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By Rebecca Skilton

It was an eventful day for the 2017 Pakenham Gazette Oaks Day Ambassador Rachelle O’Connor whose exciting list of duties kicked off well before the horses hit the Racing.com Park track.
With her alarm set for 5.30am, Rachelle’s first call of duty on Thursday 9 November was at Berwick’s Zealous on High where it was all about her hair and make-up.
Opting for a classic race-day look, the 19-year-old’s hair was swept into an elegant and intricately designed side bun.
Her make-up, which was completed by artist Mayda, captured the essence of spring with a boysenberry coloured lip and soft rose-shaded eyes.
It was the perfect look to complement her sophisticated race-day attire which was put together by Pakenham’s own Thushari Sumanasekera of Embellish Fashions.
“We picked the outfit – the dress, fascinator, shoes and clutch because, put together, it was young, feminine and quite stylish in its appearance.
“It was classy without being too conservative and had quite a fun low back which I really enjoyed,” Rachelle said.
“We thought it really represented what Spring Racing and Oaks Day should be about.”
Following a lift to the races courtesy of Pakenham’s Isuzu, Rachelle arrived at the track with her mother Natalie where she took part in judging Fashions on the Field Couple of the Day, treated guests of the Skyline Suite to a question-and-answer forum as well as handed over the Pakenham Gazette BM58 Handicap Cup to winning horse Fudged.
“It’s hard to say which part was the best part of the day,” Rachelle said.
“There really wasn’t one moment of the day I didn’t enjoy. I really loved doing the Fashions on the Field, though.
“Everyone was so lovely and had such a good time on the stage. It was just a great day to be a part of.
“Anyone thinking of entering for the Ambassador next year should definitely do it.
“It’s such a good experience. It really helps you get out of your comfort zone and improve your self-confidence.
“When it comes down to it, it’s just so much fun. You can take your family and friends and just have a really different but good day out.”

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