Where are all the celebrities at Melbourne Cup Carnival 2016?
Gigi Hadid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Upton, Snoop Dogg, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Enrique Iglesias, Geri Halliwell, Mischa Barton, Solange Knowles, Eva Longoria have all made celebrity appearances at the Melbourne Cup Carnival down through the years.
But it seems organisers are happy to stick with local talent for 2016, apart from nine-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt, who is on the Crown Melbourne marquee guest list for Oaks Day.
Last year, Lady Kitty Spencer caused a royal stir when she was patron at the Emirates marquee, 30 years after her aunt, Princess Diana, attended Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
This year the biggest names announced so far by the Dubai airline for the race that stops the nation include Spanish actor Elsa Pataky (without A-list Hollywood husband, Chris Hemsworth), former X Factor Australia judge Natalie Bassingthwaite, DJ Havana Brown and Project Runway Middle Easthost Jessica Kahawaty.
For Derby Day, Emirates, the largest marquee in this year’s Birdcage, will welcome the closest thing Australia has to a royal in heiress Francesca Packer, niece of billionaire casino mogul, James Packer. She will attend alongside two out of three of the most successful The Bachelor couples, including Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich (who are down for four marqees in total to ensure they are seen); and Richie Strahan and Alex Nation.
One of the most desirable tents to be spotted in is the exclusive Mumm. With a South of France, Club de la Plage (beach club) theme this year, it has enlisted Insta-famous lifestyle guru and founder of a sportswear brand, Pia Muehlenbeck, as its ambassador. While Grant Show and Katherine LaNasa, Devious Maids stars, and Maria Menounos, E! News anchor, will also all be in attendance.
If you have been dying to meet Bec Hewitt, then follow the sweet aromas of Italian coffee to the Lavazza marquee. The former Home and Away star will act as ambassador for the three main race days, and will be joined by her retired tennis ace husband Lleyton Hewitt on Cup Day. While on Derby Day, she will mingle with new parents to twin boys Chris and Rebecca Judd, Megan Gale and Shaun Hampson, Jimmy and Nadia Bartel, and Lindy Klim, who will attend the races for the first time in a decade without her husband, Olympic swimmer Michael Klim, after they split earlier this year.
Myer, who seem to go by the old adage, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” have their regular faces front and centre in Jennifer Hawkins, Kris Smith, Rachael Finch, Jodi Anasta and Alex Perry. Perth-born model Nicole Trunfio will act as their very special guest, to mix it all up a little.
The Myer Fashions on the Field ambassador, a title that usually goes to a local, is being fronted by model Stephanie Smith, who has been heavily promoting the Victorian Racing Club’s festivities to her one million Instagram followers. She will join Flemington ambassador Georgia Connolly to judge the racewear.
Of course it wouldn’t be Melbourne Cup Carnival without this year’s array of reality TV stars in abundance. If last year is anything to go by, expect to see some frolicking Bachelor and Bachelorette stars, as spring racing usually falls around the same time that their iron-clad Channel Ten contracts are up.
Runner-up on Richie Strahan’s season and The Bachelorette 2017favourite Nikki Gogan will make an appearance at Mumm on Derby Day, alongside Georgia Love’s reject, Courtney Dober.