While Nicole Richie’s appearance at the Tooheys New Golden Slipper Day racing carnival at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday added glamour to proceedings, she failed to carry out one of the most important parts of her expected duties.
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Richie made a quick exit just as the coveted Golden Slipper trophy was being presented to the winner, Gai Waterhouse, with a source believing the Hollywood star’s entourage whisked her away over concerns about the stage due to overcrowding.
However, according to event organisers, pink-haired Richie was unable to present the trophy in her role as the international ambassador for the Autumn Racing Carnival event ‘due to timings and additional commitments’.
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Golden Slipper trophy: Nicole was pictured with the prestigious Golden Slipper trophy but was unable to present it to the winner
As part of her job, 33-year-old Nicole was in Sydney for three days, partaking in interviews and photoshoots in preparation for the race day at the Royal Randwick Racecourse.
On the day she was introduced to the waiting crowd and took part in a Q&A interview while on stage, and also judged Myer’s popular Fashions On The Field competition alongside former Home And Away star Jodi Anasta.
Richie was listed as being the presenter of the coveted Golden Slipper trophy, the race won by Vancouver for trainer Gai Waterhouse and jockey Tommy Berry.
Take out the crown: Nicole Richie and Clare Hawkes were on hand to pose with the trophy. According to organisers, Nicole was unable to present the award due to timing and other commitments
Waving to the crowd: Nicole spent three days in Sydney promoting the Golden Slipper race day
However when the time came for the gold horseshoe-shaped award to be presented to the thrilled winners, the young fashionista was nowhere to be found.
According to a source who was at the presentation ceremony, Richie was brought on stage to await the trophy presentation.
There were up to 15 or so very happy people crammed onto the small stage but as official proceedings began she was gone, spirited away by her minders.
Hi there: Nicole happily greeted racegoers who came down to see her in Sydney’s west
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Flawless complexion: Dustings of rose blush accentuated Nicole’s cheekbones
‘Her female PR was overheard on the phone saying “we had to get her away from there”‘ the eyewitness told Daily Mail Australia.
Believing the PR was concerned about crowding on stage, the eye witness also said ‘It was busy but by no means out-of-control or a risk to anyone.’
The source claimed the adopted daughter of Lionel Richie was paid a ‘considerable’ amount for her part in the big day and said the Australian Turf Club ‘would be unimpressed’ with her untimely exit.
Organisers of the event told Daily Mail Australia that Nicole had other commitments on the day and due to the event running behind schedule, she was unable to hand the trophy over.
‘Nicole did retrieve the Tooheys New Golden Slipper trophy, however due to timings and additional commitments, Nicole was unable to present it to the winner,’ organisers said.
‘It was a commitment outside her ATC commitments and it was only due to the fact that things were running behind schedule, however like I said, Nicole was there to retrieve the trophy and was also there to watch the race.’
Australian Turf Club spokesman Brett de Vine said the club was not disappointed with Richie’s departure before the trophy presentation and claimed she was outstanding over the course of the three days.
Judges: Nicole was pictured with Jodi, the pair judging Myer’s Fashions On The Field
Leggy lady: Finishing well above the knee, Nicole’s designer dress flaunted her slim and trim pins
‘She was there right up until the presentation but with some of her timings she couldn’t actually physically hand it over,’ Mr de Vine told Daily Mail Australia.
‘She did an extraordinary amount of work, the social media following was incredible and her media appearances were extraordinary.
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‘The fact that she wasn’t there for the last five minutes to hand the trophy over in no way takes away from what she actually did or achieved,’ he said.
Mr de Vine said Richie had travel commitments on Saturday and there was only a certain window of opportunity for her to leave.
‘That all said, considering the amount of events and time she spent doing stuff for the ATC, it in no shape or form makes us disappointed with what she did for us,’ he said.
Fashionista: Nicole Richie certainly had heads turning when she arrived at Rosehill Gardens
Results: Jodi and Nicole posed with one of the winners from the Fashions On The Field contest
Rodney O’Connell, regional director at Lion Co. had to step in and take over from Nicole. He presented Gai Waterhouse with the shiny award.
Richie arrived at the prestigious event in a stunning, figure-hugging Balmain zebra-print dress.
The business woman, fashion star and wife of Joel Madden stunned as she stepped onto the racetrack sporting the sleek black number with a suede textured finish.
The long-sleeved number hugged her slender arms, and its high neckline and defined shoulder pads added a sophisticated touch.
Finishing well above the knee, Nicole’s designer dress flaunted her slim and trim pins.
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Meanwhile a pair of sleek black strappy heels accentuated her height.
Being a racing event, it was no surprise to see the mother-of-two sport a statement headpiece.
Style stakes: It seems there were a few different trends that caught Nicole’s eye
Doing the honours: Nicole happily draped the winner’s sash over the fashions on the field entrants
As Creative Director for her clothing and accessories line House of Harlow 1960, and with her experience acting as a mentor for aspiring designers on reality show Fashion Star, Nicole was well placed to cast her eye over the best dressed’s efforts.
Speaking to Media in the week ahead of her races appearance, Nicole said: ‘This is my first race day so I would suggest just to “have fun with it” as that’s the fun part about fashion. You can live in the moment.’
‘I don’t have a backup here, but I have my outfit sorted. It’s a surprise.’
She also revealed to The Daily Telegraph that she wouldn’t be placing any bets: ‘I have never won gambling in my life. I am really bad at it.’
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