(IMAGE: AAP/JULIAN SMITH)

The Spring Racing Carnival kicks off at Flemington with Derby Day tomorrow and one thing’s for sure: numerous politicians and journalists will make their way to the Tabcorp marquee inside the Birdcage to mingle with company bosses and enjoy the free food and booze.

However, with gambling on the nose and the backlash against horse slaughtering continuing, it will be interesting to see how many of our elected reps follow the lead of both Taylor Swift and Megan Gale by pulling out of the day, or at least declining to be spotted inside the Tabcorp marquee.

Unlike many other corporates who pay big dollars for a presence inside the Birdcage, Tabcorp prides itself on being fully transparent. You can see who is inside the marquee when you walk past. Numerous journalists are also invited, including the major corporate gossips from The AFR’s Rear Window, The Australian’s Margin Call, and CBD columnists for The Age/SMH.