The Melbourne Cup is the race that stops a nation for more than one reason.
Why does the melbourne cup stop australia?
The Melbourne Cup stops industry, as lunchrooms become makeshift bars with hastened sweepstakes and cartons of champagne for the workers.
It stops the telephones ringing, except for that one annoying mate who always seems to give you a tingle at the worst possible time.
And it stops the heart, as this is the pinnacle of Australian racing. It has delivered more thrills, spills and winnings to pay the bills than any other race before it.
This is the Melbourne Cup, and every year it promises to be just as action packed as those that have run before it.
Controversy, craziness and memorable moments of the Melbourne cup
While the race has created legends, there have been many head-turning moments in the history of the Melbourne Cup. These include:
- New South Wales Premier and professional buzzkill Neville Wran actually tried to ban the office sweep back in 1977.
- Former Australian PM Bob Hawke famously interrupted a press conference to wheel a television on stage to watch the race.
- A racecaller famously saying: “What’s this one? It could be Reckless” in 1976. The leading horse was anyone’s guess in the wettest cup of all time. Visibility was slashed to just a few hundred metres. It wasn’t Reckless, either. Van Der Hum won the cup.
- The most emotional win was in 2002, when Damien Oliver rode Media Puzzle to victory. Through a veil of tears, he saluted the sky. His brother and fellow jockey Jason had died from a horse fall just days prior.
- When Makybe Diva made history in 2005 to claim her third consecutive Melbourne Cup, trainer Lee Freedman said: “Go and find the smallest child on this course, because they will be an example of the only person here that will live long enough to see something like that again”.
How to pick the winner of the melbourne cup
It pays to remember that emotion plays a huge role in the Melbourne Cup. This has led to Prince Of Penzance saluting at 100/1 in 2015 and Viewed coming home at 40/1 in 2008.
So this is not a race where the favourite is a sure thing, unless that favourite happens to be Makybe Diva.
What you can do is eliminate those that are extreme longshots, not necessarily with the bookies.
- The tyranny of distance: 3200m is a huge ask for a horse and that is part of what makes the Cup so special. Look for horses that have failed over this distance before, they are unlikely to suddenly find the next gear required.
- Recent form matters: Now get your red pen out and scratch any horses that have not finished 1-4 in an October race that has been run over 2400m or more. This is where you might begin to see some value, horses that have won recently but remain friendless with bookies. Horses like this are called Price of Penzance and they CAN win.
- Off for young and old. Experience is required, but you don’t want an ageing horse either. Scratch anything three or under, as well as the seven or older.
Other factors to consider are that male horses have won the race 66 times, the average winning jockey weight is 54.11kg and barriers 9-12 are very favourable.
You can also get the best Melbourne Cup horse race betting tips from the experts that have been nailing winners in the big horse races for years.
Where are the best places to watch the melbourne cup
Did your VIP entry to Flemington get lost in the mail? Miss out on a ticket to the track?
Never fear, there are plenty of quality options throughout Melbourne where you can soak up the atmosphere.
- Docklands: Take a cruise down the Yarra, either to the track itself or just stay on the boat to indulge in drinks and canapes.
- Woolshed: Fine cheeses and cured meats on the banks of the Yarra? Yes please.
- The Boatbuilders Yard: Cocktails and breakfast, lunch and dinner at South Wharf.
- Southbank: Gourmet food and drink, fashion contests and sweeps will make this a day to remember.
- St Kilda: Crawl your way through the myriad boutique bars that will all get into the spirit of the day by the beach.
- Wharf Hotel: A mega-screen, à la carte menu, live music and G.H Mumm champagne. What more could you need?
- Garden State Hotel: Get geared up with your own personal esky loaded with Chandon wine and Balter beer. A live DJ will keep the party pumping once the races are done.
The week long melbourne cup carnival
While the Melbourne Cup is the blue chip event of the Spring Carnival, it is just one race on a huge card at Flemington.
It begins with AAMI Victoria Derby Day on the Saturday, which includes nine group races and four Group 1 starts. This day is where the fillies will really start to strut their stuff, and we’re not talking about the horses.
Melbourne Cup stakes the spotlight on the Tuesday, but then on Thursday we have Kennedy Oaks Day (traditionally known as Ladies Day). This is when the finest fillies in Australia will hit the track. This time we are talking about the talent on the course, rather than off it.
Finally, Emirates Stakes Day rounds out the week on the final Saturday. This is a huge $2 million Group 1 event where some of the best weight-for-age horses will do battle over 2000m. Magic.
Why is the Melbourne Cup so popular?
Saddled with the slogan ‘the race that stops a nation’, the popularity of the Melbourne Cup is clear.
For many, it is the only horse race they will watch all year. So why this race, over some of the other rich Group 1 events that also run in Spring?
The answer to this harks back to the conclusion of World War II.
It was about this time that gambling exploded in Australia, with TABs introduced and racing ported to television screens.
This caused a major hit to the racing industry, with crowds plummeting.
But the Melbourne Cup was different, because it had woven itself into Australia’s tapestry. National identity is the ingredient to the Cup’s success, with the race as iconically Australian as Vegemite, Koalas and VB hangovers.
Notable Winners of the melbourne cup
The Melbourne Cup is where Australia’s most famous race horse Phar Lap (pictured) made his name. He was actually born in New Zealand but we choose to ignore that.
The Great Depression of the 1930s was not a fun time for punters and Phar Lap become the people’s hero, winning all four days of the 1930 Flemington Spring Racing Carnival. That included the Melbourne Cup, with a massive 62.5kg strapped to him.
Sadly, Phar Lap was sent to North America in the early 1930s and never returned, dying in San Francisco. It has never been proven, but the long held belief is that he was poisoned.
Phar Lap’s massive 6.2kg heart now resides at the National Museum of Australia.
The modern day hero of the cup is Makybe Diva, the dominant mare becoming the first horse to win the iconic race three times.
Glen Boss rode her to victory in 2003, 2004 and 2005, a feat that saw Makybe Diva inducted into the Australian Racing Museum Hall of Fame.
Her success is unlikely to be repeated anytime soon, if ever.
History of the Melbourne Cup
Did you know that for the first five years the Melboune Cup wasn’t even a cup at all?
While the race began in 1861, it wasn’t until 1866 when The Barb (pictured in a sketch at the National Museum of Australia) claimed the honours that the actual, physical Melbourne Cup trophy was presented.
This original cup remains intact to this day, housed at The National Museum of Australia.
With more than a dash of irony, the Melbourne Cup’s beginnings were forged out of a tremendous rivalry.
Back then, the Victorian Turf Club (VTC) and the Victorian Jockeys Club (VJC) were jostling for control of the racing industry. This was a battle that the VJC was winning handsomely with events like the Two Thousand Guineas.
The success of the Melbourne Cup led the merging of these two bodies in 1864 as the Victorian Racing Club which has run the Victorian racing industry and the cup ever since.
The winner received a gold watch in the first race in 1861. From the second year a cash purse was presented, which was enormous back in the day.
The distance of 3200m, the tricky Flemington race track, the calibre of horses and the riches on offer have made this race an enduring test of stamina and skill ever since.