© 2013, Fiorente - Winner of the Melbourne Cup 2013 by mcup.com.au, on Flickr.
The Melbourne Cup: An Australian Tradition
The Melbourne Cup Carnival is known worldwide as Australia's greatest sporting event on the calendar. The week of racing is held each year at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. For Australians both local and abroad, the Melbourne Cup represents Australia's most anticipated race that literally stops the nation.
It is a public holiday in the state of Victoria and possibly the only place on earth where a horse race is so important that it has been instated as a public holiday. Even those who don't consider themselves to be usual racing punters generally like to have a flutter come the main event, the Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) handicap.
It's not just the actual horse race that captures the attention of the nation. Melbourne Cup Day is also a day where people of high society gather to be seen in all types of fashion, while tasting different types of food and consuming vast quantities of (sometimes) expensive wine. It's this one day of the year that Flemington turns into a spectacle of extravagance and indulgence. Women dress up in the very best of apparel and accessories, and the women's carnival itself is responsible for drawing in large numbers to the carnival week.
Keep in mind though, the Emirates Melbourne Cup race itself isn't the only lure that draws in the large hoards of would-be winners. There is also Derby Day, Oaks Day and Stakes Day, which all combine to form the Melbourne Cup Carnival. This carnival has a long-standing place embedded within Australian culture, and the history of the Melbourne Cup speaks for itself.
The Melbourne Cup is truly an amazing race. But it is not just a single race, it is a whole week of racing, known as the Melbourne Cup Carnival that starts with the Derby Day and ends with the Stakes Day.
Whether some people like or not, it is also about "punting on the cup", which in my opinion adds to the excitement. Although Australians are the biggest punters in the world, betting is not for everyone - but everybody can still enjoy the magnificient animals, the atmosphere, the fashion, and the wining and dining.
This iiNet website is one of the most comprehensive sites dedicated only to the Melbourne Cup. So I hope you enjoy it and you will find a minute to link to it from your Facebook page, or other site that you like. Please send suggestions, errors, typos, comments and feedback to melbournecup (at) iinet.net.au.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival
When most of the world inches towards winter, Down Under it's time to welcome spring, and we do it in style with the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
This wonderful season of fun unites Australians in a spirit of bonhomie and excitement that builds up to almost epidemic proportions by 3 p.m. on the first Tuesday of November. That's when the Melbourne Cup is won by the fastest horse in the world.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival as it is often referred to, is a week long racing extravaganza starting with the Derby Day, followed by the main event, Melbourne Cup Day, then the Oaks Day, and finally Stakes Day. Click here learn about these special days on the Aussie racing calendar.
When is the Melbourne Cup Race?
The Melbourne Cup race is held on the first Tuesday of November every year. In 2013 the first Tuesday of November is the 5th of November. The racing starts at around 10 o'clock in the morning, and the main event, the Emirates Melbourne Cup starts at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
The 2013 Melbourne Cup Carnival officially starts with the Derby Day on Saturday 2 November. This is followed by the Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 5, then the Oaks Day on Thursday 7, and then the Stakes Day on Saturday 9. Each carnival raceday features nine races. A total of 36 races are run during the entire week and the total prizemoney or "purse" value is roughly a staggering $20 million. Below is the racing schedule for the main raceday, the Melbourne Cup Day.
2013 Melbourne Cup Day Racing Calendar
- Race 1 - 10.20am Carnival Celebration Stakes
- Race 2 - 11.00am TAB Trophy
- Race 3 - 11.45am Lavazza Long Black
- Race 4 - 12.30pm Herald Sun Stakes
- Race 5 - 1.15pm Schweppes Tonic 1000
- Race 6 - 2.00pm Desirable Stakes
- Race 7 - 3.00pm Emirates Melbourne Cup
- Race 8 - 3.55pm Melbourne Cup Day Plate
- Race 9 - 4.35pm MSS Security Sprint
- Race 10 - 5.15pm Headquarters Tavern Plate
Flemington Racecourse: Getting There
The Melbourne Cup race is run on the Flemington Racecourse just north west of Melbourne city.
If driving to Flemington you will find parking by entering from Smithfield Road at the Stables Drive entrance. Get in early (gates open at 8.30 am) to secure a spot. If parking is full you may be able to find parking nearby.
Note that the racecourse area is huge and even if you did find parking on a side street you could end up walking for miles. The train is the best option as the station is in front of the racecourse.
Learn more about the Flemington racecourse and history, and find parking and transport links on the Getting There page.
Who won the Melbourne Cup last year?
The Melbourne Cup in 2012 was won by Green Moon ($18 chance). Runner up was Fiorente. Third Jakkalberry.
The favourites disappointed with Mount Athos accelerating nicely but a bit too late. Red Cadeaux, My Quest For Peace, American and Dunaden finished mid-field, while hot contender Galileo's Choice finished a distant 20th.
This is again proof that a good betting strategy is to place a couple of low trifecta bets on random runners. Had you bet $30 on a Green Moon, Fiorente, Jakkalberry trifecta you would have won 30x48500, that's $1.45 million! Even the quinella Green Moon/Fiorente was around 500 to 1, so a $30 bet on the correct quinella would have won $15,000.
The Melbourne Cup in 2011 was more predicabtle and it was won by Dunaden in a photo finish against Red Cadeaux. The photo needed to be analysed for several minutes before the racecourse judges announced the winner. The first four were; Dunaden, Red Cadeaux, Lucas Cranach and American (winner 2010).
Read up on some Melbourne Cup betting strategies here.
How to pick a Melbourne Cup winner?
Melbourne Cup punters can be superstitious, and for a good reason. There are "unlucky" barriers, which have never produced a winner in the Cup's long history!
That doesn't mean that barrier 15 (has never won) is any worse than barrier 14 (one of the most successful). There's no explanation to this phenomena, or "curse".
If you don't believe in cursed barriers then by all means bet against it, but it would mean your pick would have to break a century and half of barrier hoodoo.
Where to bet on the Melbourne Cup?
For Australians too much horse racing or sports wagering is never enough! We have always had a love affair with the race track and the horses. In racing Phar Lap is still the iconic symbol but there have been other greats as well even in recent years... think Makybe Diva and Black Caviar.
In regards to gambling, Australians are the most fearless punters in the world. This has been proven many times since the 60's. A lot has changed since the early years of bookmaking. The biggest change being the internet and the possibility to place bets online. Today it's all about mobile betting. Tomorrow..? Who knows.
If you don't have a mobile you can check out the Bet Van. Register first so that you can simply login at the bet van's computer terminal and place your bets more quickly. Besides, you will not get this fantastic double bonus offer at the van. So take advantage of the promo code AUSPUNT on this page and the double bonus will be waiting for you when you need it.
If you are keen on betting on your mobile then read our Melbourne Cup Mobile Betting Guide.