Melbourne Cup 2021: The race Melbourne needed

Among them on the public lawn was one of Incentivise’s co-owners, Dave Edmonds, who was sent to defeat about 300 yards out.

“We have some good teammates who are in the winner,” Edmonds said.

Verry Elleegant's owner, Brae Sokolski, celebrates his victory.

Verry Elleegant’s owner, Brae Sokolski, celebrates his victory. Credit:Caligiuri wins

A few meters away, one of them, a jubilant Brae Sokolski was lifted on the shoulders of his comrades moments after his unique mare beat her rivals on the street.

In pre-COVID times, Sokolski would not have had to jump over the members’ fence to celebrate the occasion, and there would be more than 100,000 on the field. But the COVID-limited numbers gave the meeting a more relaxed feel.

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The lawns that were empty last year were stained with umbrellas for socially distant fans on one of Melbourne’s hottest days since Delta. Masks, mandatory for Melburnians outdoors until last week, were a rarity unless inside.

Danieller Kartner and her partner Chris Germano took the opportunity to bring their 18-month-old son Cade.

“We’ve been here a second time and it was a real fight,” Kartner said. “It’s good to be here when it’s not really, really packed.”

Players were beaten in the cup, but Andrew Bailey hit pay-dirt earlier in the day as he turned $ 25 into a $ 1800 collection on the trifecta in the first. It was not without controversy.

“The money he put into that race came from my pocket, so I yelled at him to bet,” his friend and fellow lawyer Mike Hazell joked. “At this particular time, I have no share of these gains. What is the ethics surrounding it?”

For others, it was just a chance to get away from home and see people. Luke Moore and Dean Drummond, both avid tippers, kept in touch during the lockdown with a weekly quaddie. They jumped at the chance to get on the field.

“No masks, no worries,” Drummond said. “The boys are out playing.”

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