Good conduct at classy cup day

BEN HEATHER & SAM BOYER
Last updated 05:00 28/01/2013

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Wellington Cup punters were unusually well-behaved this year, with more attention paid to frocks than fighting.

Hutt Valley area commander Inspector Mike Hill said only four people were arrested at the Trentham Racecourse on Saturday, all for drunkenness or disorder.

Only two young men faced charges, relating to disorderly behaviour, and both would appear in Lower Hutt District Court this week.

Two severely intoxicated teenage girls - one of whom had preloaded on two bottles of wine - also had to be removed from the racecourse.

There were 72 police officers involved in monitoring events in and around the course, plus about 100 security staff.

Mr Hill said that, despite a scuffle involving bankrupt developer Terry Serepisos, it was the best-behaved racing crowd he could remember. Arrests were down on last year and a fraction of those in 2006, when more than 40 people were arrested.

He credited stricter alcohol controls and better co-operation with racecourse security. "If you can prevent the disorder and aggro fuelled by alcohol, it's that much safer. We're not arresting sober people."

Organisers said there were about 15,000 people at the races, slightly down on last year.

Apart from the racing, fashion was the big focus, although trackside as many people were wearing jandals and singlets as high heels and fascinators.

At the Fashion Village, sponsors, a smattering of celebrities and aspiring fashion icons were adorned in finery and frocks. A parade of entrants strutted down the red carpet and posed on the catwalk for the fashion crowd, vying for the supreme best-dressed award.

Stephanie Noble, of Whenuapai, Auckland, bagged the big one, with an outfit her mother had made.

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- The Dominion Post

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