THE DARWIN TURF CLUB Fashionable fillies take the stage at the 2018 Darwin Cup Carnival Fashions on the Field competition.
HE fashion stakes were as high as some ladies’ stilettos, with women of all ages putting their best foot forward on the 2018 Darwin Cup Carnival Fashions on the Field catwalk. Judges certainly had their work cut out for them, with dozens of contestants dressing to the nines, but Darwin’s Olivia Campbell managed to take out the top gong with a stunning red and white floral dress she bought in Edinburgh. Olivia Campbell, who also won this year’s Ladies Day Fashions on the Field competition, paired her dress with a matching fascinator created by Helen Wilkinson of Helen Rose Millinery. “It’s a paper crown made of origami, so every piece is hand folded, it’s just phenomenal,” she said. Donning a stunning red and pink polka dot dress, Darwinite Tiffany Parsell was crowned the 2018 Fashions on the Field runner up. Tiffany Parsell matched her Atoir dress with a stunning Millinery by Mel Fascinator.
The Darwin Turf Club was formed with a fanfare of trumpets in May 1955. The stage was set for the running of the first Darwin Cup on Saturday October 20 1956. Because of the unfinished state of the track the Cup was run over 1200m. The first Darwin Cup winner at Fannie Bay was Satan’s Son, owned, trained and ridden by Peter McCracken. Satan’s Son, the only non-thoroughbred to win the Darwin Cup, covered the 1200m in 126 seconds. In the 1980s, the Darwin Turf Club really started to kick things along. The introduction of the Triple Crown bonus, saw considerable financial reward up for grabs. Turf Club Chairman Ted Bailey, a long time stalwart of the sport in the Top End, as owner and punter pulled off a remarkable coup when Brinney won the 1989 Guineas, Derby and Winfield Darwin Cup, training Triple Crown glory. The 1988 Bicentennial Darwin Cup was the first $100,000 race staged in the Northern Territory, an amazing turnaround for the Club virtually decimated by Cyclone Tracy 15 years before. The Darwin Cup has become the biggest sporting event in the Northern Territory with over 20,000 people attending every year on Day 8. As one of only a few dirt tracks in operation on the provincial circuit, the picturesque racecourse in Fannie Bay sees several illustrious racing names vie for over 1.95 million dollars in prize money and trophies over the month long event.
SPRING 2018 #31
Winner, Olivia Campbell (right) with Runner up, Tiffany Parsell (left)