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CHAMPAGNE flutes are in demand at Crown tonight for two VIP soirees. Shane Warne and fiancee Elizabeth Hurley have invited friends to celebrate their union at the former cricketer's new venue, Club 23. Hurley, who arrived in Melbourne with son Damian, has upped Brighton's cheekbone quota as the glamorous new resident. Warnie declared his love with a sapphire and diamond rock, and released this snap of the couple on Twitter. Earlier in the night, the casino's chairman, James Packer, holds court at ...

CHAMPAGNE flutes are in demand at Crown tonight for two VIP soirees. Shane Warne and fiancee Elizabeth Hurley have invited friends to celebrate their union at the former cricketer's new venue, Club 23. Hurley, who arrived in Melbourne with son Damian, has upped Brighton's cheekbone quota as the glamorous new resident. Warnie declared his love with a sapphire and diamond rock, and released this snap of the couple on Twitter. Earlier in the night, the casino's chairman, James Packer, holds court at a dinner for 1000 guests in the Palladium to celebrate the reopening of the Mahogany Room, the gaming area where high rollers drop a bundle. The expensive invitation, a gold-coloured hard-cover booklet, has a message from Packer: "The opening of the new Mahogany Room will set a standard in VIP experiences that will remain the benchmark for years to come." Warnie's partner in Club 23, poker ace Joe Hachem, will attend the dinner with wife Jeanie, then join the future bride and groom for a celebratory drink. Mahogany Room guests who accepted Packer's personal invitation will be entertained by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and singers Marina Prior and David Campbell. There will be more corks popped on Saturday night when Packer's wife, Erica, hosts her annual Derby day after-party.

Maguire is a valued fellow

CELEBRITY South Melbourne priest Father Bob Maguire held talks with Archbishop Denis Hart yesterday about the February deadline for his retirement. "We'll keep talking," Maguire said yesterday. Tonight, Maguire's priestly attire will be covered with a Monash University robe and mortarboard when he accepts an honorary fellowship for his services to the community at a function at the NGV. Maguire, who finds humour where others don't, has been touched by the support from parishioners and others, but fears there could be a drawback to all the adulation. "I may not fit into the cap the head may have swollen. But after meeting with the archbishop, it may have shrunk a bit."

Hostess with the most legal brain

RACEGOERS armed with a coveted Birdcage pass encounter the marquee doorperson, the gatekeeper of the alluring interior. While many of the clipboard-holders work in PR, Lexus has someone who knows the law of the land. Jacqui Morris, an insurance lawyer at Minter Ellison, has been a hostess for nine years and will greet guests on Derby and Cup days. "It's a lovely way to spend the races," Morris said. "It's a great opportunity to network." Morris is the partner of Australian cricketer Cameron White and began door duties while studying arts/law at the University of Melbourne. Another sporty bloke in her life is brother Steven Morris, who has been recruited by the Richmond Football Club. At the marquee, the most common question for Morris is, "Who's inside?" meaning the celebrities. She's extremely popular when it rains, soaked folk asking: "Can I have an umbrella?"

Taste of Caviar at racing lunch

MARK Scaife is not the V8 Supercar driver but wishes he had a dollar for each time someone mentioned racing. Scaife, a marketing guru, is interested in the speed of horses as organiser of tomorrow's Late Mail Luncheon at the Sofitel, the term "late mail" referring to betting tips. An event ambassador is the former mistress of the late Richard Pratt, Shari-Lea Hitchcock, who is described in a spiel as "a quiet and generous supporter" of the lunch for nearly six years. Scaife said the Sydney blonde helps promote the lunch's charity, Focus, and will sell raffle tickets on the day. Sitting on the trainers' panel is Peter Moody, master of Black Caviar, the mare renowned for 15 straight wins and having a Twitter account run by a mysterious someone. Ms Caviar, a celebrity in her own right, banters with high-profile followers, actor Daniel MacPherson, Channel Nine's Giaan Rooney, Dannii Minogue and her partner Kris Smith, who wishes he owned the horse.


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