The Melbourne Cup is Australia's major Thoroughbred horse race. Billed as The race that stops a nation, it is a race for three-year-olds and over, over a distance of 3,200 metres. It is the richest and most prestigious "two-mile" handicap in the world, and one of the richest turf races in the world. The total prize money for the 2013 race is A$6.2 million, plus a hand made 2340 gram gold trophy valued at $175,000
Australia each year may stop to watch the Melbourne Cup, but for the rest of the Spring Racing Carnival Melbournians party hard.
The fun starts in September and doesn’t end until mid-November. Flemington Racecourse is the stage for Derby Day, the Melbourne Cup, and Oaks Day.
Derby Day opens the carnival with racing for the real purists and off-field fashions in traditional black and white.
The Melbourne Cup is on the first Tuesday in November, it is by far the biggest event of the carnival.
This is a public holiday for Melbournians, who flock for the fun atmosphere, as much as the nation-stopping race at 3.00pm. Car-boot breakfast parties are a must, or pre purchase a ticket for live music, champagne and canapés, at one of the many elegant functions on course.
There’s only a two days of rest and sobering up, before partying at Oaks Day, or ladies' day, where the main attraction is on racetrack fashion. The following Saturday, the kids can show off their style at Stakes Day,which closes the Melbourne Cup Carnival.