Who won the Melbourne Cup 2012?
Green Moon ($18 chance) wins the Melbourne Cup! Runner up was Fiorente. Third Jakkalberry. Unbelievable result. The Quinella was something like 500 to 1. The Trifecta was around 48500 to 1.
Melbourne Cup 2012 Race Result:
- Green Moon
- Mount Athos
- Glencadam Gold
- Red Cadeaux
- My Quest For Peace
- Voila Ici
- Lights of Heaven
- Galileo's Choice
- Unusual Suspect
- Tac De Boistron
Many punters are wondering what happened to Ethiopia during the Melbourne Cup race and finishing a distant last. After the race Ethiopia had a strange cut above his pelvis. But the race didn't go well from the start anyway. The jockey Rhys McLeod was suspended for careless riding.
Should any punter have the correct trifecta they would have made well over $1 million on a minimum $30 bet. Perhaps for the 2013 Melbourne Cup a good strategy will be to randomly pick a bunch of trifectas at low bets and high odds with an aim to hit the jackpot.
What is the Melbourne Cup race about?
There's no other race like the Melbourne Cup - the most exciting and the richest two-mile handicap in the world!
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.
When is the Melbourne Cup?
The Melbourne Cup race is held on the first Tuesday of November every year. This year the first Tuesday of November is the 6th of November 2012. The racing starts at 10.20 am, and the main event, The Emirates Melbourne Cup starts at 3pm.
The 2012 Melbourne Cup Carnival officially starts with the Derby Day on Saturday 3 November. This is followed by the Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 6, then the Oaks Day on Thursday 8, and then the Stakes Day on Staurday 10. 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 a staggering $17,444,500. Below is the racing schedule for the main raceday, the Melbourne Cup Day. Other carnival racing schedules will be added in their respective areas of this site.
Melbourne Cup Day Racing Schedule - Tuesday, 6 Nov 2012
(Race 7 is the Emirates Melbourne Cup starting at 3pm)
- Race 1 - 10.20 am Ottowa Stakes 1000m $121,500.
- Race 2 - 11.00 am TAB Sportsbet Handicap 1700m $101,500.
- Race 3 - 11.45 am Lavazza Long Black Handicap 2800m $101,000.
- Race 4 - 12.30 pm Herald Sun Stakes 1400m $201,500.
- Race 5 - 1.15 pm Schweppes Tonic 100 1000m $101,500.
- Race 6 - 2.00 pm Lexus Hybrid Plate 1400m $151,500.
- Race 7 - 3.00 pm Emirates Melbourne Cup 3200m $6,200,000.
- Race 8 - 3.55 pm Johnnie Walker Stakes 1800m $151,500.
- Race 9 - 4.35 pm MSS Security Sprint 1200m $151,500.
- Race 10 - 5.25 pm Handicap 1400m $101,500.
The Melbourne Cup prize money is split between the top 10 runners. The 1st takes $3,600,000, 2nd $900,000, 3rd $450,000, 4th $250,000, 5th $175,000, 6th to 10th each get $125,000.
How to get to Flemington to watch the Melbourne Cup?
The Melbourne Cup race is run on the Flemington Racecourse just north west of Melbourne city.
At Flemington there is limited public parking available - enter from Smithfield Road at the Stables Drive entrance. Get in early (opens at 8.30am) to secure a spot. If it is full you may be able to find parking nearby. But note that the racecourse area is huge and even if you did find parking you could end up walking for miles. This is why most people take the train as the station is right in front of the racecourse.
If you need to drive you will be better off parking in Footscray and taking a taxi from there to the racecourse. There are two car parks is Footscray, one at Footscray McDonalds and another at the Western General Hospital.
Public transport is readily available, convenient and highly recommended. Here are two handy PDF maps that you can print and take with you: train map and tram map.
Flemington Racecourse History
Robert Fleming who kept a few head of cattle and ran a nondescript butchery on the banks of the Maribyrnong, probably had no inkling that his name would become associated with a global event that served to put Australia on the world map. His land became part of the Melbourne Racecourse that later on developed into the Flemington Racecourse in the 1860s, encompassing a massive 320 acres.
Its humble beginnings in 1861, when it was little more than a haphazard path cut out among tall grass, has now transformed to a pear shaped beauty with vital statistics loved by jockeys from down under and all over. It is synonymous with the Melbourne Cup Day that has made it well known among racing aficionados. The race takes off on an anticlockwise direction on a course incorporating graceful sweeping curves and a long straight ending at the winning post. There is also a 1200 metre straight known as the "Straight Six," from the pre-metric system era, when the distance was denoted as six furlongs.
