The Melbourne Cup is famously the race that stops a nation – but very often it is non-horse participants who linger longer in our minds.
From ‘Fairy Floss Girl’ on Oaks Day in 2016 to people using trash cans as makeshift horses and the furious player pushing over a police officer, the Melbourne Cup Carnival is never boring – though the festivities are likely to be more subdued in 2021 with just 10,000 present in Flemington due to Covid restrictions.
The audience will consist of 7,000 Victorian Racing Club members, 2,500 horse owners, company sponsors and trainers – with only 500 members of the public in the stands.
With hours left before the main event, many at the time the race begins have drunk enough to stop a horse – as has been the case in recent years.
The Daily Mail Australia takes a look at some of the biggest hits from previous Cups that have passed.
FUN FUN OF THE BIND
For those whose drunken state makes them think “I could do that well”, there is always a trash can nearby that one can drive on or in, or just stand on it to see better.
This has been the case for both men and women at the Cup, seen pants and dresses to imitate jockeys on the court, minus the horse.
To their great embarrassment, pictures of Jade Jillings, 23, straddling a trash can on wheels while wearing a little blue dress and big fascinator, made headlines around the world after her jokes in Flemington in 2016.
The red Jade and her housemate Tyler Johnson, who was dressed in a beige suit in the photos, appeared on The Project from Oaks Day, where they told the panel that they ‘just had a laugh’.
To great embarrassment, pictures of Jade Jillings, 23, straddling a trash can while wearing a little blue dress and big fascinator, made headlines around the world after her jokes in Flemington in 2016
The red Jade and her housemate Tyler Johnson, dressed in a beige suit in the photos, appeared on The Project from Oaks Day, where they told the panel that they ‘just had a laugh’
But Mrs Jillings was not the only one having fun in the Melbourne Cup bins, while another man that year jumped into one to take a picture.
BLUE DRESS COP PUSHER
People who only watch one horse race a year probably do not remember who won the Melbourne Cup in 2015 – it was Prince of Penzance – but may remember the woman who pushed a police officer into the bushes.
Sarah Finn, a 25-year-old Melbourne resident at the time, pushed acting superintendent Steven Cooper into a bush – and smashed his sunglasses – moments before updating the media on audience behavior.
She was charged with assault and later posted a photo on Facebook of herself where she was scratching a marked police bike.
Mrs. Finn issued a rude apology, saying, “My level of poisoning is no excuse.”
After pushing acting superintendent Steven Cooper into a bush, Sarah Finn issued an apology to the officer, saying: ‘My level of intoxication is no excuse’
Having fun with friends at Melbourne Cup Day in Flemington becomes even more fun with flowers in your hair
TOO MUCH FUN?
However, it is not just about high heels and glamorous hats. There is a dark side, with paramedics and police officers ready to help those whose alcohol intake has strayed across the line, separating fun and frolic from danger and distress.
But the vast majority just enjoy a good day out in high spirits, let their hair down – especially now that they have the freedom to do so in the city that has experienced the longest Covid-19 lockdowns in the world.
Being able to get the most out of the sunshine with a picnic on the grass and sit down for a chat with friends must be a great relief after almost two years of the pandemic dominating almost every waking moment.
This woman’s day at the Melbourne Cup ended with a ride in an ambulance to a hospital while her friend carried her bag
It was way too much for this woman at the Melbourne Cup, surrounded by the remnants of the day and singing into a Pringles can microphone
PARTY AS IT IS 1999 (OR 2019)
Sometimes you just want to party as if it were 1999, or in this case 2019, which is the last time there was a crowd allowed in Flemington for the Melbourne Cup.
It could mean that you roll in the mud, as if you just do not care that you are completely white, or that you play a horse that ends up with your friend falling into a rose bush, or wearing uncomfortably high-heeled shoes, until the point where you can no longer tolerate the pain.
It can also mean that you just have to lie down a bit. Right now. Right here on the grass in front of everyone.
Cozy yourself sometimes means you just can not resist getting dirty with your friends, even if you are all wearing white
This couple seems unhappy that the woman’s dress is cake with mud at the bottom, while he may regret that he was not wearing any socks.
“Be careful you may fall over.” “I tip over, but it’s okay, these rose bushes should give a soft landing.”
Sometimes it’s just too painful to wear shoes with massively high heels and really not worth the hassle
The glam, the glitter and the incoming hangovers. It all became a little too much for the woman in black, but her friend in pink still smiles and sips champagne
“I’m just fixing your top button, honey.” ‘It’s good and I can film you while you fix my top button and post it on Instagram’
Fairy floss girl
In 2016, the then 20-year-old Karly Tsivoglou became better known as the fairy floss girl after being pictured enjoying the pink sugary treat while walking around with friends.
Five years later, she is a lovely mother, barely recognizable from the blue dress-clad woman at Oaks Day in 2016.
Some people have never forgotten Mrs. Tsivoglu, with radio host Kyle Sandilands often remembering the five-year-old pictures to this day.
Karly Tsivoglou became known as Fairy Floss Girl after her glamorous appearance at Oaks Day 2016
Karly Tsivoglou (aks the Fairy Floss Girl) pictured left with a friend. She is still mentioned in the air by Kyle Sandilands
Even those who have no interest in the race itself can find much to enjoy during the day, with a woman tweeting this morning that “the Melbourne Cup is rubbish, but I love fashion and frivolity”.
Another woman tweeted that she ‘put a fiver every way on #TraleeRose as soon as I find out how to bet in Australia.’
The lack of interest from some people can be overcome with a good idea, e.g. a tweet that says ‘A few years ago the office manager at my old job tried to start a competition for the Melbourne Cup.
‘No one was particularly interested until one of the staff turned it into a donation to the RSPCA, and I think she raised more than $ 100. It was an iconic moment. ‘
It is still unknown whether the greatly reduced attendance of 10,000 will act as a brake on the kind of off-track entertainment we are used to seeing at the Melbourne Cup.