The Melbourne cup is the richest handicap race worldwide and is popularly known as “the race that stops a nation.” Also, the Melbourne cup is Australia’s most distinguished thoroughbred horse race. Following its popularity, this race attracted numerous participants worldwide, including England, Germany, Japan, United Arabs Emirates, Hongkong, and Ireland.
During Cup Week, Melbourne Cup is featured among the races in the 4-day spring carnival. The race happens annually every first Tuesday of November. This day is usually declared a public holiday in Victoria state. Apart from the numerous races available during the Melbourne cup, participants also look forward to participating in the Fashions on the Field event. This event is the most prestigious and largest outdoor fashion event with significant prizes. Who would want to miss such good deals?
Facts You Must Know About Melbourne Cup
- It involves a tradition that began in the 19th century
The first Melbourne race occurred in 1816, where the winner was called John Cutts, and his horse was Archer. In 1862, John and Archer backed up in the race and won again, making them the first multiple winners of this race.
- The Melbourne Cup was conducted on Saturdays during WWII.
This change primarily happened between 1942 and 1944. During this period, a third of the Australian male population had to participate in the race.
- It is among the most attended events in Australia.
At the commencement of this event, only a few people could attend since it was not popular enough. Nevertheless, the Melbourne Cup field event has become more popular today, and the number of persons attending has increased to over ninety thousand. Again, following the advancements in technology, like access to an internet connection, the number of viewers has increased significantly to over five million.
- The female jockey who has ever won the race is one only.
An Australian jockey, Michelle Payne, was the first woman to win the race. This took place in 2015, and she was riding Prince of Penance.
- Alcohol consumption is usually very high during the Melbourne Cup.
According to research, the demand for alcohol on Cup day is usually very high. Statistics depict that persons who attend the event consume a combined alcoholic volume equal to 25 Olympic swimming pools.
- The most popular golden cup was first awarded in 1919
While the first-ever winner of the Melbourne race received a golden watch, the subsequent winners who followed were awarded a silver punch bowl. However, during the 1887 race, the winner was granted a golden horseshoe. Consequently, the 1894 winner did not receive any award. It was until 1919 that the famous golden cup was first awarded.
How is the Melbourne Cup field decision made?
Typically, the race involves 24 horses, and the process of selecting the horses to participate in the final race begins with nominations. The nomination list is usually released at the beginning of August, and it starts narrowing down to the required number as the final day approaches. The initial step for acceptance determination involves trainers deciding whether the horse is fit enough for the race ahead.
The more the weight of a horse, the better the quality and the more likely the chances of qualifying for the race.