Boozed-up reacegoers partied into the night after a raucous Caulfield Cup welcomed the biggest crowd the event had hosted since before the pandemic.
Thousands of glamorous race-goers flocked to the Melbourne track for the biggest day of the Spring Racing Carnival after the Melbourne Cup and stayed til late.
Celebrities were spotted among the punters as they all drank into the night, despite overcast skies.
Crowds began gathering at 12pm dressed in their best fashion before swelling considerably by the hour up until the penultimate Group 1 race.
By nightfall punters both successful and not got their groove on and enjoyed the day at their races.
Racegoers at the Caulfield Cup in Melbourne drank into the night after a successful day at the races
Punters of all ages took part in the celebrations in the biggest crowd the race has seen since before the pandemic
Rowdy players were seen socialising after the races had wrapped up by around 6pm on Saturday
The number of attendees was the biggest the race had seen in more than three years, since the start of the pandemic.
With the Spring Racing Carnival officially in full swing, eager punters piled into the track ahead of the first race at 12.15pm, where Japanese pre-race favourite Brave Mead saluted ahead of the Gai Waterhouse trained The Instructor.
Punters were in for a dreary afternoon, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a cloudy top of 23C.
The dreary weather didn’t end the celebrations early however as groups of larrikins started playing it up for the camera.
One group of men tried to pull off an impossible three-man piggyback to mixed results.
The human tower stood tall for a brief moment before collapsing in spectacular fashion as nearby punters distanced themselves from the impending disaster.
One trio of men attempted to make an ill-fated triple-man-piggyback
Although the trio pulled off the move for a brief moment, gravity returned to the equation and send the tower crumbling
Other punters had kept their distance from the daredevils and nobody was hurt in the fall
Despite its failure, the marvellous sight prompted a healthy laughter from those watching on
Elsewhere others got cheeky as they danced into the night.
One man helped a woman into a handstand while elsewhere another man bared it all for a laugh between his friends.
Another pair got on their hands and knees to test their pull strength by tying their belts together to see which man would give first.
Elsewhere on the field, a game of strength had been set up by one man in a brimmed hat who was seen challenging people to put a belt around their head
Challengers got down on all fours and dug their limbs into the ground to see who had the best pull
One man helped a friend in a tight dress pull off an assisted-handstand
Another man bore it all as his friends pointed towards the camera capturing it and the policeman who was watching on
Despite the celebrations the policeman did succeed in returning the man’s trousers to a waist height
As the day wrapped up the energy of punters began to wane as they continued dancing in the carpark
A strong field was assembled for the Caufield Cup feature race over 2400m where Caulfield Cup-winning jockey Mark Zahra took home $3million in prize money.
READ MORE: Without a Fight is the winner
Without A Fight was the name on everyone’s lips after winning the 2023 Caulfield Cup on Saturday in thrilling fashion over 2400m.
Without A Fight was the name on everyone’s lips after winning the Group 1 race in thrilling fashion.
Zahra rode the gelding from Ireland, a $8.50 chance with bookies to perfection, holding off a fast finishing West Wind Blows ($2.20), with pre-race favourite Gold Trip ($2.40) crossing the line in third spot.
‘What a moment – I’m so happy,’ a jubilant Zahra told Channel Seven post-race.
‘I don’t really celebrate much, but with the week I’ve had, some of the things that have gone on.
‘My wife gave me a kick [up the bum] this week and said just focus on the ride you have, it’s a good chance.’
After the race wrapped up Zahra got the unpleasant news that he had also received a seven-meet suspension and a $50,000 for breaching the whip rules.
He used a whip on nine occasions prior to the 100-metre mark, four more times than permitted, and 13 hits in totality.
Mark Zahra took home the ultimate trophy after winning the thrilling Group 1 race with the prize horse Without A Fight
Zahra and his wife celebrated the victory before he was handed a $50,000 fine for overusing his whip during the race
Fashionable punters didn’t let the end of the races stop them from enjoying the day
Skin-tight dresses were a fixture of the women at the races while men opted for several shades of suit
Of the celebrities on show, Richmond AFL premiership teammates Jayden Short and Tom Lynch, as well as retired champion Jack Riewoldt, were spotted hanging around the track early Saturday morning.
Their five-year-old gelding Soulcombe ran in the main race.
Other celebrities on show included television personalities like Andy Lee and Rebecca Judd and AFL-star-turned-radio-presenter Brendan Fevola.
Television personality and comedian Andy Lee was among the celebrities seen at the races as the day went on
Another television personality, Rebecca Judd, was seen showing off her slim figure in a gripping blue dress
The dancing didn’t stop on the field either – with punters seen enjoying every last second of the day
Of course with a major race day, comes race day fashion.
Women in bright springtime colours accessorised with elaborate fascinators could be seen in the sea of attendees, alongside gents in sharp suits and formalwear.
Men opted for suits with the most popular colours being navy, blue and tan.
Women wore a mix of neutral, floral and vibrant patterns in slick dresses in the moderate temperature of the day.
White was a favourite colour of the women, but other top picks included floral patterns and checks
Neutral tones cooled down the temperature of the fashion at the event
Other bright and vibrant colours drew the attention from all around
As usual, protesters with the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses set-up camp outside the gates.
Campaign director Elio Celotto told The Age they want to educate racegoers on what he described as a ‘ruthless, brutal’ industry.
‘People go to the races and think it’s a harmless day out, but what they’re really supporting is animal cruelty,’ Mr Celotto said.
‘Without us here, without us doing the important research being done we wouldn’t know that 168 racehorses were killed this year.’
The beers started pouring early into the day and did not stop until late in the night
Although the temperature was only 23C with overcast clouds, some still needed a break to sit down amidst the excitement
Brave Mead won the first race of the day, the 1400m Lamaro’s Hotel Plate, followed by Sunsets and Irish jockey John Allen claiming the 2000m Ned’s Classic.
Schweppes Ethereal Stakes (Group 3) was won by Autumn Angel, while Damien Oliver atop Arkansaw Kid claimed the fourth race, the Stow Storage Gothic Stakes, after a protest was dismissed by the stewards.
The Caulfield Cup was first run in 1879, and has become one of Australia’s richest thoroughbred horse races.