The Raceday Commandments

don’t ignore the weather

Cos it won’t ignore you. Yes, I know it is WILDLY frustrating when you have gone to incredible lengths to create The Perfect Outfit and wearing a jacket will completely mess your vibe, but if it’s going to be 14 degrees and raining, you will look silly and feel miserable in that small coral number and white strappy shoes.

You will. So, if you can pull it off, wear a chic black (or suitably tonal) blazer. Or perhaps a classic tan trench coat. Or, if it’s REALLY vile (and if you’re going to Flemington, this is not out of the question… in fact I can already see it hovering VERY close to the question already) change your outfit altogether to something more appropriate with longer sleeves or hemlines, darker colours, thicker fabric or alternatively just go for gumboots and a tracksuit.


make pre-emptive strikes.

Buy your train tickets in advance, book a hire car, or organize a lift. Pack a little bag of nuts if you know you get hangry. Make sure your mobile is fully charged and there is memory/space in your photo album. Google the race form and read it on your way. Hassle someone In The Know for tips. Bring mints and cash and definitely bring ID. Wear sunscreen, primer, and long-last makeup. Use hairspray so your hair doesn’t drop, and tease the section of hair before sliding in a bobby pin for extra grip. Pop concealer, blush, eyeliner, bobby pins, lip gloss/stick, a perfume sample or roll-on, and a hand mirror in your bag for touchups. And if your bag is big enough, and getting home demands a monster effort, pack some of those foldable little ballet flats in nude or black.


Because the other option is to NOT eat, which is what stupid people do when they are about to drink all day long, and you don’t strike me as stupid. So, eat a late, big breakfast before you set off. Eat lunch while you’re at the racetrack. Eat when you are about to leave the racetrack, or (much) better still, once you’re home/at a pizza joint afterwards.


stay polished.

A long day of drinking, heels, corsets, hats, tricky weather and socialising can create cracks in even the most flawless dames. Which is a shame, because we all look so dingin’ lovely when we arrive at the track. Nevertheless, there are ways you can preserve your polished form. One is regular (to the point of open narcissism) mirror checks. This will ensure your headpiece, dress, makeup and teeth are all behaving. Another is breath mints. Champagne and wine, while delightful to drink, leave the foulest odour behind, so be sure to shut that down with strong mints as soon as you finish your drink, and after eating. (Especially if you’re eating salmon or spring onions. Cos they are nasty.) Finally, keep your brain, conversation and personality on form by not getting dirt faced. There is no need get messy just because there is vodka on offer, and four hours to go, and everyone else is hoeing in. Pace yourself. Have water between drinks, and a strong coffee in the afternoon to wake up, lest you find yourself becoming sloppy and fatigued and in danger of – gasp – removing your shoes.

win heaps of money.

I heard horse number 8 is totally a sure thing. Definitely bet on it. Any race. All races. Do it!


Zoë wears Alex Perry dress and Max Alexander headpiece available at selected stores

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