Enjoying the Melbourne Cup lunch at the Metro Hotel Ipswich International are (from left) Katrina Johnson, of Deebing Heights, Alex Mackey, of Burbank, and Emily Wonka.
Enjoying the Melbourne Cup lunch at the Metro Hotel Ipswich International are (from left) Katrina Johnson, of Deebing Heights, Alex Mackey, of Burbank, and Emily Wonka.

Crowds enjoy Cup day

IPSWICH was party central on Melbourne Cup day yesterday, with the city's major venues turning on a day to remember for race fans.

Some lost. Some won.

The reaction of North Booval's Tracey Mullin in Brothers Leagues Club was a giveaway that she had won big on Dunaden in the Melbourne Cup. How much she won was a morsel of information Ms Mullin wasn't prepared to share.

"I won last year fairly big and someone stole the money from me, so I'm going to keep how much I won to myself," she grinned.

"It is the only time of the year that I bet. The dresses are fantastic and the atmosphere is fantastic. Everyone is here for a good time.

"I've had a ball ... great company and great food."

Ms Mullin said she sensed there was less money being bet by patrons this year.

"I think people are betting less this year. They are a bit more conservative this year and maybe a bit unsure," she said.

Friends Virginia Fenwick and Duane Cleary were both also celebrating cup wins on Dunaden at Brothers Leagues Club when the QT visited.

Mr Cleary was celebrating a 100% record for the day.

"I only bought one ticket ... and I won," he said.

"Now we'll go and see how much I've won. It is all about having a bit of fun."

Ms Fenwick said she didn't have time to study the form but liked the look of number three (Dunaden).

With a few tickets in her hand it looked as though she was set for a few more handy wins on a day she had marked down on the calendar.

"Melbourne Cup, everyone stops for it. I'm having a great day," she said.

Dunaden's jockey, Christophe Lemaire, had arrived in Australia 24 hours before the race after Craig Williams lost an appeal to keep the ride.

He shed tears when judges told him the verdict.

"It's incredible - it's a great moment for me," Lemaire said.

"I was a bit anxious. I knew it was very close.

"I feel very sorry for Craig. He's a good friend of mine."

Dunaden edged out England's Red Cadeaux by the smallest margin in the $6.2 million race.

It was the closest finish in the 151-year history of the race, with German horse Lucas Cranach completing an international trifecta. Americain, the 2010 winner, started favourite and finished fourth.



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