FAST FINISH: STAKES DAY

This coming Monday we’ll be looking at the back of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival of 2017. The wonderful circus that rolls into town every year and then back out again. There’ll be no more champagne in the morning. No clicking and clacking of high heeled shoes down the rose walk at Flemington. And no more fashions on the field.

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HISTORY:

In terms of racing, Emirates Stakes Day (formerly known as Mackinnon Stakes) holds a lofty group one standard and a considerable prize pool at $2m. This year, Folkswood and Happy Clapper are the strand outs in a typically long and tight spring racing field. It’s a group one race – the only group one weight for age of the day – and historically, it’s been won in spectacular fashion. Grand Armee, Lonhro, Rogan Josh, and Let’s Elope have all been first past the post in the past 30 years. And Phar Lap was crowned winner in his most dominant years, 1930 and 1931.

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FASHION / CULTURE:

More than anything, we’ve noticed how the Spring Racing Carnival takes a snapshot of Melbourne every year. Looking back at old photographs from the eras of the greats like Phar Lap, Let’s Elope, and even Vintage Crop, you get a real understanding of Melbourne as a city. A city so consistently positive, boisterous, and stylish.

Perhaps the most astounding thing is that in more than 100 years, the fashion at Stakes Day has only modernised where it needs to. There are fewer top hats and waistcoats and more tailored garments, but the general rules are the same.

As well as being Family Day and the final day in the carnival, Stakes Day is traditionally a more relaxed affair. Men swap their Derby Day black and whites for more colourful suits and shirts that match the Stakes Day Red Rose.

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This Stakes Day, we suggest using your creative license with your ensemble. Match light blues, reds, pinks, and yellows with checks and stripes. In the warm weather, loafers and chinos are a welcome change of pace from slacks, rolled up a little at the bottom with a pair of loafers and no socks.

In terms of a full suit, try suits in soft greys and subtle blues, and add to the playful air that celebrates the end of another great year of racing.

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