Every year, Australians come together to celebrate the most popular horse race on the calendar, Melbourne Cup Day.
The Melbourne Cup is the premier event of the Spring Racing Carnival and is held on the first Tuesday in November each year.
The Melbourne Cup was started back in 1861, and became so revered, it is declared a public holiday in Victoria. A number of legendary events have occurred at this racecourse. People still remember the performance by Phar Lap in 1930, or the trifecta wins by Makybe Diva in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Over 100,000 racing fans flock to Flemington Racecourse to witness this world-popular racing event in person. For those living in Sydney, many people get together to watch “the race that stops the nation” live on TV.
The race itself is a 3,200 metre race and the prize pool is over $6.2 million. The winner takes home over $3.6 million and a trophy worth $125,000. Owners also receive an additional $500,000 bonus.
Having a bet is very popular on Melbourne Cup Day, with hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on the one race. Most people place bets through the official TAB or through a bookmaker in person, but it’s commonplace that sweepstakes are held at businesses around the country.
Just because you can’t get to Melbourne for the big race, doesn’t mean you can’t get in the spirit of the race day. Head to Randwick where they host their own race meeting and also live stream all of the Group 1 races held at Flemington on the big screen.
Many other people choose to take a luxury cruise on Sydney Harbour, attend one of the many pubs or bars streaming the race on the big screen or picnic in Hyde Park or the Botanic Gardens.