“Oh god no, I’m not going to the boondocks,” cried Sydney’s A-list once upon a time when invited to the Golden Slipper.
Now, despite the need to pack a lunch for the trip out to Rosehill, the increasing contingent of the glossy posse will be trackside at what n Turf Club chief Darren Pearce calls “a world-class event putting western Sydney on the map”.
“Our audience take their racing very seriously, not themselves,” he said.
The Night Manager star Elizabeth Debicki will be the biggest (human) name to grace the Rosehill Racecourse, an arena that’s been jazzed up with a $28 million refurbishment. She will hold court inside the plush Longines enclosure alongside corporate bigwigs and the Instagram famous.
It’s the second time the luxury watchmaker has sponsored the race day and while seahorses may be better equipped to take part in the five group one races, a who’s who of “influencers” and racing royalty will be flocking out to the ‘burbs for an afternoon of Winx, whisky and possible winnings. To ensure invited guests make the 20-odd kilometre trek from the CBD they will be chauffeured out west via “luxury coach”.
Horse trainer James Cummings, racing royalty Emma Freedman and Tom Waterhouse and social butterflies like I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here star Tegan Martin and Nikki Phillips will be treated to a three-course meal with more gold cutlery and scones with jam than a Buckingham Palace dinner party, bottomless goblets of Veuve Clicquot champagne and post-lunch whisky and cheese trolley.
“It’s a different crowd to events at Randwick as it’s an elite crowd who are there for the premier racing,” a Longines spokesperson told Fairfax Media.
“We are aligned with the biggest horse races around the world and Rosehill sees us able to meet our global standards. Our stipulations are that we have premium positioning right on the winning post and close to the track and we only get that out there. We also work with Michelin-starred??? chefs and the ATC’s catering service have impressed us with their ability to tweak the menu and offer full silver service dining.”