Melbourne Cup Day

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Melbourne Cup Day

First Tuesday in November
The only public holiday in the world dedicated to a horse race, Melbourne Cup Day has been observed in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, since the first Cup race was held there in 1867. The event actually features seven races, including the grueling handicap race of just under two miles, which is run by some 20 thoroughbreds for a purse worth $4 million. The story of Phar Lap, the legendary New Zealand thoroughbred who won the Cup in 1930 after nearly being shot by unscrupulous gamblers, was made into a movie— Far Lap (1984), directed by Simon Wincer—that made the Cup an event familiar to people all over the world.
Cup Day is not only a legal holiday in the state of Victoria, but is observed throughout the world in offices where Australians work. For those who attend, it is a particularly glamorous event. The champagne flows, huge sums of money are wagered, and the women wear lavish hats while the men turn out in grey top hats and dark morning suits. There are similar races held in other Australian states ( see Hobart Cup Day), but the Melbourne Cup is still the number one classic of the Australian horseracing circuit.
A six-week festival, known as the Spring Racing Carnival, leads up to the big day and lasts well into November.
Victoria Racing Club
400 Epson Rd.
Flemington, VIC 3031 Australia
Australian Cultural Network
Department of Communications, Information Technology, and the Arts, Australian Government
P.O. Box 2154
Canberra City, ACT 2601 Australia
61-2-6271-1000; fax: 61-2-6271-1901
AnnivHol-2000, p. 198
DictDays-1988, p. 75

Celebrated in: Australia

References in periodicals archive ?
Since the advent of Melbourne Cup day cannot have any systematic effect on economic fundamentals, any such relationship with stock market returns is consistent with the existence of behavioural effects.
As I write, Melbourne Cup day is coming to an end and what an experience that is.
OFFICIALS at Flemington expect the ground for Melbourne Cup day to be no worse than slow - roughly between good and good to soft.
This is how we can create British racing's equivalent of Melbourne Cup day and the Breeders' Cup.
Melbourne Cup Day is like no other and brings Australia to a standstill.
It's got the potential to close events like Melbourne Cup day and country race carnivals.
And the following Tuesday (November 4) is Melbourne Cup day at Femington racetrack - the day the Australian nation stands still.
I hate to admit it, but the Brits could certainly learn a lot from people Down Under when it comes to putting on a big day at the races - we have the best racing in the world, but nothing we have compares to Melbourne Cup day.
No, it's just that if I was allowed to attend just one race meeting a year, anywhere in the world, it would be Melbourne Cup day.
Frankie has also been booked to ride top mare Spinning Hill in the Schweppes Stakes today, so he will have a nice little earner to pay for his holiday before Melbourne Cup day on November 5.
O'Brien, who has consigned to history the heated atmosphere of Melbourne Cup day 2008 and his much-publicised verbal joust with chief steward Terry Bailey, said yesterday: "Age Of Aquarius is being aimed at the St Leger, while the Ebor is the target for Changingoftheguard.
It's easy to do your absolute conkers here - I have documentary proof of this from my bank manager - but the compensation lies in top-class racing in hot, sunny weather, with a view back across the city that stirs the urge to return for Melbourne Cup day and a host of other days besides.

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