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Melbourne Cup: Wild celebrations from punters after a massive day of racing

Punters have let loose after a huge day of racing with thousands turning out in both Sydney and Melbourne to cheer on the horses for the race that stops the nation.

Flemington Racecourse welcomed 10,000 revellers to the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday with long-suffering Victorians ready to let their hair down after enduring the world’s longest lockdown.  

In Sydney, the champagne was also flowing at the Royal Randwick Racecourse where 17,000 screaming Aussies packed in to get a taste of the action. 

There were similar crowds at Brisbane‘s Eagle Farm racecourse which delivered its own day of spectacular races as Australians across the country ditched their work-from-home tracksuits and dressing gowns in favour of designer dressers and three-piece suits.  

Covid-19 lockdowns forced many to stay inside for several months of the year, and most were very keen to kick up their heels amid their newfound freedoms.

But while Verry Elleegant stormed to victory, in the stands it was slightly less elegant with glamorous race-goers pictured chugging Champaign straight out of the bottle.    

While some were drinking in celebration, others were drowning their sorrows after red-hot favourite Incentivise came up short in the coveted $8million race. 

Cheers! Punters have let loose after a huge day of racing with thousands turning out in both Sydney and Melbourne to cheer on the horses for the Melbourne Cup (pictured at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse)

Tongue and cheek! A Melbourne Cup reveller holding her high heel shoes poses for a photo at Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse

Tongue and cheek! A Melbourne Cup reveller holding her high heel shoes poses for a photo at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse

Pictured: A glamorous barefoot punter dances on the grass at Flemington Racecourse celebrating her big win

Pictured: A glamorous barefoot punter dances on the grass at Flemington Racecourse celebrating her big win

Man Down! Luckily none of the horses fell this year but the same can't be said for revellers watching the race trackside

Man Down! Luckily none of the horses fell this year but the same can’t be said for revellers watching the race trackside

Party time!  Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse goes wild as punters leap out of their seats

Party time!  Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse goes wild as punters leap out of their seats 

Bottoms up! The drinks were flowing at Randwick Racecourse on Tuesday with 17,000 turning out for a huge day of racing

Bottoms up! The drinks were flowing at Randwick Racecourse on Tuesday with 17,000 turning out for a huge day of racing

Time for a rest: A race-goer lays down on the grass to take a break from all the action on the tract at Flemington

Time for a rest: A race-goer lays down on the grass to take a break from all the action on the tract at Flemington

Spirits were high at Flemington Racecourse, but outside of the gates told another story with animal rights activists chaining themselves to a truck that had delivered a load of manure opposite the entrance.

Protesting the spate of horse deaths in the Cup in recent years, protestors chanted ‘Nup to the Cup’ with police taking nine away in handcuffs. 

‘Would you wear that suit to the slaughterhouse, sir?’ one protester armed with a megaphone asked racegoers on arrival.

But that did not deter Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula declaring the event a roaring success and a much needed shot in the arm form the city of Melbourne.  

Tongues are wagging: A man and a women strike a pose at Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse

Tongues are wagging: A man and a women strike a pose at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse

Give'm the whip!: Shenanigans play out trackside at Flemington Racecourse ahead of the Melbourne Cup

Give’m the whip!: Shenanigans play out trackside at Flemington Racecourse ahead of the Melbourne Cup

All smiles: Two women cheer on the horses in style at Randwick Racecourse ahead of the highly anticipated Melbourne Cup

All smiles: Two women cheer on the horses in style at Randwick Racecourse ahead of the highly anticipated Melbourne Cup

Ladies rejoice after a big win at the track, leaping out of their seats at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney

Ladies rejoice after a big win at the track, leaping out of their seats at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney

One happy race-goers strolls around the grounds at the Flemington Racecourse celebrating the day of action

One happy race-goers strolls around the grounds at the Flemington Racecourse celebrating the day of action

Sore Hooves? One Melbourne Cup supporter had to take her high heels off after a long day at Flemington Racecourse

A long day in high heels was enough for this women to go barefoot as the races wrapped up at the Melbourne Cup

Sore hooves? Melbourne Cup race-goers had to take her high heels off after a long day at Flemington Racecourse

A groups of mates burst out laughing at the Melbourne Cup as one of their pals hits the deck after a long day of celebrating

A groups of mates burst out laughing at the Melbourne Cup as one of their pals hits the deck after a long day of celebrating

‘Victorians worked so hard for so long to get the vaccination numbers up,’ Mr Pakula told reporters.

‘Victorians have earned this. It’s a majestic, glorious Melbourne Cup day and it means more to the city than it has for a long, long time.’

Short-priced favourite – and Mr Pakula’s pick for the race – Incentivise came second as it was run down by Verry Elleegant in a dramatic finish that had thousands tearing up their betting slips in disgust. 

The six-year-old mare was ridden by James McDonald, with Spanish Mission coming in third. 

