Australians love a good party and nothing is a better reason to party than the Melbourne Cup.
Each year the Flemington Race Course is the host of the race that stops the city in its tracks. Melbourne residents and visitors alike take time away from what they are doing to see one of the most famous races in the world–the Melbourne Cup. The headline race of the Melbourne Spring Carnival, the Melbourne cup is held on the first Tuesday of November every year.
The Melbourne Cup is known as the “Race that stops the nation.” The day on which the Melbourne cup is held is a public holiday in nearly every part of the state. Everyone that you’ll speak with has a bet on the race, even if they are not day to day bettors. More than one hundred thousand people attend the race and barbeques as well as betting sweeps are held all across the town on the day of the race.
The race is a two mile handicap. You’ll see horses from around the world and the stamina and tenacity of the horses that race here is renowned. These horses are specially bred and trained to compete in one of the most famous and most difficult courses a horse can run. The prize is reflective of the difficulty that it takes to achieve a win here. It is more than three million dollars and the chance to become world famous for having won the Melbourne Cup.
The race today remains a 2 mile handicap where horses have to have won a given amount of previous races to compete. THe nominations take place in August of each year. They pay a small fee to enter in the first ballot. More than 300 horses per year are nominated and each one is given an initial weight for the race. That is based on form, age and sex. From there, there are several lead up races.
If they do well in those, they will receive weight penalties and their initially allocated weight will be raised up to make them a bit more likely. Each time that happens they pay a little more. What that means is that the horses may have paid more than fifty thousand dollars in entry fees by the time that the race day rolls around.
Many very famous horses have ridden in the Melbourne cup over the years. Some have a history–family style–of winning the cup. For example, one horse who died later in a controversial way, had several family members who had also won the Melbourne cup.
Over the years there has been some very famous Australian horses who won the cup. Recently not only Australian horses are competing but some that are internationally known, though many who are claimed to be favorites do not win. The names of some of the winning horses include:
- Rain Lover
- Peter Pan
- Think Big
They are all household horse names known to nearly every Aussie because of their winning ways, but primarily because they won the Melbourne Cup. One horse that is known the world over is Phar Lap, probably the most famous horse in the world. He won in 1930 and then went on to win many other international horse races before dying just prior to a race in the United States. It’s said that the horse may have been poisoned because it was believed that he was literally unbeatable.
The Melbourne cup has not only a long history, but a long history of horse race betting too. Many offline and online casinos take bets on the Melbourne cup and betting is rampant all around the city during the week leading up to race day.