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AAMI Stradbroke - A day at the races
7 June 2009
The AAMI Stradbroke is Queensland's biggest race day, and apparently Australia's premier sprint race. But for most people attending yesterday's event, myself included, it was nothing more than a great excuse to get dressed up and enjoy a sensational day out in the sun.
Given the recent rain, I was concerned our premier racing event could be affected. I shouldn't have worried though, because Saturday produced one of those absolutely cracking winter days with a bright sun and not a cloud in the sky, but with a lack of summer humidity that can make wearing a suit quite uncomfortable.
Despite being in the middle of the worst financial crisis in living memory (as we keep being reminded), Eagle Farm was flooded with the beautiful people of Brisbane. Without having seen any official attendance figures, I'd wager that yesterday brought one of the largest crowds to the races for quite some time.
Often you question the dress sense of some racegoers during lesser meetings, but the Stradbroke certainly sees the standard go up a few notches, which is definitely a good thing. The blokes stuck with the standard business suit, with only the small minority sporting more extravagant suits more suited to the Melbourne Cup. For the girls it was quite varied in terms of dress styles, but each and every one of them looked absolutely stunning.
After the big event, thousands of racegoers spilled out of the main gates and down Racecourse Rd. Fashion may change over the years, but one thing stays constant in the famous post-race walk down Racecourse Rd - the barefooted girls with high heels in hand, and the staggering boys with their tie looking a little out of kilter and sporting a splash or two of spilt beer.
Next stop - more drinks. The newly renovated Hamilton Hotel was the obvious choice for many, but unfortunately it appears the venue just couldn't handle the numbers. When we arrived the line-up at the door was just too much to handle. After all, walking from one end of Racecourse Rd to the other is thirsty work!
For many, the next best option involved a walk down Kingsford Smith Drive to the famous Breakfast Creek Hotel. Another big crowd was present, but certainly nothing like the 'Hammo'. For the more well-to-do racegoers, many preferred the more luxurious surroundings of Portside Wharf.
Despite being Australia's premier sprint race, if you asked most racegoers last night or this morning who the winner was, I doubt you'd get too many correct answers. And to be honest, this author must admit that he too has no idea who the winner was... But who cares? What a sensational day it was!