A crowd of 91,194 enjoyed sunny spring weather to see Extra Brut win the 2018 AAMI Victoria Derby at famous Flemington on Saturday.
It was the first AAMI Victoria Derby win for Victoria’s premier trainer Darren Weir and jockey John Allen.
Three-year-old colt Extra Brut clinched the $2 million dollar staying classic by one length from Stars of Carrum and Chapada in third.
Earlier, young British trainer Charlie Fellowes secured a place in Tuesday’s $7.3 million Lexus Melbourne Cup with A Prince of Arran, by winning the Group 3 Lexus Stakes.
Sunlight ridden by Luke Currie took out the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes for Tony McEvoy, the Chris Waller-trained Shillelagh won the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes for fillies and mares, and Best of Days ridden by Craig Williams clinched the Kennedy Mile for trainer James Cummings.
Following AAMI Victoria Derby Day, James McDonald leads the Ron Hutchison Award for jockeys during Melbourne Cup Carnival with ten points, while James Cummings leads the Bart Cummings Award for trainers on nine points after securing a treble.
Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chief Executive Officer Neil Wilson said AAMI Victoria Derby Day was a feast for racing purists.
“Today showed why it’s regarded as the greatest day on the Australian racing calendar,” said Mr Wilson.
“Racegoers have enjoyed Flemington at its best with an exceptional day of racing and the scene is now set for an exciting 158th running of the Lexus Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.”
AAMI Victoria Derby Day saw members and their guests enjoy the VRC’s new $128 million Club Stand in full for the first time.
The world-class facility boasts two premium restaurants, three casual dining options and eight diverse bars serving a variety of fare across five levels.
Many famous faces joined the tens of thousands across Flemington’s grandstands, marquees, lawns and car parks, with the popular Birdcage Enclosure home to a host of celebrities including supermodel Elle Macpherson and racing royalty Kate Waterhouse at Lexus, Australian actress Bella Heathcote at 1 Oliver St, fashion blogger Nadia Fairfax and model Cheyenne Tozzi at Kennedy, model Rebecca Harding and media personality Andy Lee at Seppelt Wines, socialite Francesca Packer Barham and model Kate Peck at Mumm, model Steph Claire Smith at Bumble, and Scott Disick and Sofia Richie at Ultra.
While in The Park, Face of Myer Jennifer Hawkins and Myer ambassadors Elyse Knowles, Rachael Finch, Kris Smith and Josh Gibson graced the Myer Fashions on the Field enclosure.
The fashion stakes rivalled the on-course action with Kelli Odell of Melbourne taking out the Myer Fashions on the Field Women’s Racewear AAMI Victoria Derby Day crown in a white top and black skirt by Toni Maticevski teamed with a Stephanie Spencer hat. She will compete with the daily winners from Lexus Melbourne Cup Day and Kennedy Oaks Day for the Victorian title and entry into the National Final.
Melburnians Dave Ferris, Patrick Sham Yuen and Riley Koops were selected as the three finalists to compete in the Men’s Racewear final on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day.
The VRC is expecting more than 90,000 people for the running of the 158th Lexus Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
The final field has been set for the race that stops a nation with Caulfield Cup winner Best Solution carrying the top weight.
Melbourne Cup Carnival tickets are still available for purchase from Flinders Street, Southern Cross, North Melbourne, Essendon, South Yarra, Werribee and Richmond train stations or racegoers can jump the queues and buy online from Ticketek on their mobiles, even on raceday. Admission is free for children under 16 accompanied by an adult.
On Monday, tens of thousands will fill Swanston Street and Federation Square for the Lexus Melbourne Cup Parade from 12 noon.