The Melbourne Cup Carnival is the most vibrant horse racing event in the world. This festival of horse racing, fashion and fun starts in September and runs through until mid-November. Flemington Racecourse is the stage for big-name race days such as Derby Day, the Melbourne Cup and Oaks Day. The Melbourne Cup, held on the first Tuesday in November, is the focal point of the carnival and a public holiday in Victoria. Most of Australia stops to watch or listen to the race, but there's nothing like being there amongst the 100,000 plus crowd to experience this unique event.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of Australia’s most significant sporting and social events.
There are four major race days during the Carnival, with the [Emirates] Melbourne Cup the highlight of the carnival each year on the first Tuesday in November. The Melbourne Cup is the richest handicap horse race in the world and has a proud tradition going back more than 150 years to 1861.
Known as the race that stops a nation, Melbourne Cup Day is a public holiday in Victoria and more than 100,000 people attend the race at Flemington Race Course in Melbourne. Most Australians watch or listen to the race as it is televised live to over 700 million people in more than 120 countries.
Australians celebrate the Melbourne Cup race in many different ways with workplace fashion parades, office sweepstakes, business breakfasts, charity lunches, school dress-ups, live music performances at local race carnivals and barbecues.
The other major Melbourne Cup Carnival events are [AAMI] Victoria Derby Day, [Crown] Oaks Day and [Emirates] Stakes Day.
The Melbourne Cup also has a reputation for high fashion. Traditionally, black and white is the prominent colour scheme for women for Derby Day, while men often chose to wear a grey morning suit, peacock vest and pin-stripe pants. Oaks Day is traditionally known as ‘ladies day’, where women dress up in their finest fashions and head to the track. Children can even flaunt their style at Stakes Day, the unofficial family day that closes the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Legends have been forged throughout the Melbourne Cup’s history. Multiple winning horses such as Makybe Diva, Kingston Town and Phar Lap are regarded as national heroes.