FASHION | A SkyCity perspective on racing fashion

Kate Gourdie is no stranger to the races having worked for the New Zealand Racing Board before her current role with SkyCity Entertainment Group. Kate is often seen oncourse with her husband Andrew (current Newshub sports presenter) cheering on one of the horses they have shares in.

We grabbed her for a quick word in advance of the judging of this year's SkyCity Fashions in the Field which is taking place virtually instead of being run in it's traditional Boxing Day spot due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Kate & Andrew Gourdie. Photo credit: Kate Gourdie

You’ve been a part of the racing community for years now. What is your favourite thing about raceday fashion vs everyday/special occasion fashion?

What I love about raceday fashion is the opportunity to be a bit ‘extra’. To think through all of the little embellishments that add character to your outfit and plan out every detail so that it all comes together. I spend weeks mulling over some of my outfits, I really love it.

What is your one tip for elevating a look to something special?

If it’s a Twilight meeting I feel comfortable being a bit more edgy and wear shoestring straps and crowns. If it’s a more traditional day I will wear a full length dress and boater/hat. Always throw in some accessories that amplify your outfit and always dress to the occasion.

Kate with Andrew at Ellerslie Racecourse

Any trends you’re hoping to see entrants adopt for the upcoming SkyCity Fashions in the Field | The Online Edition competition?

In past years there has been a move to clashing colours and prints, I’m more of a traditional girl and would like to see a clever blend of textures and fabrics that fit.

What are some raceday fashion ‘no no’s’ from your perspective?

Bad grooming! Raceday fashion is about the complete look and that means manicured nails, hair, a lovely smile and a positive attitude.

What are your favourite things about a day at the races?

The athletes – the beautiful thoroughbreds and the jockeys. I have the utmost love and respect for both.

One of Te Akau Racing's charges pre-race. Photo credit: Kate Gourdie

SkyCity Auckland is much valued member of our ‘stable of sponsors’ having naming rights to the Christmas Carnival. How would you recommend raceday attendees combine the two experiences?

You have to line the stomach! I would recommend pre-raceday breakfast at the Fed Delicatessen and dinner at MASU which is my favourite restaurant in all of Auckland.

Some of the amazing menu items available at MASU

Do you have a favourite raceday here at Ellerslie?

This is such a hard one. I would go for the SkyCity New Year’s Day Races, the racing is amazing. For the past few years I have sacrificed my New Year’s Eve because I know New Year’s Day at Ellerslie will be epic and it always delivers.

What’s your favourite racing memory?

From a spectator perspective, Probabeel winning back to back Karaka Millions. From an ownership perspective having our horse Need I Say More win at Ellerslie on Vodafone Derby Day last year.

Probabeel after winning the Karaka Million 3YO Classic - making it two from two.

Your husband Andrew is also a sporting/racing enthusiast. What would you say to other couples considering a day at the races?

Get a babysitter that is prepared to stay late! Have a good crew and punt together!

And finally, the winner/s of the upcoming virtual fashion competition get pre-qualification to The Ned Prix de Fashion as a part of Vodafone Derby Day with the well-known black and white dress code. Any tips for nailing a monochrome look?

Over the past few years I’ve loved the move away from black and white to just black, just white, or even grey. Be clever, be imaginative, take chances and a shorter hemline is also ok!