Victoria Racing Club celebrates the beginning of Spring with a ‘Spring Gala’. Guests included Rob Mills, David Zaharakis, Amy Pejkovic, Brooke Warne and Ricki Lee!

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) kicked off the spring season with a spectacular event ‘Spring Gala’. Held on the first day of spring, this glamorous affair for the very first time celebrated everything that makes the Melbourne Cup Carnival so special – from fashion and entertainment to exquisite food and wine. Hosted by the talented Rob Mills, the Gala Dinner was a night of elegance and excitement, leaving the VRC members in awe.

As the guests arrived at the prestigious Flemington venue, they were greeted with a Champagne and were ushered for a media wall photo, setting the tone for an evening that would be memorable for years to come. The air was filled with anticipation and a sense of grandeur, as attendees eagerly anticipated the festivities that awaited them.

VRC Chairman, Neil Wilson, extended a warm welcome to all the VRC members, acknowledging their contribution to the success and legacy of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. He spoke passionately about the rich history of the event, highlighting the traditions and the spirit of camaraderie that have been at its core for over a century.

Neil spoke exclusively with Melbourne My Style and said, “this was going to be a great night to celebrate the beginning of Spring and we are only 65 days out from the Penfolds Victoria Derby Day with over 300 of our VRC members here tonight, a lot of our partners are here, and we are all getting ready for what’s ahead of us and particularly cup week from the 4th of November.” Neil was equally as excited as I was to view the bespoke Spring Racing Fashion that was also being showcased throughout the evening.

But the evening was not just about food and wine; it was also a celebration of fashion and style. The guests flaunted their finest attire, embracing the spirit of race day fashion. From elegant dresses to dapper suits, the room was a visual spectacle of sophistication and glamour. The VRC members showcased their sartorial creativity, paying homage to the iconic fashion statements that have become synonymous with the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Also in attendance was Lexus CEO John Pappas, John says “this is an exciting time of the year and the race that stops the nation is the one we all look forward to, it gives us a great chance to connect with all our friends and colleges and get excited about Spring Carnival. It’s very exciting Lexus is once again the major sponsor of the Melbourne Cup, it’s a great fit for us as we are a luxury lifestyle brand and we’re all about creating these great experiences for people. What a great platform through the VRC to be partaking in all of this for our customers and our guests.”

Entertainment was also at the forefront of the evening. Rob Mills, the charismatic host, kept the crowd engaged with his wit and charm. Throughout the night, there were captivating performances by a line-up of talented artists, including ARIA nominatedDJ Havana Brown, multi-platinum selling artist Ricki Lee, Australian Zimbabwean singer songwriter and actress Thando and DJ Paris Lawrence. 

The inaugural Spring Racing Gala Dinner was more than just a social gathering; it was an opportunity for the VRC members to come together and celebrate their shared passion for horse racing and all things Melbourne Cup Carnival. It was a night where old friendships were strengthened, and new connections were made, as the guests immersed themselves in the beauty and allure of this iconic event.

The Victoria Racing Club’s Spring Racing Gala Dinner had set the stage for what promised to be an extraordinary Melbourne Cup Carnival. With its successful debut, the Gala Dinner had undoubtedly become a prestigious event on the VRC calendar, a night of nights that would be remembered for years to come.

By Melinda Sullivan