The Melbourne Cup, the race that stops a nation

On the first Tuesday in November at 3pm everyone is tuned into the television to watch one of the biggest horse races in the world, the Melbourne Cup. The race is so popular that it is a state holiday in Victoria.  What other race or sports event has a holiday belonging to it, not one that’s how big it is.

The race was first held in 1861 with the winner being Archer. The remarkable story of Archer is that the horse walked over 800 kilometres to compete in the race. Not only did Archer win the first year, the horse also won the following.

Archer won $710 and a gold watch, the prize money has come a long way since then with the purse now being $6,175,000 making it one of the richest horse races in the world. The race is ran over 3200 metres by horses that are three years and older.

Melbourne Cup Parade

Join 100,000 people in a carnival like parade on the Monday when jockeys, trainers, owners and former cup winners as well as the impressive gold cup that the horses are racing for move through downtown along Swanston Street.

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 Race Day Fashion

What to wear on race day, this is a big question. Race day fashion is not to be taken lightly. Men wear suits while women wear brand name dresses and don’t forget the most important apparel of all, the hat.


 The Parade Ring

The parade ring gives you the chance to get up close to these exquisite horses as they are walked around a ring before being led out to race. There is nothing better though than to have a decent vantage point to watch the horses race by along the 320 metre straight towards the finishing line.

 2013 Winner


This years winner was…………….Fiorente. It paid $7, the win and $2.60 for the place.

 How to get there?

Don’t even think about driving to the races or taking a taxi. It would feel like a nightmare, the simple way take the train to Flemington station. It is opposite the course.


You won’t be able to buy tickets on the day at the track unless you buy over the price tickets from a scalper which is also illegal. To get tickets you need to buy them through ticketek.

Have you been to the Melbourne Cup? We would love to hear about it.

2 thoughts on “The Melbourne Cup, the race that stops a nation

  1. Bradley O'Brien

    Public Holiday for some. I work at a University and it was a normal work day for me. However we do have the days between Christmas and New Year off in lieu of working public holidays. Cup day has a party feel at work. We have office sweeps where we pay $2 and select a horse in each race with points awarded for first, second or third and the person with the most points wins. Prizes for 2nd and 3rd are also awarded. Every one who works brings a plate of food to share for lunch and a few people supply drink. Then at 3pm we all gather in the meeting room to watch the race. All yelling at the screen for their horse to win.

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