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.
CONTACTS:
Victoria Racing Club
400 Epson Rd.
Flemington, VIC 3031 Australia
61-3-0072-7575
www.vrc.net.au
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
www.acn.net.au
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 198
DictDays-1988, p. 75

Celebrated in: Australia

Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Relative to the unconditional variance comparisons, the increase in volatility is greater for Melbourne Cup day, smaller for daylight savings changes, and broadly similar for the other events.
As I write, Melbourne Cup day is coming to an end and what an experience that is.
"I am assistant to the number one caller on Melbourne Cup day, but once I knew I was coming over to Aintree I got access to videos and saw Red Marauder's win."
Aintree spokesman Dickon White said: "Australia comes to a standstill for Melbourne Cup day, just as everyone in the UK stops to watch the Grand National.
Ellison's past trips to Flemington might have put off some trainers - Carte Diamond was ruled out of the 2006 Cup on veterinary advice after recovering from the previous year's injury, while in 2007 Bay Story fatally broke a leg in another race on Melbourne Cup day.
Imagine three days great racing with Melbourne Cup Day the outstanding highlight.
In Australia I understand that the nation more or less stops on Melbourne Cup Day in November and the country involves itself in a day of celebrations in many guises, yet I am sure there are people there who oppose it, and we have to accept we will not please all of the people all of the time.
-A pair of tickets to Emirates Melbourne Cup day at Flemington Park on Tuesday November 1, one of the biggest sporting events in Australia - with transport from hotel to and from the racecourse...
IMAGINE a major raceday, as big in its own region as Derby or Melbourne Cup day, with three Grade 1 races promoted for weeks before the event, but with no-one under the age of 18 allowed through the gates.

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