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The 2011 AAMI Victoria Derby has been run and won by Sangster in front of a crowd of 92,336 people at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse.

The race was run in excellent conditions with jockey Hugh Bowman beating Induna and Sabrage after taking the lead early in the straight. Bowman today became the first jockey since Roy Higgins in 1972 and 1973 to win the AAMI Victoria Derby in two successive years, last year winning on Lion Tamer.

In a particularly proud day for Flemington Racecourse, six winners on AAMI Victoria Derby Day are trained by Flemington Racecourse based trainers – Peter Snowden, Mark Kavanagh, Team Hawkes, Mike Moroney and John Sadler. In addition, the remaining races were won by horses stabled at Flemington Racecourse during the month of October while visiting from their homes in Sydney, New Zealand and Brisbane.

On the ninth anniversary of his brother’s passing, Damien Oliver performed a moving tribute by blowing a kiss to the heavens in his first of three wins today, claiming a treble in the Longines Mackinnon Stakes, Myer Classic and the Seppelt Salinger Stakes.

Victoria Racing Club Chief Executive Officer Mr Dale Monteith said the Club was delighted with the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“Attracting more than 2,000 extra racegoers than 2010, the excellent numbers coupled with fantastic weather meant Flemington Racecourse came alive for AAMI Victoria Derby Day”, said Mr Monteith.

“The crowd behaviour throughout the day was commendable and the first day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival went without a hitch.”

More than 44,000 patrons travelled to Flemington by train and the public transport system coped well with the demand by Melburnians and out of state visitors to get to the track for one of the most important events on the Australian racing calendar.

In a day which saw four Group One races contested at Flemington, high fashion competed with thoroughbreds for the crowd attention.

Ms Jess Coad, 28 from Launceston, Tasmania was selected from more than 140 contestants as the winner of the Myer Fashions on the Field on AAMI Victoria Derby Day. She took out the first day of the Women’s Racewear competition in a floaty mid-calf black dress highlighted with a self-crafted copper belt and copper coloured hat designed by Tasmanian milliner, Susan McArthur.

In the prestigious Men’s Racewear competition, gentlemen in all their finery competed for a chance to win the coveted title and take home the incredible prizes on offer.

Stephen Genoglou, 21, from Melbourne, was the big winner in the men’s fashion stakes, taking out the competition in a dark grey Arthur Galan suit, checked shirt and dotted bow tie.

Stephen will receive a Lexus RX 350 for 12 months, valued at $20,000, a trip for two to the Hong Kong Races in December and a $6,000 Myer Shopping Spree. He will also be treated to a meet and greet opportunity with Myer Ambassador Jennifer Hawkins, a Master Collection Longines watch, a TCL Entertainment package and Antler luggage.

Myer Fashions on the Field continues on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day with Women’s Racewear in the morning, followed by the invitation-only Design Award, with international guests Philip Treacy and Chiara Passerini joining the judging panel.

The VRC is expecting an even bigger crowd at Flemington on Tuesday for the running of the 151st Emirates Melbourne Cup.

 
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