VRC Acting Chief Executive Julian Sullivan declared the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival a major success.
“Protectionist’s win in the Emirates Melbourne Cup marks yet another chapter in the incredible internationalisation of the Carnival,” Mr Sullivan said.”
“Like previous wins by Ireland, Japan and France, we expect the victory to ignite interest in the race in that part of the world.”
“While still stopping the nation on the first Tuesday of every November, the Emirates Melbourne Cup is increasingly capturing the imagination of the racing world.”
The festivities attracted 325,519 local, interstate and international visitors to enjoy the racing, fashion, entertainment and hospitality of the world’s most vibrant racing event.
Spectacular horse racing was at the heart of the Carnival with eight Group 1 races. In total 536 horses competed in 37 races, representing an average field size of 14.48 runners across the four racedays at heritage listed Flemington.
The 37 races saw 29 individual trainers enjoy victory.
The event continues to have global appeal with internationally trained horses competing in 10 races across the Carnival.
Regarded as the best single day of racing in Australia, AAMI Victoria Derby Day opened the Carnival with four Group 1 races.
Damien Oliver claimed his fifth AAMI Victoria Derby on Preferment for Chris Waller, who also won the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes with Brazen Beau, ridden by Joao Moreira.
Happy Trails, ridden by Damien Oliver for Paul Beshara, and the Pat Hyland trained Bonaria with Michael Rodd on board, won the Longines Mackinnon Stakes and Myer Classic respectively, while Darren Weir’s Signoff booked an Emirates Melbourne Cup berth with Lexus Stakes victory.
Protectionist’s win was Germany’s first in Tuesday’s Emirates Melbourne Cup, as it was for leading jockey Ryan Moore and German trainer Andreas Wohler.
Nine-year-old Red Cadeux was runner up for an incredible third time from four Emirates Melbourne Cup starts.
Thursday’s Group 1 Crown Oaks saw the Ciaron Maher trained Set Square rise above the nation’s best three year-old staying fillies for another feature Melbourne Cup Carnival feature win for Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman.
Arguably the most anticipated race of the Carnival, the Darley Classic on Emirates Stakes Day was billed as the world sprinting championship, with Chautauqua, Lankan Rupee and Slade Power the most fancied.
However, $9 chance Terravista, ridden by Hugh Bowman for Joe Pride, saw the finish line first, staking a claim for the title of world’s best sprinter.
The feature race on Emirates Stakes Day was taken out by Phillip Stokes’ Hucklebuck, cementing a very successful Carnival for South Australia.
Rewarding outstanding racing performance, the prestigious Ron Hutchinson Excellence Award for 2014 was presented to jockey Damien Oliver and the Melbourne Cup Carnival Trainer Award went to Chris Waller for the second year in a row.
The action continued off the track with international and local celebrities hosted in the popular Birdcage enclosure including Gigi Hadid, Ronn Moss and Ann-Kathrin Brommel at Emirates; Jennifer Hawkins and Kris Smith at Myer; Margot Robbie and the Madden brothers at Swisse; Chris Hemsworth at Johnnie Walker; and Margherita Maccapani Missoni and Solange Knowles at Lavazza.
“While a racing event at its core, the Melbourne Cup Carnival celebrates all that Melbourne does best: world-class sport, fashion, entertainment, culture and commerce,” Mr Sullivan said.
“We are proud to report the 2014 Emirates Melbourne Cup lived up to its reputation as the race that stops a nation.”
“While a work day for most Australians, more than 3.24 million in-home viewers tuned into Channel Seven to watch the 154th running of the illustrious race.”
Celebrating fashion at the Carnival, Myer Fashions on the Field saw 695 stylishly dressed entrants vie for over $400,000 in prizes, with an additional 385 children and families enjoying Emirates Stakes Day Fashions on the Field.
Melbourne’s Brodie Worrell, 21, was crowned the national Women’s Racewear winner in a stunning white Toni Maticevski dress with black patent shoes and matching black clutch and gloves.
A statement black and white headpiece, by Felicity Northeast, was made especially and matched the full-skirted ensemble perfectly.
The Donovan family – parents Stephen and Joanne with children Anastasia and Jack – from Essendon won the family category in coordinated pink, navy and white outfits.
The Junior categories were taken out by Mount Eliza schoolgirl Joelie Castricum and Orlando Lee from Eaglemont, while Senior honours went to Claudia Pellogrino from Essendon and Brisbane’s Jacob Elordi.
“The success of the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival would not be possible without the ongoing support of our loyal partners, especially Emirates.”
“We are grateful for their commitment to ensuring the Melbourne Cup Carnival remains a major success,” said Mr Sullivan.
This year the VRC celebrated 20 years of its fundraising initiative, Pin & Win, which has now raised more than $4 million for local charities since its inception in 1995.
Based on projected sales for Emirates Stakes Day, Pin & Win charity partner SecondBite will have raised more than $1 million over its two-year campaign, breaking all previous records and enabling it to provide more than 2.5 million healthy meals for families and people in need across Australia.
The 2014 Pin & Win prizewinner claimed a Lexus IS 250 F Sport Sedan with the total prize pool topping $136,000, including the second prize of 1 Million Skywards Miles from Emirates.
Melbourne Cup Carnival visitors braved less than ideal conditions on AAMI Victoria Derby Day with 90,244 racegoers attending the first day of the Carnival.
Beautiful weather attracted strong crowds with 100,794 on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day, 64,430 on Crown Oaks Day and 70,051 on Emirates Stakes Day, taking the total attendance to 325,519.
The four Melbourne Cup Carnival racedays were again the four most attended racedays in Australia.
Day 1 Crowd: 90,244 – AAMI 2014 Victoria Derby Day
Day 2 Crowd: 100,794 – 2014 Melbourne Cup Day
Day 3 Crowd: 70,051 – 2014 Crown Oaks Day
Day 4 Crowd: 64,430 – 2014 Emirates Stakes Day
Total Crowd: 325,519