BEST DRESSED: Sue White, Raylene Swain and May Freebody at the Warner St party.
BEST DRESSED: Sue White, Raylene Swain and May Freebody at the Warner St party.

Melbourne Cup fling to celebrate friendship

ROSE City punters were the winners yesterday, with large numbers backing winner Vow and Declare and supporting its local connection.

The horse is part-owned by Assumption College principal Kort Goodman and the link saw many handing over their cash in hopes to see it race to glory.

For others, the day was about honouring long-standing traditions.

A devastating fire ripped through the home of Raylene Swain five years ago, forcing her to start again.

As a former Melbourne resident, Mrs Swain had always loved the fashion and glamour that went along with the Melbourne Cup.

So once she finally had a new home, her friends suggested she use it to host the Warwick social event of the year.

“They all suggested since I had a new house and big veranda that they were all going to come. It’s just carried on from there,” Mrs Swain said.

“They’re all friends. that’s what they do.”

Mrs Swain believed her passion from the Cup stemmed from her time in Melbourne where she enjoyed a particularly lively social life.

“I lived in Melbourne in 1968 and I think living in Melbourne and experiencing the Melbourne Cup and it being a holiday down there has made me interested. I think I’ve continued that on for forty years!”

“I’ve always gone to a Melbourne Cup do or done something.”

Attendee Sue White agreed that the house party was the perfect social day out for the group.

“It’s a chance just to get together in a social atmosphere and get a bit dolled up. Nice friends and nice company,” Mrs White said.

“We’re a very firm group of friends. ”

May Freebody, who won the group’s best dressed this year, said while the sweeps was never the centre of the day, the fashion aspect sometimes could create some friendly competition.

“We have our best dressed and best hat and a couple of years ago, a lady had been to her daughter’s wedding and she came in the full wedding outfit and she put us all out of the picture.”

Mrs Swain agreed that the fashion was a highlight of hers for the day.

“Well you’ve got to (dress up) It’s the Melbourne Cup,” Mrs Swain said.

As for how the group of friends planned to bet, the answer was pretty simple.

“I go by names,” Mrs Swain said.

“This year it’s that Vow and Declare because it’s got a Warwick connection.”



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