Spring comes to Randwick for Cup day

Sydneysiders bloomed in their spring carnival best as they celebrated Melbourne Cup day at Randwick with a seven-race meet.

As rain and wild weather lashed crowds at Flemington on Tuesday thousands of well-heeled punters headed to Randwick to watch a live broadcast of the cup on the venue’s big screens.

Bookmaker John Mulligan said the day had got off to a slow start with the weather conditions at Flemington turning the Cup on its head.

“There has been a bit of interest in the big three,” he told AAP, including noted wet track runner Magic Circle, an equal favourite with Yucatan.

There were a few nibbles on outsiders, like Runaway, but Randwick punters were playing it safe on the 24-strong field, Mr Mulligan said.

“It’s the calm before the storm this afternoon.”

The Sydney crowd were subdued until the day’s first race when victor Ulusaba lead all the way in the $50,000 Schwepps Handicap.

Champagne and spectators started to flow as the grounds took on a party atmosphere.

“Punters enjoyed coming to Randwick on Cup day because they like the glitz and glamour of the race-track without the cost of going to Melbourne,” Mr Mulligan said.

“People go to work in the morning then leave for the track at lunch-time,” he said, adding he supports the Melbourne Cup becoming a national public holiday.

“I’ve heard it’s a less productive day than Christmas Eve,” he said.