And the crowd goes wild! The scenes in Brisbane were no different with thousands of punters celebrating a day of racing at the Eagle Farm racetrack

And the crowd goes wild! The scenes in Brisbane were no different with thousands of punters celebrating a day of racing at the Eagle Farm racetrack

Victory! A group of men dressed to impress celebrated in style at Randwick Racecourse on Tuesday for a day of races featuring the Melbourne Cup

Victory! A group of men dressed to impress celebrated in style at Randwick Racecourse on Tuesday for a day of races featuring the Melbourne Cup

Sydneysiders soaked up the Spring sun as they watched the Melbourne Cup from Royal Randwick Racecourse

Sydneysiders soaked up the Spring sun as they watched the Melbourne Cup from Royal Randwick Racecourse

Two punters got very lucky at the Melbourne Cup as they hugged and kissed trackside at Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse

Two punters got very lucky at the Melbourne Cup as they hugged and kissed trackside at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse

Wardrobe malfunction: A group of stylish ladies band together to fix their high heels shoes after a blowout

Wardrobe malfunction: A group of stylish ladies band together to fix their high heels shoes after a blowout

One race-goer who ditched her lockdown tracksuit and dressing gown for a stunning dress and high heels told Sydney Morning Herald it’s a strange feeling to be out and about after being trapped indoors for months during lockdown. 

Bianca Hickey, 19, from Sydney’s Neutral Bay who attend the action at Royal Randwick said being at an event with so many people was ‘a bit weird, I’m not going to lie’.

‘We went from no socialising to this. I think a lot of my friends and I have found it really hard,’ she said.

‘There’s the social anxiety of being locked away for three months, and everyone is so socially awkward.’

Pictured: Punters were dancing for joy at the Melbourne Cup after the city only recently emerged from the world's longest lockdown

Pictured: Punters were dancing for joy at the Melbourne Cup after the city only recently emerged from the world’s longest lockdown

The force was with this punter at Sydney's Royal Randwick who dressed up as Darth Vader from Star Wars

The force was with this punter at Sydney’s Royal Randwick who dressed up as Darth Vader from Star Wars

And they're off! Punters are seen cheering on the horses and congratulating each other after the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday

And they’re off! Punters are seen cheering on the horses and congratulating each other after the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday

A trackside kiss for luck? Two race-goers are pictured in a loving embrace ahead of the big race at Flemington Racecourse

A trackside kiss for luck? Two race-goers are pictured in a loving embrace ahead of the big race at Flemington Racecourse

Wink Wink!: Women dressed to the nines for the big day on Tuesday with Randwick seeing a crowd of 17,000 roll up

Wink Wink!: Women dressed to the nines for the big day on Tuesday with Randwick seeing a crowd of 17,000 roll up 

This year’s Melbourne Cup marked the culmination of six months of preparation, Victoria Racing Club president Neil Wilson said.

Up until last month there was no guarantee the race would even go ahead as coronavirus cases soared. 

‘We’re really enjoying the spirit that’s on course right – people walking round the course with joy on their faces,’ he said.

‘It’s a big day for Australia – every second adult watches or listens to the race.’

Glamorous race-goers clutching cans at Flemington Racecourse cheer home the horse at the Melbourne Cup

Glamorous race-goers clutching cans at Flemington Racecourse cheer home the horse at the Melbourne Cup

Time for celebrations! One Brisbane punter is seen shouting for joy as the Eagle Farm Racecourse

Time for celebrations! One Brisbane punter is seen shouting for joy as the Eagle Farm Racecourse

Four friends throw their hands up in the air as they pose for a photo at the Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse

Four friends throw their hands up in the air as they pose for a photo at the Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse

Place your bets! One man celebrates his win at the Eagle Farm race track in Brisbane on Tuesday

Place your bets! One man celebrates his win at the Eagle Farm race track in Brisbane on Tuesday

Peace out: Some punters took a well deserved break from an exhausting day out at the races in high heels

Peace out: Some punters took a well deserved break from an exhausting day out at the races in high heels

Melbourne woman Sharni Taylor said she felt safe attending the Melbourne Cup with her partner Hayden due to the high vaccination coverage in Victoria.

‘I feel confident they’ve got safe practices here,’ the 27-year-old told AAP.

‘We’re vaccinated and everyone else here is too.

‘I’m getting used to being around people again. It’s still a bit weird but we snap back into things pretty quickly.’

Winner! One punter jumps for joy after celebrating a win at the races in Sydney on Tuesday

Winner! One punter jumps for joy after celebrating a win at the races in Sydney on Tuesday

Might be time for a water? After a long day of celebrating this glamorous pair stop for a drink of water at Flemington Racecourse

Might be time for a water? After a long day of celebrating this glamorous pair stop for a drink of water at Flemington Racecourse

Reaching new highs! One woman stood on a chair to get a better glimpse of the $8million race that stops the nation

Reaching new highs! One woman stood on a chair to get a better glimpse of the $8million race that stops the nation 

A pair of mates embrace as they celebrate the race that stops the nation at Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse

A pair of mates embrace as they celebrate the race that stops the nation at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse

Jumping for joy: The spirits were high as thousands turned out at both Sydney and Melbourne for the main event

Jumping for joy: The spirits were high as thousands turned out at both Sydney and Melbourne for the main event

Time for refreshments! A group of girls enjoyed a break from the action at Randwick

Time for refreshments! A group of girls enjoyed a break from the action at Randwick 

Another Melbourne local, 49-year-old Richard McGann, had similar feelings.

‘Finally opening up is fantastic,’ Mr McGann said.

‘This is beautiful … a bit weird, but it feels safe.’

Meanwhile, a collection of anti-lockdown protesters holding signs that read ‘Sack Dan Andrews’ and yelling ‘freedom’ marched through Footscray Park in Melbourne’s west towards the racecourse and then back again.


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