I’m not one to notice fashion at the track. Good or bad. Mine, or anyone else.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy for you to get dressed up. Ditch the thongs and find some sensible shoes. But there are other things to concentrate on. Like finishing the day with bus fare.
Oaks Day is one of those great occasions, where lots of non-racing people head to the races. Stylish women who might not see a horse all afternoon. Refined men who toss the form guide away to get to the theatre guide quicker.
And that’s just fine. The fashion parades, and the young fillies and stallions, add to the fun.
Of course, we need to find the winner of the Oaks. Pretty clear-cut I reckon. But first, tips that are even more important. What you should be wearing.
If you’re lucky enough to be in a fancy box today, well done. You’ve obviously grovelled to the right people. The aim now is not to blow it, so you get another invite next year.
For the blokes, it’s pretty simple. Dust off your best suit. Iron a decent shirt. Check that you can do up the top button. Believe me, those collars shrink each year.
Never wear new shoes. Shine up your old favourites. Grab some comfy socks. You’re now set to sprint through the betting ring to snap up the best odds.
There’s another advantage to this strategy. If you have to walk home, branded one of the day’s great losers, at least you won’t get blisters.
Don’t wear a tie that has a cartoon on it, or a flashing light. No-one has ever had a successful day on the punt with Bugs Bunny hanging from their neck.
Unless you’re a member of a Royal Family, or you’ve just had scalp surgery, don’t wear a hat. Those close to you saying it’s a winning look, are secretly making a documentary on your worst fashion moments.
You might think that I wouldn’t dare give fashion advice to the ladies. And you would be right. Not that they would listen to me anyway. I have enough trouble remembering to put a belt on.
My Kiwi friends are not known for their sartorial elegance either. They’ll be required to check in their fleecy overcoat at the front gate.
What they do know, however, is how to train winners in the Queensland winter. If it’s a distance race, double your bet.
They’ll pinch the Oaks today. John Sargent has trained Quintessential to the minute. She’ll be saluting, with my Kiwi mate Damian Browne in the saddle.
A word of warning though. Go easy if it gets too wet. One of the few New Zealanders who doesn’t grow a leg in the mud. That could bring Miss Artistic into the picture. That’s right. Another Kiwi.
So there you have it. Everything you need to make the big day a success. Making money and looking good, all in one afternoon. Unless your tie is flashing. If it is, good luck with that walk home.