Why is the Melbourne Cup so important to Australia?

Melbourne Cup horses image for illustration

The most renowned horse race in the world, the Melbourne Cup, is held on Australia’s national holiday. Both national and international champs are generally present on the field. These horses are chosen based on a variety of factors, such as age, experience in certain races, and handicapping. From all around Australia and the world, a sizable audience attends the event. Take a look at the list of Melbourne Cup horses yourself. The handicapping guidelines for entries from foreign owners have recently been modified by race officials.

History Of Melbourne Cup

Since the first event was held in 1861, the Melbourne Cup has been staged every year. It was the first Thoroughbred competition in Australia and is the most renowned race in the entire world. Horse age and mileage are taken into account when adjusting the weights for the handicapped race. For the Melbourne Cup, a horse must be three years old or older. The purse for the mile-and-a-half Melbourne Cup race is 7.3 million Australian dollars.

Australia has a long and storied history of the Melbourne Cup. Moreover, a quarter of the city’s population visited it in the 19th century, making it a significant component of colonial Australian amusement. Famous personalities have attended Melbourne and its racecourse, notably Mark Twain. The legendary horse Phar Lap appeared at the race in 1895 but passed away in the United States in 1932 due to arsenic poisoning. 540,000 visitors saw Phar Lap’s body in a Melbourne museum last year. The Melbourne Cup is a frequent occurrence in the horse racing world.

Since 1861, people have referred to the Melbourne Cup as the “Race That Stops a Nation.” Each year, almost a million people come to watch the event. The phrase “the race that stops the nation” applies to it. And ever since, the race has been a Melbourne tradition. Australian citizens must attend the race! It is unusual for a sporting competition to have been held for as long with such symbolic importance.


The Melbourne Cup has a significant history. It was the pinnacle of colonial Australian culture in the early 19th century. Numerous racing clubs were founded and regulations were set forth in the middle of the 19th century. In 1859, the first textbook was released. The Melbourne Cup had a significant role in Victorian culture in the 19th century. In Victoria, where the sport was picking up steam, Makybe Diva became the first three-year-old champion in the 1870s. All seven of the top finishers in the event were Irish.

The Melbourne Cup has traditionally been a significant occasion for the Australian populace. In 1861, the inaugural race took place. Archer took the victory. On the first Tuesday in November, a handicap race is now conducted. There are 20 thoroughbreds entered in the race, and there are a few million Australian dollars up for grabs. Phar Lap is one of the most well-known competitors who won the race. Despite the fact that he won the inaugural Melbourne Cup, some people still think he was poisoned.

The Melbourne Cup’s Glamour

Australia celebrates Melbourne Cup Day as a major event. In Victoria, it is observed as a public holiday, and Australians shell out hundreds of dollars on food, beverages, new clothes, wagers, and entertainment.

The 10-race Flemington card features celebrities including Sam Smith and Marcia Hines as well as a number of well-known DJs in recent years. The organizers put on a fantastic performance, which contributes to the event’s increased appeal to fans all over the world.

The racetrack becomes the place to be seen and seen since stars and officials swarm there to observe the action. For many observers, the ceremony, pomp, and attire are just as exciting as the race itself.

The Prize Pool Is Huge

In 1861, Archer defeated Victorian champion Mormon by a margin of six lengths, earning his master a humble prize of 710 gold sovereigns and a hand-beaten watch. Since then, the prize fund has significantly grown. When Archer defended his title the next year, the organizers increased it to 810 gold sovereigns, and by 2004, it had risen to $4.6 million.

In the following years, the prize money grew rapidly, reaching $8 million in 2019, solidifying the Melbourne Cup’s position as the richest two-mile handicap in the world.

Final Words

Australia’s most well-known yearly event, the Melbourne Cup, carries with it tremendous status. The Melbourne Cup is coveted by the top trainers, riders, and owners in the nation, but it is not for the timid. Only stayers with incredible resources of stamina and bravery have an opportunity to win because it actually happens over a lung-busting 3200m at Flemington.

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