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The VRC today (Monday) officially launched the 2012 Melbourne Cup Carnival with a star-studded media event in the Atrium at Crown Towers, Melbourne.

Sunrise Sports Presenter and MC Mark Beretta welcomed the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s four feature race trophies -– the AAMI Victoria Derby, Emirates Melbourne Cup, Crown Oaks and Emirates Stakes – which were spectacularly carried into the Atrium on horseback. Riding duties were undertaken by racing royalty Kate Waterhouse, leading apprentice jockey Katelyn Mallyon, Flemington trackwork rider Laura Henderson and Myer Fashions on the Field Ambassador Alison Saville.

The launch marks the commencement of Melbourne’s iconic annual two-week celebration of racing, fashion and social and business interaction, which last year generated a remarkable $349.1 million in financial stimulus to Victoria and $746.1 million to the national economy.

The 150-strong audience heard personal insights from Channel 7’s glamorous international racing expert, Francesca Cumani, and world-beating jockey Craig Williams, who will ride defending Emirates Melbourne Cup champion, Dunaden.

To mark 50 years of Fashions on the Field at Flemington, the VRC and Myer will present a stunning sterling silver perpetual trophy to the 2012 Women’s Racewear National Winner. The trophy, along with a matching white gold and diamond pin set keepsake, was unveiled to guests by last year’s national winner, Angela Menz.

Guests who walked the Flemington-pink carpet included leading trainers Gai Waterhouse and Anthony Cummings; three-time Cup-winning jockey Glen Boss and wife Sloane; Myer milliners Richard Nylon and Kerrie Stanley; Myer designer Dom Bagnato; the Face of the Schweppes Flemington Fling, Samantha Downie; Emirates Stakes Day Fashions on the Field Family Ambassador Simone Callahan and the Faces of Emirates Stakes Day Fashions on the Field Ebony and Dario.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle concluded proceedings with a toast to the Carnival’s participants after a G.H. Mumm sabrage -– the opening of a bottle of Champagne using a sabre – by jockey-of-the-moment Glen Boss.

VRC Chairman Michael Burn said the Club was privileged The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will attend Emirates Melbourne Cup Day during their visit to Victoria.

“To honour Her Majesty The Queen’s 60 years as the Monarch, the Diamond Jubilee Plate will be run following the Emirates Melbourne Cup and we welcome His Royal Highness The Price of Wales to make the presentation on behalf of The Queen,” Mr Burn said.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival begins on Saturday 3 November with AAMI Victoria Derby Day, and continues with Emirates Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 6 November, Crown Oaks Day on Thursday 8 November and concludes with Emirates Stakes Day on Saturday 10 November.

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