If you’re a fan of horse racing, then listen up: the Melbourne Cup is happening this week so mark your calendars. Specifically, it’s on Tuesday, November 7 and will be held at Flemington Racecourse.
The first race will be held at 10:40am and the last will be at 5:15pm. There will be 10 races in all on Melbourne Cup day.
For the uninitiated, the Melbourne Cup is Australia’s most popular horse racing event. So much so that it’s a public holiday in Melbourne and parts of Victoria. Having no work that day certainly isn’t a bad idea as sick leaves reportedly increase.
It’s no wonder the Melbourne Cup is also called the race that stops a nation.
Melbourne Cup factors
So what do you need to watch out for? The winner last year was Almandin, ridden by Kerrin McEvoy. Heartbreak City finished second and Hartnell third. But before you start rooting for those Thoroughbreds, here are a few things to consider:
- Six-year-old horses have historically performed well in the races.
- Only three favorites have won the Cup since 2000.
- International horses that have had a lead-up run in Melbourne perform better than those who haven’t.
Fortunately, you don’t have to back the winner to fully enjoy the event. Just to be in Melbourne during the week of the race is quite the experience. Aside from being a sporting event, the Cup is also a social and cultural occasion.
The parties are crazy fun and the surrounding nightclubs are filled to the brim with spectators, trainers, jockeys, and owners.
Take note that on average, over 100,000 people attend the Melbourne Cup every year. So if you want to watch the races in the flesh (and party hard after), you’ll have to book well ahead of time, or be prepared to spend even more than it already is.