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How Australia’s Melbourne Cup Became the Best Horse Racing Event

melbourne cup 2016

The Melbourne Cup begins this month. Are you ready for the world’s greatest horse racing event?

Australia and the rest of the horse racing world are all eyes on the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November. The prestigious Melbourne Cup is a mandated public holiday in Victoria. It’s not known as the race that stops the nation for nothing; Aussies from all walks of life will stop and watch the race at 3pm.

How the Melbourne Cup Became the Greatest Horse Race

Australia’s Melbourne Cup is the equivalent of United States’ Kentucky Derby and Great Britain’s Grand National. “The race that stops a nation” will showcase the finest thoroughbreds in a two-mile course for three-and-a-half minute spectacular racing event.

The Melbourne Cup’s humble beginnings in 1861. The famous Flemington Racecourse was packed with 4,000 spectators to watch the first race. Champion thoroughbred Archer received a gold watch instead of the iconic Cup that champions of today receive. The famous gold Melbourne Cup was first awarded in 1919. The gold cup is now estimated to be worth over $100,000.

“Nowhere in the world have I encountered a festival of people that has such a magnificent appeal to the whole nation. The Cup astonishes me.” Mark Twain wrote in 1895.

The prestigious horse racing event became a grand nationwide event. It has projected a carnival-inspired atmosphere that has enticed high class citizens. It’s the event where the rich and famous of Australia has to be seen. Melbourne had a population of 290,000 spectators in 1880. The Melbourne Cup has always attracted more than 100,000 people around the country since the 1800’s.

The Race That Stops a Nation Indeed

It’s the race that makes Aussies stop and watch a spectacular horse race. Over 100,000 people will be watching from the Flemington sidelines on 1st Tuesday of November. People will be holding their favourite drinks and betting tickets. The rich and famous will display the latest fashion trends which will highlight the event as well.

“It’s not a cliché to say that the nation stops for the Melbourne Cup. It literally does. Schools stop, parliament stops and everything in between,” says sports broadcaster Gerard Whateley.

This year’s Melbourne Cup will be watched by over 700 million people in more than a hundred countries. Why is it called “the race that stops a nation?” It’s for you to witness the greatest horse racing spectacle on Earth.

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