Australia’s most celebrated horse racing event, the Melbourne Cup, will crown the best galloper a few days from now. Besides the coaches, trainers and runners, racing fans, establishments, and other stakeholders are preparing for a few days of unforgettable celebrations.
With an AUD$8 million prize pot, Melbourne Cup is Australia’s wealthiest handicap race. According to Victoria Racing Club’s track records and attendees, hundreds of thousands of spectators converge at the Flemington Racecourse annually for several days of fanfare. Others can watch the action live via sports television channels or online streaming platforms.
Below are a few primary reasons why the event deserves the title, the race that stops the nation.
- The spectacular races
Several races are included in the Spring Racing Carnival held from September to November. The famed Flemington Racecourse hosts four prominent competitions, including the Melbourne Cup race. Besides the big event on 01 November, fans are also treated to other turf competitions and celebrations, namely, Victoria Derby Day, Oaks Day, and Champions Stakes Day.
- Victoria Derby Day (29 October): The Flemington Racecourse hosts four races that make up the Carnival, which opens on the last Saturday of October this year. This 2,500-meter race is a competition for three-year-olds with an AUD$2 million prize pot. As the perfect pre-opening ceremony for the Cup, the twenty-four runners that make up the Melbourne Cup final field will be announced hours after Derby Day.
- Melbourne Cup Day (01 November): The Carnival’s main attraction and Australia’s second wealthiest race happens every first Tuesday of November. Thoroughbreds will battle it to win the AUD$4.4 million and 18-carat gold trophy.
- Victoria Racing Club Oaks Day (03 November): Three-year-old fillies compete on a 2,500-metre course for this Group 1 race. Prizemoney is more than AUD$1 million, attracting spectators and punters alike. This event, also called Kennedy Oaks or Crown Oaks Day, also features a day of music and fashion this year.
- Stakes Day (05 November): Closing the Spring Racing Carnival are two exciting Group 1 races in Australia’s premiere racecourse: the VRC Champions Stakes and the VRC Sprint Classic. Each of these sprint competitions carries an AUD$2 million prize purse.
It’s best to keep track of the important dates to make sure you don’t miss out on the exciting events.
- The betting frenzy
Betting is a national pastime in Australia. The country’s gambling sector, which includes horse race wagering, netted at least AUD$225 billion in gambling revenues in 2019.
Proceeds from the Melbourne Cup likely contribute a significant portion, considering that the Cup is the biggest one-day betting event in the country. Individuals spend an average of AUD$179 for the race, AUD$91 for entertainment, and AUD$88 for punting.
Try your luck on lower-stake games first to increase your chances of picking the right horse. At the same time, access replay videos and other valuable information thru https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSqgmNBQDpoUIZPNB6CkUHg and similar channels.
Keep updated with the race developments and, most importantly, the ever-changing order of entry before the final field is announced. For instance, as of 27 October, Caulfield Cup 2022 winner and race frontrunner Durston has withdrawn from the race for medical reasons.
- The unforgettable celebrations
The Carnival is Australia’s prestigious horse racing event. And it’s only fitting that Melbourne Cup Day is a holiday in the city. On race days, crowds gather at Flemington to witness the race and participate in the celebrations. The live audience can also bet on their favorite runner, so heed the tips above and read a useful betting guide for beginners.
Marquees will dot the grounds where ticketholders are treated to sumptuous food and overflowing cocktail. Attendees will also be treated to live entertainment featuring local bands and musicians.
Besides the Melbourne Cup Day happening on 01 November at 3 PM, punters and non-punters look forward to participating in several other events, in and out of the racecourse. Even residents outside of Melbourne join in the fanfare and celebrate in their homes, offices, or town centers. For instance, multiple venues across Australia’s capital, Canberra City, are preparing for the Cup Day celebrations in style.
- The opulent fashion
Fashion is also a significant element in the Melbourne Cup celebrations. Racegoers are expected to dress their best according to the day’s theme. Cocktail dresses and fancy hats are a must for women, while men must look dapper in tailored suits for a shot to win prizes reserved for the best-dressed list.
Derby Day is a black-and-white affair, while the Melbourne Cup focuses on colorful and bold patterns. Oaks Day, also known as ladies’ day, is about floral designs and pastel hues. Blue cornflower, yellow, and pink rose typically adorn these clothing ensembles.
- The star power
Elsa Pataky, Chris Hemsworth’s wife, will appear on this year’s Derby Day stage. Athletes, Hollywood stars, and royal members have graced the Spring Racing Carnival for years.
Usain Bolt showed up twice, in 2017 and 2019, claiming that the Melbourne Cup is one of his favorite events. Lindsay Lohan and Lady Kitty Spencer also appeared in the same year. Derby Day and Oaks Day also hosted celebrities Sarah Jessica Parker, Liz Hurley, and Eva Longoria, to name a few.
Even the late Queen Elizabeth II, a known horse lover, took a shot at winning the Melbourne Cup. In 1997, Her Majesty fielded Arabian Story and finished sixth place.
The Melbourne Cup race may be the highlight of the Spring Racing Carnival, but there are other reasons to join in on the fun. Every year, organizers try their hardest to uniquely showcase Australia’s culture more than just celebrating the country’s best thoroughbreds. And with activities that appeal to everyone, participating in these festivities is an experience you don’t want to miss.