Derby Day – As at the beginning of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, it remains BLACK & WHITE!

A star-studded guest list arrived for the 2022 Penfolds Victoria Derby. The renowned Australian winemaker debuted their highly anticipated ‘Venture Beyond’ by Penfolds Marquee experience in The Birdcage on Penfolds Victoria Derby Day.

A dazzling assembly of well-known personalities attended the opulent Birdcage Marquees at Flemington Racecourse, with ‘Friends of Penfolds’ leading the VIP guest arrivals including legendary AFL Player Joel Selwood and wife Brit Davis, international supermodel Bambi Northwood Blyth, Australian Actor Daniel MacPherson, and Presenter Erin Holland.

The dress code of traditional Black and White was adhered to by most with many making a sartorial statement of timeless grace and elegance while others used it as more of an opportunity to show their modern versions of racewear and unique style.

Although Black and White was used, traditional racewear has changed with Short mini dresses, strapless and braless, bejewelled adorned blazers as seen on Ashley Hart and over-the-top enormous millinery as seen on Christian Wilkins the new exception to the rules. Leather, feathers, and runners were also seen on many who dared to break traditions. 

The Derby was attended by 71,000 racegoers, which is the largest crowd on any racecourse in Australia since the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup.

Cheers echoed across the track as the Chris Waller-trained Manzoice won the $2 million Group 1 Penfolds Victoria Derby (2500m), Australia’s oldest classic race with a history dating back to 1855. Ridden by Michael Dee, Manzoice defeated favourite Sharp ‘n’ Smart by a half-length to join an honour roll that includes champions like Phar Lap and Tulloch.

Many famous faces joined the tens of thousands across Flemington’s grandstands, marquees, lawns, and car parks, with the world-famous Birdcage Enclosure home to a host of celebrities including actress Elsa Pataky and director Taika Waititi at Lexus, actor Hugh Sheridan and star of Hairspray Rob Mills at Paramount, supermodel Duckie Thot at G.H Mumm and Melbourne Cup Carnival Ambassadors and models Nicole TrunfioAshley Hart, and Jessica Hart at Villa Paradiso.  

In the 60th edition of Myer Fashions on the Field, the inaugural, gender-neutral Best Dressed and Best Suited categories were a fashion highlight on track. In hotly contested finals, the Top Three for both categories were selected with the Best Dressed winners Emma Scodellaro, Holly Webb, and Kelli McPhie along with the Best Suited winners Sharon Smith, Jacqueline Kibbis and Emily Outlaw all heading straight into the grand final on Kennedy Oaks Day.  The creative and design-led Emerging Designer Award was judged by an elite panel including global milliner Stephen Jones OBE and fashion designer Michael Lo Sordo.  The winner was Melbourne-based creative Baaqiy Ghazali

Written by Melinda Sullivan

Photography Toby Sullivan