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Melb Cup launches in carnival fashion

AAP logoAAP 24/10/2016 Velissaris, Helen

Model Georgia Fowler holds on to her hat in the wind © AAP Image/David Moir Model Georgia Fowler holds on to her hat in the wind Million dollar races, pampered horses, some of the best fashion in spring colours and Melbourne's trendiest food options are just some of the things awaiting racegoers at the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Officially launching on Monday before the carnival's first raceday, Derby Day, on Saturday, some of racing's biggest names joined fashionistas and celebrities for a taste of the festivities to come.

Trainers Gai Waterhouse, Matt Cumani, Ciaron Maher were on hand to offer some insights into their horses' chances for the eight group ones to come.

But much of the pomp and ceremony was left to showcase new entertainment options for the more than 300,000 expected to visit the racecourse over the next three weeks.

Opening the new general admission entertainment area, The Park, for the first time, the likes of Huxtaburger, Gelato Messina and Biggie Smalls will be cooking special race day options for the hungry masses.

The area will also house Myer's Fashions on the Field competition for the first time, moving it away from the track into its own purpose built structure.

TV personality Rachel Finch and Myer Ambassador Stephanie Smith showcased some of the latest trends, with a big emphasis on spring colours like pinks and purples, with a touch of lace.

"I think what is so great about this year is that there are so many trends, but I definitely think that the boater (wide brimmed hat) is probably a standout," Smith told AAP.

Racing Minister Martin Pakula says people will spend around $42 million on fashion for the carnival, making the races hugely lucrative for Victoria.

A further $32 million will be spent on accommodation and $20 million on food.

"It's a major contributor to our state's economy," Mr Pakula said.

"Last year it delivered almost $400 million in economic activity in the state of Victoria."

The Park will also have some of Australia's hottest music acts on stage, including Triple J's hottest 100 winners, The Rubens, electro Indi band Safia and singer Marcia Hines.

While a vintage Ferris wheel will give patrons glimpses of the track, possibly a hot spot for catching the race that stops the nation.

Festivities begin on Derby Day on Saturday, followed by Melbourne Cup Day on November 1, Oaks Day on November 3 and Stakes Day on November 5.

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