Thousands of racegoers have dressed to impress for the Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast – as animal rights protesters attempted to hijack the event.
There were punters lined up for the gates to open at the Gold Coast Turf Club at 10am on Saturday – all ready to let their hair down for one of the most popular and expensive days on the racing calendar – the $10.25 million Magic Millions. The day was highlighted by the three-year-old $2 million Guineas – which was won by roughie Aim, paying an extraordinary $34.
And despite rain and and track invasion by animal rights activists, nothing dampened the spirits of revellers, who were keen to have a drink, socialise – and of course, place a few bets.
Having a break? A blonde woman in a animal print number takes a much needed break on the grass with her friends
Having a laugh! Two blonde women enjoy a glass of Moet champagne at the Magic Millions races in pink and white dresses
Having a blast! Two women in pink outfits and headpieces snack on some hot chips during the races on the Gold Coast
Animal rights protesters stormed the race and began chanting to the crowds before being escorted away by QLD Police
Attendees were snapped socialising and enjoying the sunshine, with some even taking a much needed break from the festivities on the grass.
Ladies on the edge of the racetrack matched their dresses with colourful headpieces and high heels, while male punters donned their best suits.
But the coveted race day wasn’t without drama.
Animal rights activists made a surprise visit to the course, after sneaking into the complex at about 3.25pm and staging a protest.
About a dozen protesters wore shirts that read ‘it’s their party and my future’, with a picture of a horse on the front.
About a dozen protesters held signs that read ‘your money, their lives’ and began chanting to the crowds in the stands
The highly-anticipated race day was not without drama, as about a dozen animal rights protesters were booed by punters
The protesters standing outside the event held signs that read ‘Wastage: the racing industry’s biggest, darkest secret’
Other protesters were holding signs that read ‘Your money, their lives’, akin to the ‘Nup to the Cup’ campaign.
Protesters were also seen outside the event, standing with confronting signs that had images of a horse shot in the head that read ‘Wastage: the racing industry’s biggest, darkest secret.’
The protesters where later escorted from the venue by Queensland police. It is unclear if any arrests were made.
Queensland Police have been contacted for comment.
One woman appeared to scream as she was walked away by police.
It’s understood racegoers booed the activists as they were removed from the track.
One of the animal rights protesters was escorted away by QLD Police after they stormed the races in the late afternoon
Still smiling: Another animal rights activist is grabbed by QLD Police after he was protesting with a dozen others at about 3.25pm
Rain, rain, go away: Two women made their own makeshift umbrellas to escape the drizzle, using jackets as a shield
Two woman walk through the rain to carry a bouquet of flowers into the popular Magic Million races in Queensland
Rain and windy weather became another interruption, forcing many revellers to use their coats as a makeshift umbrella.
The Bureau of Meteorology forecast high temperatures of 31C with a medium chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Luckily, the rain did little to deter the attendees.
A man was seen giving a woman relief from her high heels by offering her a piggyback ride.
One woman stuns in a white low-cut dress, while another rocks a short black dress with a diamond headpiece
Windy! Two women battle the a breeze as they take a break on a nearby table in their bright yellow and red dresses
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made an appearance and praised the organisers for conducting a Covid-safe event
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made an appearance and praised the organisers for conducting an event that was Covid-safe.
‘This is a signature event for the Gold Coast, it brings a lot of tourism’, the QLD premier told 7News.
The highly-anticipated racing event is worth over $10million in prize money.
Many punters placed their bets, but not before snapping up the perfect selfie at the racecourse.
Let me take a selfie! Two women pose in front of a garden wall in their flowing dresses while taking a smiling picture
Piggyback rides! One attendee struck the clever idea to fetch a ride on a fellow attendee’s back to get the perfect picture
Having a blast! Three racegoers exchange a laugh as they make their way around the Gold Coast Turf Club
Former Australian Army soldier, Ben Roberts, was spotted with his new girlfriend Sarah Matulin enjoying a private function at the Magic Millions Race Day.
The recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia donned a grey suit while Ms Matulin wore an off-the-shoulder floral dress.
The two could be seen holding hands as they made their way around the racing event.
There were still plenty of reasons to celebrate at the end of the day, as horse Shaquiero came in first for the $2million 2YO Classic prize.
The runner up horses were Alpine Edge and She’s All Class, who placed second and third respectively.
A woman wearing a red and black floral headpiece fans herself among the crowds at the Magic Millions in Queensland