Melbourne Cup Day

  | James Innes

The Melbourne Cup, one of the most famous horse races in the world, will be held this year on 1st November. Known as the race that “stops a nation”, the Melbourne Cup is run over 3,200 metres at Flemmington Racecourse and is open to no more than 24 horses that are over 3 years old.

While only a public holiday in the State of Victoria, most of the rest of Australia (and many in New Zealand as well), will be tuned into the race, with many businesses stopping work for the 3 pm race, and running office sweepstakes. Many ordinary Australians, who have no interest in horse racing for the rest of the year will have a small flutter on the race. Towns and cities across Australia will see restaurants and social clubs packed with families and groups of friends, gathered together to celebrate an iconic event in the life of the nation. Meanwhile, for the 100,000 or so lucky enough to attend the event in person, it is as much about fashion and glamour as equestrian horsepower. Competitions such as “Fashion on the Field” will award prizes to the best turned-out fillies and stallions on two legs, whilst the many course bars will be packed to the rafters.

All this excitement is centred on a race that takes a little over 3 minutes to run, with 1990 winner Kingston Rule currently holding the course record with a time of 3 minutes 16.3 seconds.

However, with prize money totalling AUD $6.2 million, the Melbourne Cup is the world’s richest horse race, which guarantees plenty of overseas interest, from foreign owners and trainers looking to compete in the race, to punters from other countries looking for a successful bet.

If you have picked a horse for Tuesday, here’s hoping it’s a winner.

They are under starter’s orders….


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