’s temperature reaching a excessive of 13.3 levels Celcius — numbers have been simply shy of 74,000.
In the meantime, pro-Palestinian protests close to the racecourse led to non permanent visitors disruptions close to Flemington and a number of arrests, in keeping with police.
Earlier, attendees gathered vibrant and early outdoors the gates at Flemington in scenes harking back to the Boxing Day gross sales.
Jeremy De Souza was in line early to beat the lengthy queues outdoors the racecourse gates and safe a coveted shaded spot within the new grandstands.
“Acquired right here about 6:30am, so two hours earlier than to face right here and prepared for the run in a pair minutes time,” he mentioned.
“It’s totally very like the horses going out of the gates right here immediately.”
Laura Minahan introduced a change of garments in preparation for the mad sprint for the members bar.
“That is the race earlier than the race, so bought the flats on with the heels within the bag and a special hat,” Ms Minahan mentioned.
“So hopefully fingers crossed, we get someplace inside.”
Brett Adams and Mark Secombe launched into a highway journey down from Queensland to again Cup favorite Gold Journey.
Their gold jackets have been exhibiting their assist for the 7-year-old stallion, however there was some concern they is likely to be a little bit too eye-catching.
“I’ve bought to remain out of view of the horses, it’d put them off,” Mr Adams mentioned.
Paul Buddy travelled from Dunedoo in New South Wales to attend this 12 months’s Cup, and mentioned he had been attending, on and off, for 25 years.
He mentioned he was prepared to step in for the true jockeys if it was an emergency.
“If there is a scratching and one of many prime jockeys cannot make it, I am on standby simply close to the mounting yards, so come on down and I am going to throw the leg over,” he mentioned.
“The horse will nonetheless be coming earlier than the following race begins.”
Melbourne’s temperature hit 30.6 which was excellent news for Victoria Racing Membership members who have been allowed to put on tailor-made shorts to the occasion for the primary time.
The Melbourne Cup is the trend occasion of the 12 months for a lot of Australians. (ABC Information: Rachel Clayton)
Some spectators bought in early and secured prime spots. (ABC Information: Rachel Clayton)
Tens of 1000’s are anticipated at Flemington Racecourse this 12 months. (ABC Information: Rachel Clayton)
Champagne was flowing on the unique Birdcage Enclosure. (ABC Information: Rachel Clayton)
The climate was sizzling, leaving some feeling a little bit drained. (ABC Information: Rachel Clayton)
Flat footwear was preferable for some. (ABC Information: Rachel Clayton)
Smiles have been contagious across the racecourse. (ABC Information: Rachel Clayton)
The vitality was palpable as crowds descended on Flemington. (ABC Information: Rachel Clayton)
Vibrant colors have been on this 12 months. (ABC Information: Rachel Clayton)
Protest disrupts visitors close to Flemington
The Melbourne Cup coincides with authorized reforms that got here into impact immediately to decriminalise public drunkenness in Victoria.
The timing has beforehand been criticised by teams together with the Victorian Police Affiliation, with secretary Wayne Gatt expressing concern the change would go away police with little energy to behave.
The federal government has arrange a sobering centre in Collingwood with 20 beds for emergency providers to put individuals who require a spot to sober up.
In the meantime two separate protests have taken place close to Flemington, together with each a small group against horseracing and about 100 pro-Palestinian protesters who’ve clashed with police.
Police mentioned the cohort of pro-Palestinian protesters arrived on the Epsom Highway, Ascot Vale Highway and Racecourse Highway roundabout at Ascot Vale about 11am, leading to visitors disruptions close to the Flemington Racecourse within the hours earlier than the working of the Cup.
Two protesters, together with a lady who climbed onto the roof of a white van and refused to get down, have been pepper-sprayed and arrested, in keeping with police.
Police mentioned there have been about 80 protesters on the scene, and so they organized for the van to be towed away.
One other, smaller protest in opposition to horseracing gathered on the close by Footscray Park Bowling Membership this morning, with a bunch of about 10 individuals utilizing placards, chants and a big banner laid out on the inexperienced to make their voices heard.
Three lame horses spark RSPCA concern
Proper You Are, a seven-year-old Australian gelding, struggled within the warmth and failed to complete the race.
It was seen being hosed off with chilly water after the race.
A seven-year-old stallion from France, Gold Journey, and a six-year-old gelding Alenquer have been additionally discovered to be lame.
Racing Victoria mentioned all runners within the Melbourne Cup have been assessed instantly after the race by vets who “reported that no important findings have been detected at the moment”.
“The veterinarians continued to observe the runners as they cooled down following the race,” it mentioned in a press release.
“It was upon re-examination that Gold Journey, Alenquer and Proper You Are have been reported to have proven a level of lameness as soon as that they had cooled down from competing.”
Racing Victoria mentioned not one of the horses required a referral to a veterinary clinic.
“All three have returned to their respective stables and, as in routine, will probably be assessed by their secure veterinarians within the coming days.”
However RSPCA Victoria mentioned it was “very involved” concerning the variety of injured horses.
“We clearly count on the business to verify there is a thorough investigation into what led as much as this and what may very well be performed to forestall it taking place in future,” CEO Liz Walker mentioned.
“It does spotlight that accidents are an actual threat in horse racing.”