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Hat's the way for Camilla at Melbourne Cup.

THE Duchess of Cornwall declared the Melbourne Cup bigger than Ascot as she presented the winner's trophy.

Billed as the race that stops a nation, Camilla said it was a "treat" for her and the Prince of Wales to sit in the stands and watch some of the world's best jockeys compete.

More than 105,000 racegoers flocked to Melbourne's Flemington Racecourse yesterday for the two-mile race, which is a social, cultural and sporting icon for Australia.

Amanda Elliott, vice-chairman of the Victoria Racing Club, said: "She was absolutely delighted to be here and could not believe the crowds. She said it makes Ascot look very small."

The Melbourne Cup is one of the richest flat races in the world with a total prize money pot of around PS4m and attracts riders, owners and horses from across the globe.

Camilla clearly enjoyed her day at the races during her first visit to Australia and even had a flutter on one of the favourites, Mount Athos, said Ms Elliott.

She met the horse's British rider Ryan Moore, a three-times champion jockey, in the weighing room and also in the field was Frankie Dettori who rode Cavalryman.

Camilla told jockey James McDonald, who rode Fiorente, "it's a treat for us" to be at the Melbourne Cup.

The unfancied Green Moon, ridden by Brett Prebble, raced home to claim the 152nd Melbourne Cup.

The Duchess presented the trophy to Nick Williams, son of Casino mogul Lloyd Williams whose horse had won him his fourth Cup.

Among the guests were Camilla's favourite milliner Philip Treacy, who said: "It's a great honour to design hats for the future Queen of England and I'm very excited to be here on a day when the royal couple are in Melbourne."

For the Duchess he had created a stylish wide brimmed cream hat that matched her flowing coat and dress by Bruce Oldfield.

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Prince Charles and Camilla watch the Melbourne Gold Cup at Flemington Race Course in Melbourne, where the Duchess of Cornwall presented the trophy
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Nov 7, 2012
Words:340
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