Our own slice of Flemington
PUNTING-WISE, there weren't many winners at Ipswich racetrack but grinners were everywhere as everyone whooped it up for Melbourne Cup day.
The QT arrived in the Jibboom Lounge at the racetrack 35 minutes before the Cup and the mood was buoyant to say the least.
Organiser Lisa Wallace called for entries in the Ladies Fashion on the Field and 20 or so women fanned out in front of the bar to be voted on by the crowd.
There was a mixture of high heels and flats, assorted hats and even some tatts. Dresses were short and long, backless and, in one case, almost topless.
While they waited for the crowd to decide, there was lots of female bonding. Laughter; cackling. It was a great day to be at the track.
The winner and runner-up both said it was a bonus because they were just out to have a fun day out with friends.
The men's Fashion on the Field was a lot less rowdy.
There was an air of a hen's night with a few wolf whistles, some cheeky cheers and a couple of bawdy calls of, "Take it off."
The men shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other, waiting for the ordeal to be over.
The winner, Ron Banks from Blackstone, said he was giving his outfit a trial for his daughter's wedding mid-next year.
"I think it went pretty well," he said.
Upstairs in the Eye Liner Lounge the atmosphere was much more subdued. More betting, less frantic. In the far corner as the noise in the room built expectantly five minutes before the race, a woman was having her hair conditioned and another had her make-up touched up.
Then the noise dropped a touch as if out of reverential respect for the ceremony about to start and the smokers filed back in from the grandstand outside.
Then there was the traditional roar as the race started and the cheers continued until the inevitable "Who wons?" and a smattering of "Woo hoos".
Visitor Cameron Adamson from Helensvale was one of the few smiling straight after the race, having backed the winner, Green Moon.
Mr Adamson, who was invited to the Ipswich Turf Club function by work mate Kade Studley from Redbank Plains, was counting his blessings - and his cash.
"It's my first winner in the Cup," he said. "I've tried to pick the winner in other years and went no good. This time I just went for the name. It was the luck of the draw; it sounded good so I picked it and went for it."
He had $20 each way on the winner and also $10 each way on the runner-up Jakkalberry so he picked up roughly $700.
It's all over but don't worry, it's only a year till the next Melbourne Cup.