Thousands of racegoers have streamed through the gates of Caulfield Racecourse for Caulfield Cup Day 2023, arguably the biggest race day of the Spring Racing Carnival after the Melbourne Cup.

People could be seen pushing their way through the gates and racing to secure prime seating for the day’s events.

High-profile stayer Gold Trip, ridden by Ben Melham in his maiden Cup run, is tipped to take home the $5m Group 1 Caulfield Cup prize when the main race jumps at 5.15pm AEDT.

Racing action got underway from 12.15pm, but punters are in for a dreary afternoon, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a cloudy top of 23C for Melbourne on Saturday.

Richmond AFL premiership teammates Jayden Short and Tom Lynch, as well as retired champion Jack Riewoldt, were spotted hanging around the track early Saturday morning.

Their five-year-old gelding Soulcombe will be running the main race.

Of course with a major race day, comes race day fashion.

Women in bright springtime colours accessorised with elaborate fascinators could be seen in the sea of attendees, alongside gents in sharp suits and formalwear.

As usual, protesters with the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses set-up camp outside the gates.

Campaign director Elio Celotto told The Age they want to educate racegoers on what he described as a “ruthless, brutal” industry.

“People go to the races and think it’s a harmless day out, but what they’re really supporting is animal cruelty,” Mr Celotto said.

“Without us here, without us doing the important research being done we wouldn’t know that 168 racehorses were killed this year.”

Brave Mead won the first race of the day, the 1400m Lamaro‘s Hotel Plate, followed by Sunsets and Irish jockey John Allen claiming the 2000m Ned’s Classic.

Schweppes Ethereal Stakes (Group 3) was won by Autumn Angel, while Damien Oliver atop Arkansaw Kid claimed the fourth race, the Stow Storage Gothic Stakes, after a protest was dismissed by the stewards.

The Caulfield Cup was first run in 1879, and has become one of Australia’s richest thoroughbred horse races.

Originally published as Thousands frock up for major Spring Racing Carnival event

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By Rahul

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