It’s the biggest race on the Australian calendar and the richest two-mile handicap in the world, with people and horses alike coming from far and wide to compete in and watch the spectacle.
Held at the famous Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, the Melbourne Cup was inaugurated in 1861 and has since grown in fame, popularity and wealth, with the purse currently sitting at $6.2 million. The Cup continues to pull in crowds of over 100,000, year after year, tipping over 120,000 in 2003. Not bad considering the first Melbourne Cup attracted a crowd of just 4,000.
The Melbourne Cup is the cornerstone of the Victorian Racing Club’s 4 day Melbourne Cup Carnival, which includes other major meets such as AAMI Victoria Derby Day, Crown Oaks Day and Emirates Stakes Day.
The Melbourne Cup has brought the people of Australia many memories since its humble beginning. Possibly the most famous of which was Makybe Diva storming home in 2005 to become the only horse to win back-to-back-to-back Melbourne Cups, and becoming the most successful horse in the race’s history.
How about last year, when Michelle Payne defied the odds and became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, riding Prince of Penzance and breaking the record of longest odds winner, paying 101-1.
The Spring Racing Carnival is a strong part of Melbourne’s culture, and the Melbourne Cup brings a unique buzz to the city as everyone stops and tunes into the action. It’s not only the racing that draws people to Flemington, it’s also the fashion, food, beverages and live entertainment that compliments the horses and creates an electric social and cultural atmosphere.
There are many different ways to experience the ‘Race that Stops the Nation’. From different marquees, dining packages and experiences available, you have several choices if you are looking to entertain clients, treat your staff or take family and friends out for a day of fun.
Enjoy a private experience with a Trackside Private Marquee, or better yet, a Hill Stand Corporate Suite, or get in amongst the action in The Village. Try a dining experience with The Rose Room or the Skyline Restaurant, or the ultimate hospitality experience in The Perch in the Birdcage.