Well, it’s that time of year again: Spring is upon us.
Days get longer, birds chirp louder, and thousand of punters descend on Flemington Racecourse for the annual racing carnival with all its fascinators, frocks and frivolity.
Yet since last year’s Melbourne Cup, as many as 116 race horses have died on Australian tracks. That’s one every three days. With that in mind, if you’re thinking of saying ‘nup’ to the Cup tomorrow, but are worried you’ll miss out on all the riotous fun, we’ve put together a list of animal free alternatives for your Tuesday afternoon.
Consider it your how-to guide to Spring racing with, ah, none of the actual racing. A bit like packing your own veggie burgers for a BBQ with your meat-eating relatives.
1. First things first, get dressed up.
For a lot of people, Spring racing is as much about the outfits as anything else.
Whether you have a public holiday or not, you can definitely get all fancied up. Wear a ball gown to the supermarket or impress your work colleagues by turning a manila folder into a makeshift fascinator. You could even rub sand paper on the soles of your feet so it feels like you’ve been stomping around in heels all day.
2. Pop a bottle of champers.
Look, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of freedom that comes hand-in-hand with drinking too much champagne on a Tuesday.
Crack a tinnie in the park, fill a drink bottle with cheap red wine to sip it at your desk* or hang out in a dingy pub. Ah, to feel alive!
Such fun! Source: Getty
3. Pitch a tent.
If you have your heart set on a marquee, why not make your own?
Pitch a tent in the backyard or tie a tarp between some trees and invite your friends and family over. Cultivate an air of exclusivity by deliberately not inviting three or four members of your friendship circle, then flood social media with pictures of your neighbour's cavoodle in a tiny hat. They'll just die of jealousy.
4. Go celebrity spotting.
Every year, the who's who of reality TV rub their shoulders (and occasionally their groins) with shipped-in international celebrities in corporate marquees.
But you know what? There are plenty of other places you can spot the vaguely famous. Why not take the official Neighbours bus tour? Or visit Revolver Upstairs on a Sunday morning? Now that's glamour.