Giddy-up into some cup day fun

Don't forget to include the furry family members in the fun. (iStock)

Carole Levy

This year, the race that stops a nation is more “the nation that stopped the racegoers”, but 
nothing can stop Melburnians getting into the fun of the Melbourne Cup.

A clever, creative example of this is the Myer Fashions on your Front Lawn competition that takes COVID-19 by the throat and lets everyone get involved virtually.

The competition offers Cup lovers the chance for individuals and families to dress up to the nines and upload pictures to their Instagram account (set to public) with the hashtag #cupweekfashion. Prizes can be won in several categories – see for full details.

But if that sounds like a gallop too far, there are some fun ways to keep the spirit of the big race alive at home, just with the family, on your own front lawn. And, since it’s outside, you can have one other family join in – with masks and social distancing, of course.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

• Set up the barbie, and tables and chairs, in your driveway or front lawn. Every party needs balloons so tie them to trees and fences, then get the music going – maybe “Horses” by Daryl Braithwaite?

• Get the champagne cooling in a big ice bucket for the grown-ups, a plastic tub of ice for the kids’ soft drinks. Lay out nibbles for before and after the barbecue meal, and you’re off and racing.

• As a salute to fashions on the field, get dressed up in your best finery – or keep it simple and pair stilettos and a gorgeous hat with comfy trackies for a satirical statement. Dads could pair a tie with his tee and pin a carnation on his chest.

• Get the kids to make a Cup Day hat. Cereal boxes, egg cartons, glitter, feathers, pipe cleaners and water paints can be transformed into the funnest hats ever. Or decorate a beanie or sun hat with whatever comes to hand. And don’t forget to make one for the furry family members too!

• It’s not the Melbourne Cup without a sweep, so get the kids to write out each horse’s name to select, then dip in for a lucky draw. Have cheap and cheerful prizes for first, second and third place-getters and it’s giddyup into excitement come 3pm.

And don’t forget to take lots of snaps to memorialise the day the family didn’t let any darn coronavirus spoil the one day that even non-racing fans love.

1. Who ‘shocked the nation’ by wearing a mini-skirt to the Melbourne Cup in 1965?
2. Which five horses have won the Cup more than once?
3. How many Cups did trainer Bart Cummings win?
4. What year did the first female jockey ride in the Cup?
5. How old was the youngest jockey to ride in the Cup?
6. Which barrier number has never produced a Cup winner?
7. Which horse was the first to win at 100/1 odds?
8. What year did Pharlap win?
9. How many horses usually run in the Cup?
10. What year did Melburnians first get a public holiday for the Cup?

(See answers at end)

Good luck to the below businesses with horses in the Star Weekly Melbourne Cup Sweep!
1st prize: $300 worth of vouchers for Galli Restaurant
2nd prize: $200 voucher for Shadowfax Winery Restaurant

Specialized Heating & Cooling
Melton, Hoppers Crossing, Lyndbrook, Bendigo & Albury
1300 669 397,

Conquest Pools
427-429 Old Geelong Road, Hoppers Crossing
0403 585 377,

1800 228 878,,

Victorian Fireplaces
2/15-17 Elm Park Drive, Hoppers Crossing
9748 2828,

Bacchus Marsh & Melton Taxis
9746 0333,

Roti Bar
416-418 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
0420 342 611,

Deer Park Club
780 Ballarat Road, Deer Park
9363 1030,

Aloah Motors
0413 904 368,

Trans Gears & Diffs
246 Wolseley Place, Thomastown
9462 2077,

Gardenia Funerals
29 Reserve Road, Melton
9329 4024,

Gem Pier
Syme Street, Williamstown
0435 200 157, Facebook: Gem Pier Seafood, Instagram: @gempierseafood

Tax Concepts
34 Bakery Square, Melton
9747 0255,, Facebook: Tax Concepts

All Tradies
0400 901 515,

Beauty House Professionals
Glenville Drive, Melton & Main Street, Bacchus Marsh
0448 784 777,

Drunken Donuts
Bacchus Marsh, Melton, Point Cook, St Albans, South Morang, Thomastown, Werribee, Westmeadows
1300 881 302,

1. Jean Shrimpton. 2. Archer, Peter Pan, Rain Lover, Think Big and Makybe Diva. 3. 12 4. 1987, Maree Lyndon. 5. 11 years old, Peter St Albans 1876. 6. 18. 7. The Pearl, 1871. 8. 1930. 9. 24. 10. 1866