Why the infield is the in-place to be
THE thrill of a bet, the joy of watching majestic horses at full gallop, the delight of competition - nah, none of that does it for a lot of Ipswich Cup patrons.
Instead of making their way to the viewing terrace, a large number of racegoers make a bee-line across the track to the Corona marquee - a place that many declare is where the real race day action is to be found.
Set up in the infield area, the venue is the heartland of the "party zone" with live music, finger food and six hours of solid drinking all included in the entry price.
Randy Sauer, 23, said the marquee was his only destination at each Ipswich Cup.
"This is the third year in a row that I have been to the Cup," he said, clutching four cans of Bulleit Bourbon - a tactic to avoid lining up for drinks later in the day.
"I keep coming back 'cause it's a great day out in the sun where you and your friends can get dressed up and enjoy yourselves."
The Moores Pocket labourer said he preferred not to bet on any of the races.
"I don't bring any money. I just have a few drinks with friends and then head home," he said.
Also enjoying the atmosphere in the marquee were Rhiann Gillanders and her sisters, Keegan and Deborah.
The 19-year-old said it was the first time she and her siblings had been to the Cup and they planned to spend the day hanging out and having fun.
"We have all lived in Ipswich most of our lives, so we've always wanted to come and experience the Cup," she said.
"It's great opportunity to get dressed up, look pretty and have a few drinks."
The marquee featured a photo booth, betting stations and even a "pamper parlour" where guests could get their hair and makeup touched up by professionals from Tranquiliti Hair, Body and Soul in Newtown.