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Melbourne Cup Day 2023: Activities, FAQs, History, Dates, and Facts About famous winners

As it is a state holiday, the majority of businesses and educational institutions close in order to accommodate all attendees.

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Melbourne Cup Day 2023 Activities, FAQs, History, Dates, and Facts About famous winners

Melbourne Cup Day 2023: This year, November 7 is Melbourne Cup Day, which is celebrated annually at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria, on the initial Tuesday of November. As it is a state holiday, the majority of businesses and educational institutions close in order to accommodate all attendees. Approximately 650 million people worldwide watch the 3,200-meter turf race live on television, whereas the attendance at Flemington is around 100,000. “Cup Day,” as it is colloquially referred to, is the preeminent horse racing occasion in Australia, which is the country with the greatest number of racecourses. It is a component of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, a weeklong celebration of style and festivities.

The History of Melbourne Cup Day

In 1840, the gold-rush settlement of Melbourne made the strategic decision to establish a horse racing track along the riverbanks. There was a ridge to the northwest that served as a vantage point for onlookers. The following year, the organizers erected scaffolding, but a formal grandstand did not materialize until 1848. The venue was subsequently renamed the Melbourne Racecourse.

The area was given the name “Flemington” by the landowner in reference to Scottish property owned by his wife. By the 1850s, all individuals were referring to the course as the “Flemington Racecourse.” It is Australia’s earliest racecourse.

In the Australian Championship Sweepstakes, horses from New South Wales, Tasmania, and New Zealand were participating as of 1859. Sydney witnessed its first-ever televised Australian sporting event, which drew 40,000 spectators. During that time, the racing power players in Melbourne conceived of a more opulent and sizable event with the potential to generate funds for the track’s development.

In 1861, the Melbourne Cup was first held. During that period of time, the Victoria Turf Club and the Victoria Jockey Club were two competing racing clubs. As a result of their disagreement, the Cup and course management were negatively impacted, the track was sabotaged, and both organizations descended into debt. Thus, in 1864, they merged to create the Victoria Racing Club, which currently serves as the governing body of Flemington. The Club was ecstatic the following year when Melbourne Cup Day was officially designated as a half-day vacation.

However, one obstacle was that the land was leased by the Victoria Racing Club rather than owned. The Victorian Racing Club Act, enacted by the government in 1871, delegated land proprietorship to the club. In 1875, the Melbourne Cup was initially held on a Tuesday. Victoria declared the day an official state holiday two years later in recognition of the event’s magnitude and significance.

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FAQs for Melbourne Cup Day

In what manner is Melbourne Cup Day observed?

Melbourne Cup Day has been commemorated in Australia ever since the inaugural race took place in 1861 at the Flemington Racecourse in Victoria. Archer came away with the victory and repeated the feat the subsequent year.

Is Melbourne Cup Day in Victoria a state holiday?

Melbourne Cup Day is a state holiday throughout the entire state of Victoria, unless a non-metro council has arranged an alternative local holiday.

How many horses perished during the 2019 Melbourne Cup?

Despite the fact that the Cup is without a doubt one of the most significant sporting occasions in Australia, 2019 has been among the most difficult years to date. A growing tide of anti-racing sentiment has emerged in the wake of the six fatalities in the Cup since 2013; protesters have seized this lamentable statistic.

A Guide to Commemorating Melbourne Cup Day

Behold the procession.

As part of the week-long Melbourne Cup Carnival, participate in a massive parade in central Melbourne the day before the race alongside thousands of others. Each participant is accompanied by a carriage or vehicle that carries the jockey and trainer.

Don a large cap.

Distinguished racing enthusiasts don sophisticated floral attire and raise a tumbler of champagne at the Victorian Race Club on Kennedy Oaks Day, one of the four race days comprising the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Today, no torn denim or T-shirts. Puffy sleeves, vivid hues, daring patterns, lace, ruffles, fanciful headpieces, and footwear designed for walking on grass grace the fashion scene for women. For the Millinery Award, Australia’s finest milliners compete on the catwalk on this day.

Make your wager.

The purse at the Melbourne Cup is the largest among all four-horse contests worldwide. For this reason, among others, the Cup is dubbed “the race that stops the nation,” as office workers throughout Australia cease their activities in order to watch the race from Melbourne at 3:00 p.m. on television or the internet.

Five famous winners’ facts that will astound you

The murder of a horse was suspected.

Phar Lap, the 1930 Melbourne Cup-winning New Zealand horse, was verified by scientists to have died of arsenic poisoning; however, foul play remains unknown.

The second winner was the initial victor.

The inaugural two races were won by a bay known as Archer in 1861 and 1862.

The woman was victorious.

The mare Makybe Diva won the event for three consecutive years, in 2003, 2004, and 2005.

That mare was swift.

Filly Auraria was the initial female to win the Melbourne Cup in 1895.

The initial record endures.

Rain Lover not only established a course record for time but also triumphed by eight lengths in 1968, the largest margin since Archer in 1862, who still holds the 10-length record. This victory marked the first of back-to-back triumphs for Rain Lover.


Year Date Day
2023 November 7 Tuesday
2024 November 5 Tuesday
2025 November 4 Tuesday
2026 November 3 Tuesday