Fans were banned from Flemington for the 2020 Melbourne Cup, but that doesn’t mean punters didn’t get messy around the country.
In perhaps the most debaucherous moment of Cup day on Tuesday, a Channel 10 reporter was licked and mooned during a live cross to festivities in Perth.
‘NO ACCIDENT’: Brutal truth about Melbourne Cup horse death
Lee Steele was reporting from Ascot racecourse when a number of punters got very wild in the background.
One woman walked up to Steele and licked her cheek, before a man pulled down his pants and mooned the camera.
“I don’t even know what’s going on behind me,” Steele said before being put out of her misery by her colleagues back in the studio.
TV viewers were less than impressed, with Channel 10 colleague Tegan George condemning the “disgusting” scenes.
“This is disgusting and assault. I'm sorry you had to put up with these gutter antics,” George tweeted.
“You handled it with more grace than I would have shown.”
— Tegan George (@tegangeorge) November 3, 2020
Another social media user wrote: “Channel 10 get your poor reporter the hell out of that disgusting mob in Perth.
“A woman LICKED her then some drunk idiot mooned the camera.
“Is it really worth her health, being there to get tacky footage of pissed bogans?”
@Channel10AU get your poor reporter the hell out of that disgusting mob in Perth. A woman LICKED her 😡 then some drunk idiot mooned the camera. Is it really worth her health, being there to get tacky footage of pissed bogans? 😡
— Andie Hensley (@AndieHensley) November 3, 2020
— Josh Bavas (@JoshBavas) November 3, 2020
Why do networks persist in exposing reporters to pissed idiots?
— Matt Webber (@MattWebberWrite) November 3, 2020
Feral. Not even remotely ok.
— Kendra Kalamity (@KalamityKendra) November 3, 2020
Where was that?. Vile behaviour .
— ✌Liz Franklin (@Mcali4) November 3, 2020
It's way too common to cop this crap while covering boozy race days, whether there's a TV camera rolling or not. Being forcefully hugged, kissed and even licked by random drunks is just nasty!
— Luke Mortimer (@LukeWMortimer) November 3, 2020
— Bambi Moey Ali (@Makbulldog) November 3, 2020
Party goes on despite Melbourne Cup crowd ban
For the first time in the famous race's 160-year history, no punters were on course at Flemington Racecourse as COVID-19 halted traditional festivities.
The usual crowd missed basking in the warmest Cup day in almost half a century, as the mercury topped 30.4C in the city.
The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed it was the hottest Cup day since 1969, when Rain Lover secured back-to-back wins.
It was also Melbourne's warmest day since March 19.
Unable to revel in the conditions on course, Melburnians flocked to pubs, restaurants and parks to watch $26 outsider Twilight Payment first past the post in the $8 million race.
Venues filled up quickly across the city in a much-needed post-lockdown boost, while one group in a park hooked up a TV to their vehicle.
St Kilda Beach was also swarming with people making the most of the hot weather.
Those who stayed home were allowed to have two adults from the same household visit for a party, with the carnival's rebadged Fashion on The Front Lawn encouraging people to dress up in their finest fascinators, frocks and suits.
Sportsbet reported over 5.5 million bets were placed on the big race, as more than a million Australians had a wager across the day.
A small number of owners were permitted on course at an Echuca race meeting under regional Victoria rules, while some Sydneysiders attended a low-key Cup day meeting at Randwick.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.