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 is considered so important that it has been designated as a public holiday in Victoria. The other races are scheduled around the Melbourne Cup date accordingly. Over 100,000 racing fans flock to Flemington Racecourse to witness this world-popular racing event in person. For those who can’t make it or have to work, can tune in and watch “the race that stops the nation” live on TV.
Melbourne Cup Day 2017 Date-Tickets, Dress Code & Race Start Time
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.
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.
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.
The Melbourne Cup Day race is a day full of fun and frivolities. Dress up in your Spring finest, bring a group of friends (and maybe even a picnic) to the most famous day on Australia’s sporting calendar. Food and drinks can be purchased at the racetrack and ATMs are available inside the racecourse, however due to the large crowds, lines are often long. Betting is a popular past-time, so make sure to bring some extra cash to place a bet on Australia’s biggest races.
Public transport to the event is plentiful, with a trains that run direct and trams stops only a short walk away. Special trains run direct to Flemington Racecourse on racedays. Trains to Flemington Racecourse depart Flinders Street Station, Southern Cross Station and North Melbourne Station. You can also catch the #57 Maribyrnong tram from Elizabeth Street/Flinders Street intersection and alight at Flemington Drive.