AAP Entertainment

Aussie expats steal show on wet Cup Day

By AAP Newswire

Flash flooding didn't dampen the spirit of A-listers on Melbourne Cup Day, with musicians, politicians and Aussie expats pouring into Flemington's exclusive Birdcage enclosure.

A deluge of rain made for a difficult start to the day, flooding the entrance to the invitation-only area.

Organisers created a makeshift bridge out of delivery pallets, although many ditched their designer heels and braved the waters.

Others, however, decided to delay their arrival at Flemington, including Lara Worthington (nee Bingle) who arrived half-an-hour late, just as the clouds parted.

The model and entrepreneur flew in from Los Angeles as a guest of dating app Bumble and wore a loose-fitting Chloe shirt dress with lace detailing and cut-outs at the hips.

She paired the dress with a leather belt, black beret and chunky boots.

"I'm happy to be a part of (Bumble) and I'm proud, I love supporting women and I have a lot of old friends here that I get to see, it's just amazing to be a part of," she told reporters.

Also opting for a monochrome look was Australian actress Nathalie Kelley, in an Alex Perry dress with a black bodice and white full skirt and a star-embellished headpiece by Jennifer Behr.

"This look is very Grace-Kelly-goes-to-space," Kelley told AAP.

The actress, from hit US TV shows including Unreal, The Vampire Diaries and Dynasty, got drenched in champagne earlier in the day when she tried to open a bottle of Mumm with a sword.

"It was pretty fun, nothing that a blow dry can't fix," she said.

While Australian expats upped the glamour stakes, Flemington relied on international musicians Sam Smith and Dionne Warwick to entertain racegoers.

Grammy-award winner Smith performed two of his hit songs before the main race.

Warwick performed Do You Know The Way To San Jose and Say A Little Prayer in the Victoria Racing Club marquee.

"It's very much like Kentucky Derby," she told reporters.

"Melbourne has always been very good to me so it's nice to be here."

The Tabcorp marquee hosted punters and pollies, including Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Nationals Leader Michael McCormack and Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

Shorten was spotted chatting with former ABC Chairman Justin Milne.

In a heartwarming move, Stevie Payne - brother of 2015 Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne - was presented with a replacement Strapper Melbourne Cup after losing his three years ago on the night Prince of Penzance won.

"Stevie has been looking for the cup every since he lost it," Michelle said.

In the fashion stakes, bold colours were the reigning trend of the day, with Georgia Love, Lana Wilkinson, Rachael Finch and Elyse Knowles donning shades of yellow, red and orange.

Away from the shelter, the most coveted accessories were the humble umbrella and plastic raincoat.