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Lasqueti Spirit 318,854 people flocked to the 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival to enjoy the racing

VRC Chief Executive Simon Love has declared the 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival a great success, highlighted by a record-breaking fifth Emirates Melbourne Cup win by owner Lloyd Williams.

“It was an exciting finish to the 156th Emirates Melbourne Cup with the narrow victory by Almandin cementing Lloyd Williams’ place in the rich history of our great race.”

The thrills continued on Crown Oaks Day, with 120-1 chance Lasqueti Spirit providing a huge upset, while on the opening day of the Carnival James Cummings became the fourth trainer of the Cummings dynasty to win the AAMI Victoria Derby when Prized Icon took the honours in the classic for three-year-olds.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival came to a close with Saturday’s Emirates Stakes Day. A strong crowd of 70,351 witnessed Stephen Baster ride the Leon and Troy Corstens-trained Awesome Rock to take out the $2 million feature race of the day.

Malaguerra, for trainer Peter Gelagotis and jockey Ben Melham, claimed the sprinting battle, winning the $1million Darley Classic.

Throughout the Carnival, 511 horses competed in 37 races, representing an average field size of 13.8 runners. The four race cards, offering more than $18 million in prize money, saw 21 individual trainers and 22 jockeys enjoy victory.

The J.B. Cummings Excellence Award went to the training partnership of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabering for their outstanding Melbourne Cup Carnival achievements, and the Ron Hutchinson Excellence Award was won by jockey Hugh Bowman.

Flemington’s Members’ Old Grandstand was farewelled with a toast led by VRC Chairman Michael Burn after the last race. The VRC will soon begin construction of the new Club Stand, which will offer patrons a superior event experience unsurpassed by any other racecourse in the world.

Broadcast history was made with Channel 7’s coverage reaching a new audience via a live stream of the Emirates Melbourne Cup on Twitter, with #MelbourneCup trending number one worldwide. Seven’s live coverage of the Emirates Melbourne Cup reached 2.955 million viewers around the country, while PLUS7 Live delivered 575,000 streams.

With some brilliant sunshine over the four days, 318,854 local, interstate and international visitors flocked to the 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival to enjoy the racing, fashion, entertainment and hospitality of the world’s most vibrant racing event.

“Flemington was at its best this week, with the new fashion, food and entertainment destination, The Park, attracting impressive crowds.

“The four Melbourne Cup Carnival racedays were again the four most attended in the country,” Mr Love said.

For the second year in a row, four cruise ships—the most ever docked in Melbourne at one time—delivered 8000 visitors to the Cup, highlighted by Pacific Dawn’s passing under Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge.

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival was again a resounding tourism success story. This is Australia’s original major event, and it contributes to the economy like no other,” Mr Love aid.

The Birdcage Enclosure again played host to international and local celebrities including Elsa Pataky, Curtis Stone and Gina Rinehart at Emirates; Scott Eastwood at Sensis; Maria Menounos at Mumm; Bec Hewitt and Ashleigh Brewer at Lavazza; and Jennifer Hawkins and Kris Smith at Myer, while nine-time Olympic gold medallist and special guest of Crown, Usain Bolt, thrilled racegoers when he presented the Crown Oaks trophy to winning connections on Thursday.

Myer Fashions on the Field was a hit in its new location of The Park, where 659 stylishly dressed entrants competed for more than $360,000 in prizes, while almost 300 children and families participated in Emirates Stakes Day Fashions on the Field.

Geelong’s Courtney Moore, 23, won the Myer Fashions on the Filed National Women’s Racewear competition in a stunning blue and white outfit, teamed with millinery made by her mother,

The Palmer family – mother Cecelia with children Annie, 15, Lucy, 13, Jude, 11, and Gus, 8 – from Cohuna in northern Victoria took out the family category in coordinated navy and pink outfits at Emirates Stakes Day Fashions on the Field. The junior categories were won by Gracie Noble, 6, from Eltham and Billy White, 7, from Bendigo, while senior honours went to Annika Wilson, 13, from Melbourne and Tafara Mhindurwa, 13, from Bendigo.

Pin & Win—in support of the Starlight Children’s Foundation—offered more than $134,000 in prizes, including a Lexus NX 200t AWD F Sport and one million Skyward Miles from Emirates. While counting continues, Starlight confirmed that more than $600,000 has been raised during the two year association with Pin & Win to brighten the lives of seriously ill children.

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