Melbourne Cup aftermath: Punters get messy as Flemington left in sorry state

Racegoers let loose as the biggest crowd in six years turned out for Melbourne Cup day at Flemington.

Punters, pictured here on Melbourne Cup day.
Punters let their hair down in a big way on Melbourne Cup day. Image: Getty

It's the annual gallery you hope to never be a part of. As soon as the Melbourne Cup is run and won, the hair comes down and the shoes come off in messy scenes at Flemington.

As is tradition, punters let loose in a big way on Cup day, with drinks flowing and plenty of shenanigans taking place. A whopping 84,492 racegoers flocked to Flemington on Tuesday to see Mark Zahra win the great race aboard Without a Fight.

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It marked the biggest attendance for the race that stops the nation since 2017, after the 73,816 who attended in 2022 marked a record low. Victoria Police reported that crowd behaviour was generally good, but the Cup never ceases to throw up some hilarious photos of punters taking things too far.

For the first time in 162 years, both male and female attendees were allowed to wear shorts after strict dress code rules were relaxed. On a hot day in Melbourne, plenty took the opportunity to get their legs some air.

Cleaners, pictured here on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington.
A general view as cleaners clean up during Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

“I want to enjoy the event and sometimes that’s hard when it’s very hot,” said Steve Plarre, Chief executive of Plarre Food Group. “It’s a great thing, it’ll bring more people in or at the very least will make people’s memories of the event better because they weren’t stuffy the whole time.”

Aussie tennis star Thanasi Kokkinakis didn't wear shorts, but could see the merits in it. “I wore shorts at my mate’s wedding once and it didn’t go too well,” he said. “People were asking me, ‘What are you doing?’, so I thought I’d stay in my lane today with pants. However, if there was a day to wear shorts it would be today – I’m pretty hot, I’m not gonna lie.”

Cleaners faced a monumental task to pick up all the rubbish that racegoers left strewn around Flemington, and punters would be nursing some very sore heads on Wednesday morning. Check out some of the aftermath of the Melbourne Cup carnage here:

A police officer at Flemington.
A police officer looks on as racegoers carry bottles of wine. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
Seagulls, pictured here at Flemington.
Seagulls fly away from the lawn as patrons leave Flemington. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
A racegoer, pictured here after falling over on his chair.
A racegoer falls over on his chair. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
Patrons on the lawn at the Melbourne Cup.
A general view of patrons on the lawn amid the mess. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
Another racegoer falling off a chair.
Falling off chairs was all the rage apparently. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
Racegoers, pictured here laying down on the lawn.
Racegoers lay down on the lawn. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
Punters laying down on Melbourne Cup day.
Some punters needed a quick rest. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
Punters on Melbourne Cup day at Flemington.
Things usually get pretty messy on Melbourne Cup day. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
Racegoers at the Melbourne Cup.
Racegoers are seen following the running of the Melbourne Cup. (AAP Image/Con Chronis)
A man falls off a chair at Flemington.
Another epic chair fail. (AAP Image/Con Chronis)
A Melbourne Cup punter sits on the ground.
Some Melbourne Cup punters were feeling a bit worse for wear. (AAP Image/Con Chronis)
Melbourne Cup racegoers at Flemington.
A big day for most Melbourne Cup racegoers. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

Mark Zahra makes history with Melbourne Cup triumph

Jockey Mark Zahra made it back-to-back Cup victories, winning aboard Without a Fight after steering Gold Trip to victory last year. It marked the first time in 44 years that a jockey has won consecutive Melbourne Cups on different horses.

Remarkably, Zahra opted against hopping back on Gold Trip this year because he fancied Without a Fight's chances more. He also won the Caulfield Cup last month and completed the double on Tuesday.

He became the ninth jockey in history to win the Cup in successive years, and the first since Glen Boss steered Makybe Diva to a famous hat-trick in 2003-2005. Zahra is the first to do so on different horses since legendary jockey Harry White in 1978 and 79.

"Your first one is real elation - you can't really believe that you've actually done it - and this year it's similar elation but you know you can do it," he said after the race. "You go in with a lot more confidence. It's still one of the best feelings in the world but when I crossed the line I was like, 'I told you so. I knew I picked the right horse and I told you I could win it'."

Zahra chose Without A Fight just 10 days before the Cup, hours after he steered Gold Trip to fifth place in the Cox Plate. Weights played a part in the decision, with Gold Trip lugging 58.5kg compared to Without A Fight carrying 56.5kg.

Without a Fight is now the 12th horse in history to do the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double in one year, giving Zahra two victories in each. "The trophy cabinet's starting to look pretty good," Zahra said.

with AAP

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