Rocky punters bet big on race fashion

THE stakes are set high this Saturday for the ladies of Central Queensland, like Rockhampton's Bindy Bartley, to have the hottest look at the track.

The fashion conscious 20-year-old has invested big in everything: "the dress" for $379 from Madison Jorge; her peacock fascinator for $139; $220 for her shoes; a $30 tan; and $85 for her ticket into the St Peter's exclusive function on the day.

"I will probably spend up to $250 for a night out on cocktails, food and taxis after the races as well," Bindy said, taking her total tally well above the $1000 mark. And she is not the only one splashing out the big dollars for the hottest fashions.

Local milliner Wendy White has been run off her toes in what is the biggest time of the year for her business, Bush Buddies Hats on Main.

Wendy said she has had about 300 fascinator orders in the two months leading up to the Caulfield Cup, with an average of 10 last-minute orders per day this week.

For Bindy, Saturday will be her first Caulfield Cup Race Day at Callaghan Park in Rockhampton, and yesterday she said money was no object when choosing her outfit.

"I was going for a simple, classy and unique look with lots of colour," she said.

Executive manager of the Rockhampton Jockey Club (RJC) Bruce Slattery said the St Peter's Caulfield Cup Race Day was one of the biggest social outings on the RJC calendar, with most private functions at the track sold out.

"It's a great social day for everyone and we have been racing at Callaghan Park for over 100 years," Bruce said.

Wendy said fascinators were big this spring for race day festivities and were the perfect accessory to dress up your hair.

She said her fascinators ranged anywhere from $80 to $440, depending on the detail and size of the individual design.

Wendy said she had created everything from subdued earthy tones to designs that were bright, loud and festive, and this spring size did matter.

"This year I have been designing and creating fascinators that are tipping on the edge of becoming a hat, whereas last year they were a lot smaller."

The milliner will be heading to Sydney next week where she will be working with internationally acclaimed milliner Neil Gregg to prepare for the Melbourne Cup in November.

"We will be bringing back a whole heap of fresh new ideas for Central Queensland head wear fashion which I will incorporate in Melbourne Cup designs here in Rockhampton," Wendy said.

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