If you are planning on experiencing the best that Melbourne has to offer, it’s highly recommended that you visit at the beginning of the Australian summer to experience the magic of the Melbourne Cup. Perfect for sports fanatics and those who enjoy experiencing local traditions on their travels, Flemington Racecourse is the setting for Australia’s richest handicap horse race, which also spans more than 150 years of racing tradition in the city. You’ll never have experienced anything quite like the Melbourne Cup Carnival as each year, the entire city of Melbourne comes alive with celebrations that run for the full seven-day duration of the carnival! The Cup culture is so ingrained in Melbourne that the entire state of Victoria enjoys a government-declared public holiday on Melbourne Cup Day (much to the jealousy of the other states)!
The Melbourne Cup Carnival isn’t just about a single race – festivities overrun the city for more than a week, with four unique race days taking place over the course of seven days. A highlight for many is the day before the race, when tens of thousands of people flock to the city centre to watch a parade of thoroughbreds, jockeys, trainers and celebrity guests through the main streets of Melbourne!
The big event is held on the first Tuesday of November each year, and almost all of Australia tunes in for the race at 3pm. Widely regarded as the ‘race that stops a nation’, the Melbourne Cup has the same theatre and drama as the U.K.’s Grand National. Last year, Unibet offered three lucrative offers for online punters down under and it’s likely to be no exception in 2018, with locals keeping their eyes peeled for the best betting offers in the days and weeks leading up to the race, with the eyes of the city fixed on this two-mile race worth over $6.2 million AUD in prize money. Watching some of the finest thoroughbreds in the world streak down the straight to the finish line is a sight you’ll never forget, but the general festive atmosphere extends across the entire day, at both the racecourse, across the city and around Australia!
Over 100,000 people make the annual pilgrimage to Flemington Racecourse to watch the event unfold live. The race is televised live to more than 650 million people worldwide, but you can’t beat being at Flemington to immerse yourself in the atmosphere and excitement of this headline sporting event. It’s an opportunity for those at the racecourse to dress in their finest, most colourful outfits and enjoy delicious food and drink in the Melbourne sunshine (fingers crossed, of course). Make sure you dress to impress as Myer Fashions on the Field at Flemington is one of Australia’s largest and most prestigious outdoor fashion events, with race wear enthusiasts from around the world flocking here to compete for a piece of the $400,000 prize money!
Last year, Rekindling became the first three-year-old thoroughbred to win the Melbourne Cup in over 75 years. The betting has already begun for this year’s race, with Rekindling currently installed the 20/1 favourite in the ante-post markets. The Irish-owned horse will be entered in the Australian Cup next month and is penciled in to feature in the Sydney Cup in April before travelling back to Ireland for some much-needed recuperation as the excitement builds again for November 6, 2018.
Tickets for the 2018 Melbourne Cup Day go on sale in March. At the time of writing the confirmed prices for the day have not yet been finalised, but the general guidelines of the day are already available. Children over the age of 12 are permitted to enter Flemington Racecourse, so if you’re planning on travelling with a young family, the age restrictions are worth bearing in mind. If you talk with any Melbourne local, they will speak highly about Melbourne Cup Day, a must-do for anyone visiting Melbourne in November! Whether you love horse racing, fashion, betting, fine wine and good food in the sunshine or a day at one of Australia’s oldest and most famous events, there is something for everyone at the Melbourne Cup!