• Fashions Off the Field winner, Sue King

    Fashions Off the Field winner, Sue King

  • The judges judge.....

    The judges judge.....

  • Entrants jockeying for a prominent position

    Entrants jockeying for a prominent position

  • Co-ordinating the parade.....Jan Palmer

    Co-ordinating the parade.....Jan Palmer

  • Phillippa Doble and Mimma Memmolo

    Phillippa Doble and Mimma Memmolo

  • Gerd and Sue King

    Gerd and Sue King

  • Deanne Pekkala and Miep Allard

    Deanne Pekkala and Miep Allard

  • Tanya Rutter and John Blacker

    Tanya Rutter and John Blacker

  • Sharyn Turner, Val Sellers and Christine Waring

    Sharyn Turner, Val Sellers and Christine Waring

  • Toni Hogan, Christine Roberts, Rachel Henson, Lia Rudnicki, Helen Henson, Margaret Tudor, Galina Bree, Liz McLellan and Rosemary Dukes

    Toni Hogan, Christine Roberts, Rachel Henson, Lia Rudnicki, Helen Henson, Margaret Tudor, Galina Bree, Liz McLellan and Rosemary Dukes

  • Dayle and Franca Redden

    Dayle and Franca Redden

  • Lana Kaltenthaler, Liliane Wallace and Maria Quadraccia

    Lana Kaltenthaler, Liliane Wallace and Maria Quadraccia

  • Jenny Muir, Tonia Shand and Ellnor Grassby

    Jenny Muir, Tonia Shand and Ellnor Grassby

  • Wanda Faux, Barbara Magi and Sophia Notaras

    Wanda Faux, Barbara Magi and Sophia Notaras

  • Guests from Lightning Ridge, Rodney Domaine, Krysten Hogan and Neroli and John Bevan

    Guests from Lightning Ridge, Rodney Domaine, Krysten Hogan and Neroli and John Bevan

  • Burl Doble, Arthur Laing and Barry Dickerson

    Burl Doble, Arthur Laing and Barry Dickerson

Women in Racing: Race Day Lunch @ Thoroughbred Park

21 February 2016

I love a hat as much as most women, but they are a nuisance for my kind of photography, unless it’s a baseball cap on backwards or at a jaunty angle like a ‘homie’ which absolutely doesn’t go with what’s required for ladies with a sense of style at the races. Unless of course you hang about in the betting ring with the real punters where fashion and hats stand out like the proverbial on significant race days as the girls teeter about with their form guide looking knowledgeable and having a bit of the housekeeping each way on a horse that looks nice and is racing in fashionable silks.

Silks was where I was heading on Sunday for the annual members’ lunch for Women in Racing who love a frock up, love the competition of their own Fashion on the Field parade and wear some very delicious hats. Albeit among them my pet hate, the ubiquitous fascinator. What a daffy bit of frippery they are, difficult to bolt to your head and useless in the sun but the lovely ladies who are members of this fun group of women wear them well.

The lunch is a pleasant afternoon of catching up with friends and colleagues, meeting the guests of honour from the home of the black opal in Lighning Ridge where many a splendid piece has been sourced for the annual Black Opal Stakes meeting and a rundown for the members of upcoming events. And this lot get around to all manner of race meetings, visits to studs –horse studs that is of course, and find great companionship in the regular events.

Arthur Laing was among the small number of men, suitably sartorial for the event and as the front man of one of Canberra’s iconic dance bands The Second Movement which has more than a few decades under their belt can belt out an Avicci song when you least expect it. Arthur is a bit of a foodie, loves a perfect piece of wagu and gave his verdict on current stylish eateries with him recommending Molto at Kingston Foreshore as a firm favourite in the mix where Carlo Tosolini is back doing what he does so well with beautiful regional Italian food. My recent India sojourn made me an initially reluctant but instantly converted vegetarian happily drinking Kingfisher Beer, so the delicious slow cooked beef with wine for this lunch was a welcome repast.

Sorting the current good food guide it was on to the form guide to pick a horse or two for the table’s betting competition where the stakes were a reasonable five dollars.

And then came the fashion parade where Sue King pipped everyone at the post with an electric blue phone to match her outfit to be the winner. A fun afternoon tucked away in the Silks Room at Thoroughbred Park where the races were almost forgotten and the little three year old filly I backed will have to have a few more starts to get the gist of this racing game.