Demi Jefferys, Renee Churchill and Roxann Grover at the Lismore Cup 2010.
Demi Jefferys, Renee Churchill and Roxann Grover at the Lismore Cup 2010. Cathy Adams

Love of fashion reigns over Cup

WOMEN were warned to wear their gumboots, but few of them took any notice as they got themselves glammed up for the big day – flimsy frocks, stilettos and all.

Like every one of the estimated 5000 race-goers at the Lismore Cup yesterday, they took a punt on the weather holding and it paid off.

Despite occasional showers and some soft going in the car park, the ladies' fascinators remained feathery and their high heels un-muddied.

The men had tried their best too – and succeeded in making the event resemble a Blues Brothers reunion.

Up until the running of the Lismore Cup, it was a day for outsiders rather than for being outside, but that didn't stop the crowd from having an uproariously good time.

They poured into the open to watch the Cup, during which the wind died down and the sky dried up.

One happy punter was Helen Dillon, who had backed Lismore Cup winner, Chilled – her third collect of the day.

Ms Dillon was there with her husband, Murray, a racehorse trainer from Perth.

They're travelling around the country in a caravan, picking up race meetings where they can.

“This is a warm-up for the Melbourne Cup – our next meeting,” Ms Dillon said.

“I love the whole atmosphere here. It's great to see everyone turning up, and all the girls dressed up.”

And dressed up they were: from short, short frocks to ball gowns; frilly hats, one or two floppy hippie hats in pink and even a scarlet cloche.

Standing up too, as far as The Northern Star could see. There was plenty of two-fisted drinking going on, but no trouble.

For costumes, though, special mention must go to the Goldworthys, of North Lismore, who donned papier mache horses heads and cantered around track-side.

“We love the races,” said Fly Boy Goldworthy. “We're very patriotic about North Lismore. This is our turf.”

The party atmosphere that marks the occasion seemed to be boosted by relief that the event was going ahead at all.

That at least was the story for Lismore Turf Club secretary Michael Timbrell, who said the club stood to lose $35,000 to $40,000 if the day was postponed.

“It's a relief more than anything,” he said.

A major investment had been made in perishable foods and hiring equipment such as marquees, he said.

“To be honest, I'm just grateful the day has been able to go ahead, and grateful to the crowd who have braved the weather and the soggy ground. They've bucked the economic gloom and all come out to have a good time.”

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