The race that stops the nation is rapidly approaching. The Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most famous horserace, will be held at Flemington Racecourse on the 1st of November 2022, so how will you be celebrating Melbourne Cup Day? Here are just some of the ways you can enjoy one of the richest flat races in the world.
Get dressed for the occasion
Even if you aren’t attending the race day, you can still get into the spirit of the day by getting dressed to the nines to take part in the fun. There is nothing to stop you from getting out your best suit or dress and a stylish hat as you watch the race on TV. Even if you are watching the race at home or at work, you can still hold a competition with a prize awarded to the person with the best outfit!
Hold a Melbourne Cup party
Of course, if you are going to the trouble of getting dressed up, why not make it a party? Whether you are at home with friends or in the office, a buffet with finger food all washed down with a few drinks would make the ideal pre-race feast as everyone eagerly awaits the main event, which is held at 3 pm.
Study the form and try to pick the winner
As is the case for all major horse races around the world, it is traditional to try and choose the winner of the race. Verry Elleegant upset the form book when winning last year. This year, in a competitive field, Unibet, which is just one of the new betting sites in Australia, has installed Deauville Legend as the +500 favorite, with Loft second favorite at odds of +600. With the eyes of Australians on the race, most of the country will follow the event and place bets. As the Melbourne Cup is the seventh race on the card, there are plenty of other opportunities to try and pick a winner!
It is a busy time for Australian racing with jockey Michael Dee recently emerging victorious on Durston in the Caulfield Cup, another race with a rich history inaugurated in 1879. The victory not only resulted in a $3 million payday for the winning connections, Durston now has a ballot exemption for the Melbourne Cup.
In this year’s Melbourne Cup, Australians face a challenge from the English raider Deauville Legend, which is trained in Newmarket by James Ferguson, and another contender from abroad is the Irish horse Without A Fight.
Learn about the history of the event
Melbourne Cup Day has been a fixture in the Australian racing calendar since the race was inaugurated in 1861, which means this year’s event will be the 162nd running of the race. The day is steeped in tradition and is the main event of the world-famous Melbourne Cup Carnival, which features four days of quality flat racing. The event is so important to the state of Victoria that race day is actually a public holiday, so residents can savor the event.
The mare Makybe Diva is the only horse to win the race three times and the achievement is even more remarkable as it involved a hattrick of wins in 2003, 2004, and 2005. But the most famous winner of the Melbourne Cup is Phar Lap, who won the race in 1930 and was immortalized in the 1983 film Phar Lap: Heart of a Nation. The horse died under mysterious circumstances with some suspecting it had been the victim of poisoning, adding to the legend of Phar Lap. Though nowadays, organizations such as the US Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation would be involved to investigate the matter. The horse’s heart weighed an incredible 6.4 kilos and is exhibited at the National Museum of Australia, in Canberra.
Whether or not you attend the race itself, you can get involved in the spirit of the day by sharing titbits of facts about the history of the race, holding your own personal fashion event, getting together with friends and colleagues and, of course, trying to pick the winner of the race! Who knows, the winner could emerge as the next Phar Lap!