On the first Tuesday of November, each year the whole of Victoria, and a huge part of the rest of Australia have a holiday and a gamble on the Melbourne Cup which is run at 3pm Melbourne Time. My birthday is November 3rd, so often my birthday falls on Melbourne Cup Day too and I can combine the two events usually by taking people to the races and having a Race Party.
The Melbourne Cup is special because for twelve years I was a florist and did the floral decorations for the Radio Station 3DB who gave me free entrance and parking at the races for race week. This meant that I was able to attend every race meeting in great style especially after I went to share ownership in a racehorse, and became a member of TROA and able to attend their functions as well as my own. I remember the beautiful clothes I had with hats to match. As a florist I created many floral hats for the races and was delighted to see my hats floating around Flemington and Caulfield.
One Year I chartered a boat and took fifty guests to the Race. My friend at the time had his own functions, and I have been to the races by bus, by limousine, in a Rolls Royce, by boat and once in a helicopter. Mostly I travelled in my own florist Van with ‘Marguerite Creative Florist’ on the side, carting arrangements, corsages and garlands for the winning horses.
After my Florist business ended, I never went to Flemington again. I followed the races for a while but today I only remember and dream of the Hats I used to own and wear.
I always bet on the horses but only once did I win anything memorable.
I took another florist to help on a particularly busy session, and Connie was overwhelmed by all the action and the people she was meeting. She kept asking for tips… There was a 2 horse race that year. Gunsynd and I cannot remember the other. Gunsynd was going to be the winner and the odds were almost even in his favour. Connie comes to me all excited wanting to know what to back. I loftily told her “There’s only one horse in this race…’ Connie had just backed the other horse for $100.
To cut a long story short, Gunsynd came second and I am sure Connie was the only person at the races who backed the other horse. She came back waving handfuls of money. Chortling with “Only one horse in the race eh??”