Droves of Canberrans flocked to Thoroughbred Park to get a taste of the Melbourne Cup a bit closer to home.
About 5000 punters, most dressed to the nines, took in eight local races and viewed the race that stops the nation on the big screen.
The stands were overflowing as people packed in to watch Vow and Declare take out the big race.
The sun chose that precise moment to shine down, no doubt to the pleasure of those baring some skin on a fairly cool spring day.
Some could barely contain their excitement as their bets paid off. For others the disappointment was washed away with a drink and good company.
Public servant Luke Signor took out the best dressed male crown at the annual Fashions on the Field, with Lisa Wellings winning the best dressed woman.
Tara McDonough won the best millinery award with a piece she made herself from some material picked up at Bunnings.
Mr Signor looked dapper in a blue Prince of Wales suit from MJ Bale paired with a Peter Jackson waistcoat and a pie melon hat.
Ms Wellings was inspired by spring colours and showcased some stunning stripes which she said was on trend.
Ms Wellings bought her dress online, altering it herself, and paired it with some Monika Newhauser millinery.
She said working to put together an outfit was a passion for her.
Mr Signor said he began thinking about his outfit the day after last year's Melbourne Cup. When he was the runner up at this year's Black Opal Stakes, he grew more determined to take out the title for the Melbourne Cup.
"It's just part of the day, having the ability to express yourself and dress nicely in front of a crowd," Mr Signor said.
"I like to go that one extra step that I probably don't need to, but it's a nice feeling."
His top tips for the gentlemen on race day were to wear a suit that fits and one that you feel comfortable in.
A small handful of protesters gathered outside, holding placards such as "you bet, they die".
The horse racing industry has been slammed lately with reports of mistreatment of race horses, particularly after they stop racing.
However, punters at Thoroughbred Park did not seem to be dissuaded by the activism.
One race goer, Samantha Wall, said she had recently attended the Cox Plate and enjoyed getting out for a good day of racing.
"It's just a great opportunity to see some quality horse racing, frock up and look glamourous," Ms Wall said.
"There's a good set up here for a picnic."
Ms Wall owns four horses, one of which is a re-homed race horse, and she said a lot of the issues seemed to happen after the horses have left the racing industry.
"I think the majority of the racing industry do the right thing," she said.
This was a sentiment echoed by ACT Opposition racing and gaming spokesman Mark Parton who said Melbourne Cup Day had always been special for him.
"I love the way that racing in the last couple of decades has really attracted a younger crowd," Mr Parton said.
"For them it's about having a good time, having a bit of a punt but mainly getting dressed up. And don't they do it well."
He said the ACT racing industry had always done particularly well to ensure that horses were well looked after.
"I think the reality is in whatever pursuit there will be people that do the wrong thing, but luckily when it comes to horse racing there are not many of them," Mr Parton said.
"Most of these [protesters] putting their hand up and boycotting the Cup have never had a bet in their lives and never would."
Racing ACT chief executive said the expected crowd of 5000 was potentially going to exceed last year's numbers, suggesting people had not been turned away.
He said the racing industry would continue to take horse welfare seriously from a horse's birth and through to retirement.