ben and Jodie Kirtpatrick celebrate their cup win at the Gympie track yesterday.
ben and Jodie Kirtpatrick celebrate their cup win at the Gympie track yesterday. Craig Warhurst

Thrills and frills at Cup day

IT was Ben and Jodie Kirkpatrick's lucky day yesterday when the couple went to the Cooloola Camel Races for the first time.

They both grew up in Gympie but now live on the Sunshine Coast and coming back to Gympie to celebrate the Melbourne Cup has paid off for the trifecta winners.

“Its not the first time I have bet on the Melbourne Cup,” said Mr Kirkpatrick, “But it is the first time I have won the trifecta!”

They spent about $60 between them on various bets, but only $12 on the trifecta (Americain, Maluckyday and So You Think) that won their money back and an extra $100.

“It was amazing, we were so lucky,” Mrs Kirkpatrick said.

She also entered herself into the fashions of the field competition; and hoped to have a win there too.

But with 45 other entrants all vying for the fashions title there was some stiff competition.

Co-ordinator Chris Hamilton said usually there were only about 22 entrants but yesterday's 45 entries was a record number.

“It's hotly contested, I just think people like the chance to be able to dress up.

“It's been very popular this year,” she said.

Fashion's commentator Merv Welch said there were some very elegant entrants.

“People are dressed to party, there are some bright and colourful outfits,” he said.

“Melbourne Cup day is a fun day for fashion. There is no traditional style like Derby Day, which is black and white.

“Its more fun outfits with flamboyant headwear and just about anything goes.

“When it comes to judging they are looking for elegance and style.

“The judges look for outfits that suit the age and personality of the wearer and the completeness of the outfits including headwear.”

Mr Welch said the trend trackside this year was very feminine outfits.

He said there were quite a few frills and dresses that emphasised the waist.

“There are quite a few pencil skirts and a wide variety of stylish hats and some quite spectacular fascinators.”

Gympie's Toni Johns won the fashion's traditional section while Shirley Blinco won the best hat title.

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