The Melbourne Cup is Australia's most prestigious annual Thoroughbred horse race. It is a 3,200 metre race for three-year-olds and over, conducted by the Victoria Racing Club on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria as part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. It is the richest "two-mile" handicap in the world, and one of the richest turf races. The event starts at 3pm on the first Tuesday in November and is known locally as "the race that stops a nation".Make Melbourne Cup Carnival a part of your Melbourne vacation plans using our Melbourne trip builder.
The Melbourne Cup has a long tradition with the first race held in 1861 over 2mi but was shortened to 3,200m in 1972 when Australia adopted the metric system. This reduced the distance by 18.688m, and Rain Lover's 1968 race record of 3:19.1 was accordingly adjusted to 3:17.9. The present record holder is the 1990 winner Kingston Rule with a time of 3:16.3.
The race is a quality handicap for horses 3 years old and over, run over a distance of 3,200 metres, on the first Tuesday in November at Flemington Racecourse. The minimum handicap weight is 50 kg. There is no maximum weight, but the top allocated weight must not be less than 57 kg. The weight allocated to each horse is declared by the VRC Handicapper in early September.
The Melbourne Cup race is a handicap contest in which the weight of the jockey and riding gear is adjusted with ballast to a nominated figure. Older horses carry more weight than younger ones, and weights are adjusted further according to the horse's previous results.
Melbourne Cup Carnival Reviews
Travelled down for the Melbourne Cup this year and had an amazing day. Best people watching day ever, in between races of course. Didn't end up rich in money, but definately rich in experience. Saw.... more »
Worth the extra money and upgrade to the Hillstand so you can see everything and have no line up for toilets, food and betting. Such an exciting day made easy. Loved every minute. Wonderful way to... more »
The traditional pilgrimage to Flemington for the Melbourne Cup Carnival is now more about the "in crowd" and "being seen" than actually watching the races. The cost of attendance to members enclosures has steadily risen over the years and isn't really in reach of the average punter. You could hire a catering firm and decorate your back yard and watch the same races on your TV for what it costs in entry and catering costs. The corporate events and the tent access costs are insane. Close to $1000 per seat on the main days for so so food is really only for the larger corporate customers.
Rainy day today, so good chance at least one horse will slip, break a leg, and be killed afterwards because that’s the “humane” thing to do. Most of the races will not be watched by the crowd, who are actually there to drink and dress up. Which is fine. Just why do horses need to be tortured to do so?
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