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

References in periodicals archive ?
Although not previously subject to any formal analysis, anecdotal evidence suggests that at least some financial market participants believe that Melbourne Cup day is associated with heightened investor optimism.
On Melbourne Cup day every racetrack is open, even if there is no racing, with several thousands turning up in their best dresses and suits to party, picnic or lunch in style and watch the race on television.
His jockey brother was murdered by Barry Coxhead, so Seamus honours him by wearing his riding silks every Melbourne Cup day.
We're coming back from Lisbon on Melbourne Cup day but we'll be up at 6.
Qantas will also serve sparkling wine and strawberries to customers travelling on Melbourne Cup Day in its Melbourne and Sydney Qantas Clubs and Business Lounges.
On the Tuesday, Melbourne Cup day, a crowd of 105,000 descended on Flemington.
Emirates will have the naming rights of Emirates Melbourne Cup Day -- headlined by the richest handicap race in the world, the $6.
He was bred to stay, not to sprint, which means as he gets old he will do well over longer distances," said the trainer, who began dreaming of Melbourne Cup glory when Alcopop gained a debut win in Adelaide on Melbourne Cup day last year.
I couldn't resist following and soon stepped straight into the chaos of Melbourne Cup day racing.
MELBOURNE Cup day saw 122,000 race fans flock to the Flemington Race Track to witness one of world sports most famous occasions.
Since then, I've been in and out of Sydney, watched one of the finest games of rugby of my life and now here I am in Brisbane, having just sampled the phenomenon that is Melbourne Cup day in Australia.
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.

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