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From gumboots to sunscreen: Melbourne Cup punters experience all seasons

6 November 2018 12:48 AM
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On the members new Club stand rooftop, staff were even handing out sunscreen for free. A remarkable turn considering hours before people could be spotted in gumboots.

People danced all around the track as English singer Sam Smith performed in the afternoon sun. But about 20 minutes after the race was run and won the heavy rain returned.

Umbrellas and ponchos dotting the crowd never stood a chance, nor did carefully kept hair or hats. Taking refuge under the grandstands was what most did.

A shanty town of sorts populated with punters formed around a few of the big screens and racing boards near the mounting yard.

In the public area, mud wasn't the main problem, such is the quality of the grass. It was more the fact that everything was waterlogged and "squidgy" underfoot.

In the members' car park - where you can plan ahead and pack your car full of supplies for the day - portable tents and marquees were tested. Some unlucky people got caught setting theirs up as the downpour began.

Craig Iggo and Kate Harper were among those who got soaked. "It was horrid. There was no indoor area, there were no marquees. We paid for a premium ticket, and now I'm wet and miserable. But hey - first world problems!" Kate said.

Four racegoers who also tackled the Flemington slip and slide were Ken Wogandt, Katie Wogandt and their children Baylie and Lily. They arrived at Flemington at 7.30am to secure one of the best trackside spots, on the rails about one-and-a-half furlongs from the winning post.

The Queensland family have been travelling in a caravan around Australia since January and timed their Melbourne leg with the spring racing carnival.


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