2019 VRC Spring Carnival – Kennedy Oaks Day
Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien has added to his Lexus Melbourne Cup win with victory in the $1 million Group 1 Kennedy Oaks (2500m) as Miami Bound clinched the feature race with champion jockey Damien Oliver aboard.
Coming off victory in Saturday’s Group 2 G.H. Mumm Wakeful Stakes, the three-year-old filly claimed the win by three lengths ahead of Never Listen for John Ramsey and Moonlight Maid trained by Mitchell Freeman.
Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chief Executive Officer Neil Wilson said it was wonderful to see O’Brien and Oliver continue their outstanding Cup Weeks at Flemington.
“It’s been an unforgettable week for both Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien and jockey Damien Oliver, following Danny’s outstanding win with Vow and Declare in the Lexus Melbourne Cup on Tuesday and Damien breaking the record for most Melbourne Cup Carnival wins and securing the AAMI Victoria Derby on Saturday. Congratulations to them both and the connections of Miami Bound on their filly’s dominant win in the Kennedy Oaks. It was a fitting victory given Miami Bound’s mother Arapaho Miss won the same race in 2007. We thank the 57,296 racegoers who braved Melbourne’s unpredictable weather to enjoy Flemington’s new-look Kennedy Oaks Day which featured a later start to the race program for the first time.”
It was a day out for 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Craig Williams who won the $500,000 Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Final with Star Missile for Cranbourne trainer Greg Eurell and earlier secured wins with Soothing in the G.H. Mumm Century Stakes and on Bumper Blast in the Off The Track Subzero Handicap. The field for that race was led out by 1992 Melbourne Cup winner and legend of the track Subzero.
The undercard saw Hard Landing ridden by Luke Nolen secure the Group 3 Darley Maribyrnong Plate for Lindsay Park, while jockey Barend Vorster rode Sisstar to victory in the Group 3 Network 10 Red Roses Stakes for father and son training duo Tony and Calvin McEvoy.
Following Kennedy Oaks Day, Craig Williams leads the Ron Hutchison Award for jockeys during Melbourne Cup Carnival with 24 points, while Chris Waller leads the JB Cummings Award for trainers on 19 points.
The Myer Fashions on the Field Women’s Racewear competition culminated with Victorian winner Carena West reigning supreme, taking out the National Final. A dress self-made using vintage multi-coloured embroidered fabric, teamed with Tony Bianco shoes and green Claire Hahn millinery featuring black feathers scored the New Zealander the major prize, which included a brand new Lexus UX. New South Wales winner Peta Bell was runner up.
Cynthia Jones Bryson won the prestigious invitation-only Millinery Award with a red and pink feathered sculptural headpiece.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival’s fashion and entertainment destination, The Park, saw beloved music treasure Marcia Hines hit the stage, as well as indie outfit The Jungle Giants.
The exclusive Birdcage was host to an array of celebrities including Kennedy Oaks Day VRC special guest Nicole Trunfio at 1 Oliver St, cricket legend Ricky Ponting and his wife Rihanna, champion sprinter Usain Bolt and actress Olympia Valance at Mumm and ex-AFL great Chris Judd plus current stars Tom Lynch and Brandon Ellis at Tabcorp.
It was a momentous occasion for Kennedy which extended its sponsorship of the Oaks for a further two years, until 2023. Their Oaks Day guests included Gillon McLachlan and his brother Hamish, David Gallup, Jake King, DJ Perri Lee and the entertainment included an exciting 10-minute set by violinist Sally Cooper.
Maison Mumm had a lively day with Jessie Murphy (wife of footballer Marc) doing the honours of opening a large bottle of champagne. Usain Bolt returned for more fun and enjoyment, while other guests included Brett Lee, Olympia Valance and Kate Peck.
Tabcorp continued its excellent hosting with delicious food and beverages. Several past and current AFL stars were lapping up the atmosphere, including Nathan Buckley, Chris Judd, Robert Harvey, Rohan Smith, Brandon Ellis and Tom Lynch.
The musical treat of the day was provided by Marcia Hines who was a very popular guest of 1 Oliver Street marquee. She sang a couple of numbers mid-afternoon to warm up the party atmosphere. Bumble again created a spirted vibe with Michelle Battersby hosting a number of models and fashion identities.
Photos courtesy of Matt Deller.
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