May Racing Carnival: Off the track, day two | photos

A WARMER start to day two of the May Racing Carnival welcomed racegoers.

Punters flocked to the Warrnambool Racecourse and the sun shone on punters for most of the day.

Wednesday is traditionally a more relaxed day of racing, but ladies still dressed to impress, with fur and felt on trend.

Lynette McLaren, from Warrnambool, caught up with friends in the member’s area.

Striking, in a red fascinator, Ms McLaren said she attended the carnival every year.

“It’s a great week, people love the jumps racing,” she said.

“We often have horses racing, but we don’t have any this year.”

She said it was a great week for the city.

“We’re always here and we always have fun,” Ms McLaren said.

Charmein Bukovec, the partner of jumps jockey Tom Ryan, who is set to ride Brierly winner Valediction in the Wheelie Waste Grand Annual on Thursday, was enjoying her first carnival.

“I have been to Warrnambool before, but this is my first time at the races,” she said.

Ilona Watkins and Ellie Harris, both from Warrnambool, dressed smartly for the weather, in long sleeves and warm fabrics.

Both wore headpieces made by south-west milliner Suze Maxwell.

“We never do fashions, we just come for the fun,” Ms Watkins said.

“It’s always a great day out. We make sure we dress for the weather.”

Friends Andrea Loft and Christine Pritchard see the races as a perfect way to catch up with friends, while watching the horses.

Both wore unique headpieces, which stood out among the crowds.

Jill Ludeman, from Brucknell and Gloria Dickson, from Caramut, stayed warm in the Matilda Room.

Ms Ludeman had a runner in the Galleywood Hurdle, the Aaron Purcell-trained King of Dudes, which ran fourth.

Warrnambool’s Dianne Brown and Illowa’s Mary Lane are attending the carnival all three days.

“We love having a win, the social side and the horses,” Ms Brown said. 

She also recognised the carnival’s economic benefits. 

“It brings a lot of money into the town.”

Meanwhile, Gai Waterhouse visited the Warrnambool Riding for the Disabled on Wednesday morning.

The champion trainer met with riders and former jockey Brenton Primmer, who is aiming towards competing in the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

Last year Waterhouse presented Primmer with a special saddle made especially for him by her master saddler in Sydney.

RDA vice president Michael McCluskey said the group had enjoyed more volunteers since Waterhouse’s involvement.

“Since last May races we have had a large upswing in volunteer numbers at our Riding for the Disabled centre,” he said.

Warrnambool City Council mayor Kylie Gaston also attended.

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