What is it?
Known to Victorians as the ‘race that stops the nation,’ theMelbourne Cup is an annual horse race held at Flemington Racecourse on thefirst Tuesday of November every year. The main event of the Melbourne SpringRacing Carnival, the Melbourne Cup is a public holiday and features a field of up to 24 locally and internationally trained horses.
How long has it been around?
The Melbourne Cup dates back to 1861, when the race lastedover two miles before being shortened to 3,200 metres in 1972 following theimplementation of the metric system. The winner in 1990, Kingston Rule, holdsthe record for fastest time at 3:16.3, while Makybe Diva is the only horse tohave won the Melbourne Cup on three occasions, doing so in consecutive yearsfrom 2003 to 2005.
How do people celebrate it?
People have different traditions when it comes to theMelbourne Cup. Thousands choose to spend their day at Flemington, others willwatch from pubs and some will host BBQs at home. The lucky few who are able totake off the Monday prior to the race enjoy a four-day weekend.
Who will win?
Almandin is the favourite at this stage, followed closely byHumidor and Marmelo. Johannes Vermeer, Wall of Fire and Red Cardinal have alsobeen well backed, while at the other end of the spectrum, Pentathlon andGuardini have been offered 500-1 odds by Sportsbet.
Where should I watch the race?
Many would vouch that Flemington is the only way to trulyexperience the Melbourne Cup but there are plenty of other venues perfect forviewing the race, many of which have special packages for the day. There issomething to suit everyone – The Local Taphouse in St Kilda is a relaxed placeto share a few drinks with friends, Southbank bar Left Bank offers bottomlesschampagne and at the Wharf Hotel in Docklands, you can even arrive and departby boat!
Keen on Australian sport? Check out our article on working behind the scenes at the AFL.