Melbourne Cup 2017

Melbourne Cup is almost here! Clearly, it is the most anticipated and the most prestigious annual Thoroughbred horse race in Australia, and it’s fast approaching! Annually happening every first Tuesday of November, people from all over the world will gather at the Racecourses in Melbourne, Victoria to witness this spectacular event that is considered as the “race that stops the nation”.

We all know that everybody is pretty excited to dress up, women wearing their grandiose hats and colorful yet gorgeous dresses, while the men are dressing in sharp clean suits. But before we get into the racing and betting spirit, let’s get to know more about the history, interesting facts, and some trivia that defined the race.

For this year, Melbourne Cup is set on November 7th and will run over 3,200 meters and is open for thoroughbred horses over 3 years of age or over, with a start time of 3 p.m. The winning prize money for this year’s race is a whopping $6.2 million dollars. Now that’s a lot of Schooners!

So, if it’s your first time planning to take part in Melbourne Cup this year and bet your money on your favorite thoroughbred, here are some more interesting facts that will help you get ready along the way.

  • Last year, 2016, Emirates Airlines was the biggest and official sponsor of the race.

  • The official flower for Melbourne Cup is the Yellow Rose.

  • The first Melbourne Cup was inaugurated in 1861.

  • In 1875, the first time the race was held on the first Tuesday of November.

  • The first winner of the race was named Archer who won 170 pounds and a gold watch. As legend has it, the horse has to walk 500 miles from his home stable in New South Wales just to participate in the race.

  • In 1877, Melbourne Cup was declared a whole day holiday. This helped to give the race it’s reputation as the “the race that stops a nation”.

  • The “fashions on the field” was first held in 1962.

  • The youngest jockey to ever win the Melbourne Cup was Peter St. Albans riding Briseis, at the age of thirteen.

  • The first time the race was televised was in 1960

  • Originally, Melbourne Cup doesn’t really allow women jockeys to compete, but in 1987, Maree Lyndon was the first one to do so with her horse Argonaut. She ran second last in the 21 horse field.

  • Michelle Payne is the first female jockey to have won the Melbourne Cup in 2015.

  • The most successful horse who has won three consecutive years, from 2003-2005, was named Makybe Diva.

As the old country song by Slim Dusty goes “There’s a bustle in the city, there’s excitement in the scrubs. There’s a drone of rowdy voices in every Aussie pub. For a year we’ve all been waiting and we’ve put our money up and we’re out to back the winner of the famous Melbourne Cup”.