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Photo Finish exhibition

It seems like not much has changed since Mark Twain’s assessment of the Melbourne Cup in the 1800’s; “And so the grand-stands make a brilliant and wonderful spectacle, a delirium of color, a vision of beauty. The champagne flows, everybody is vivacious, excited, happy; everybody bets, and gloves and fortunes change hands right along, all the time. Day after day the races go on, and the fun and the excitement are kept at white heat; and when each day is done, the people dance all night so as to be fresh for the race in the morning.”

The champagne (Mumm) flowed last night as milliners, models, jockeys and racing identities toasted the launch of Photo Finish; an exhibition of photographic portraits of the characters that make each Spring Racing Carnival iconic. The Melbourne Cup will turn 150 this year (almost as old as our city herself at 175 years young) and this exhibit is a celebration of that, each image seems vivid as if lit from within.

Huge hero shots of Pharlap and Makybe Diva oversee the exhibition. My favourite is a windswept portrait in black and white of trainer Sheila Laxon galloping along, taken by photographer John Tsiavis. Laxon was the first female trainer to win the Melbourne Cup and her horse Ethereal, upon also winning the Caulfield Cup was only the third mare to do so.

The Photo Finish exhibition can be viewed any time for free until 7th November 2010 in the Atrium at Crown.

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