Contestants line-up for the Fashion on the Field competition at the Lismore Cup.
Contestants line-up for the Fashion on the Field competition at the Lismore Cup. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Punters dress to impress

BY THREE o'clock yesterday the party was in full swing at the Lismore Cup with something on offer for everyone.

The bookies and career punters were sweating in the hot afternoon sun as wads of cash changed hands and odds fluctuated.

The ladies were looking glamorous in their frocks and fascinators, with bright blue the prominent colour of the day for shoes, dresses, and hats alike.

Handsome lads were picking up votes in the fashion stakes too, with some mighty fine slimline suits and fedoras, top hats and Akubras dotting the crowd.

At least 5000 people attended Lismore Turf Club's biggest day of the year, with more than $150,000 in prize money at stake.

With more and more people using computerised betting systems, regular punter Michael George from Pottsville stands alone: he still loves to bet with bookies.

"When I was younger the whole appeal about racing was bargaining with the bookmaker - you can't negotiate with the TAB," he said.

"These guys are the last frontier," he said of the bookies who tour the country cups racing circuit.

Betting steward Barry Blight said he estimated close to $200,000 changed hands with the bookies during the day, indicating there is still an appetite for the old school.

Police applauded racegoers for their behaviour at the event, with nobody ejected from the racecourse as of 4:30pm yesterday.

The good behaviour may have been aided by a new alcohol policy which limited the number of drinks consumed by 18-to-25-year-olds.

First-time mums Kryssy Loker, of Teven, and Lauren Flint, of Dunoon, weren't drinking: they were busy breastfeeding their babies Mars and Eli and showing off their corsets.

"My mum and I had a few drinks one night and found them (corsets) online, and now we sell them," said Ms Flint, who started corset retailer Lolicious.

They may not be traditional race wear for ladies, but they tap into the burlesque and steampunk zeitgeist.

"You can dress them up nicely but can also wear them with a pair of jeans - and in the bedroom of course," said Ms Flint.



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