R.C.Bagot, the first Secretary of the newly formed Victoria Racing Club took his job seriously and played a huge part in the phenomenal growth and development of the racecourse on an upward trajectory that soon showed results. The New Years Day Bagot Handicap is in recognition of his remarkable contribution to the VRC and a race crazy public. In 1925, the Old Members Grandstand was built and presented to the public, followed by the four tiered Hill Stand strategically located in front of the winning post, in 1977. This place boasts exclusive restaurants, bars, and bookmakers, or anything a racegoer's heart might desire.
The Birdcage which today houses the horses before the races, was earlier the place where gentlemen paraded their female partners in all their finery, signifying the rather inglorious name. Thankfully this practice faded into obscurity during the 1960s. A new Grandstand was opened at a cost of $45 million to accommodate the rising numbers in 2000.
Today the Flemington racecourse is one of the most beautiful spots in the city of Melbourne. View location on Google Maps. The place blazes in a colourful riot of roses and well manicured greens that impresses visitors and thrills the locals with pride. There are about eleven gardeners who take personal pride in getting the place all spruced up and flowering in time for the descending horde of racegoers. The race ground pays tribute to the legendary Phar Lap in the form of a true to life bronze statue. A similar honour is to be bestowed on Makybe Diva for her awesome record of three consecutive wins.
This historic race course has now been placed on the National Heritage List right along side the Sydney Opera House, giving Melbourne an opportunity for chest thumping and yet another reason to celebrate.
Location: Flemington, Victoria, Australia
Circumference: 2312 metres
Straight: 450 metres
Comments: Spacious wide track with long sweeping turns. Straight track racing for 1000-1200m racing.
View larger track map
The principal partner of the 2012 Melbourne Cup is Emirates. They also get the naming rights to the cup i.e. Emirates Melbourne Cup Day. Major partners also include AAMI, Crown, James Boag and MYER. Other notable partners include Lexus, Tabcorp, Hilton, Longines, and many more.
Emirates is also the principal sponsor of Stakes Day. The amount that Emirates pays for these principal sponsorships is probably a secret but it must be well over a million dollars. Victoria Racing Club sells sponsorship packages during the Melbourne Cup Carnival to all of the 36 races offering naming rights and trophy presentations and more. The cost for this is roughly $100,000 per race, except the Melbourne Cup race itself, which is probably five or 10 times that amount.
Who won the Melbourne Cup last year?
The Melbourne Cup in 2011 was won by Dunaden. In a photo finish Dunaden edged Red Cadeaux to the post by a nose. After several minutes the racecourse judges announced the winner and the first four were; Dunaden, Red Cadeaux, Lucas Cranach and American.
All but Lucas Cranach are hopefuls for this year's cup. Dunaden is a slight odds favourite over Americain. History shows that it is very difficult to win back to back "Cups". And winning in non-consecutive years has been done only once by Peter Pan.
Did you know that the Melbourne Cup winner is invited with expenses paid by the Japan Racing Association to the 2013 Tenno Sho 3200m (Spring race) to run against Japan's finest stayers? Not many have taken up on the offer. Makybe Diva did in 2005, but finished a distant 7th.
Where to bet on the 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. Right now we are also lucky to be witnessing a "new phase of the internet" - mobile. It's still the same internet as we know it, but smart phones and tablets are changing the way we consume it.
So much so that Telstra has doubled its mobile capacity at Flemington with a new base station. Optus also has upgraded infrastructure near Flemington and will set up temporary towers for race days. This tells us that mobile betting at Flemington is so popular that telcos fear that the shear amount of mobile bets placed by punters will clog up the networks.
In regards for WiFi Tabcorp usually offers free wireless internet access in the Nursery car park areas during the Carnival. Not sure how good the signal is but it is an option.
If you are interested about mobile betting and how to start punting through your iPhone, iPad or Android visit Mobilebetting.com.au or see the QR code to scan on your right.
At the Flemington racecourse there are several ways how to place a bet. At the racecourse you can find bookies with their boards and prices. Simply walk up to them to place your bets. There's also a TAB at the racecourse.
If you don't have a smart phone you can still bet at the racecourse. You may find Sportingbet's 'Bet Van' useful. It offers convenient computerised betting portals. Simply register an account online and then locate the Bet Van and login with your details.
Did you know that just in New South Wales, TAB punters alone wagered $58 million on the Melbourne Cup in 2011? And that's just through NSW TABs. Add to that the rest of Australia, the on-course bookmakers at Flemington and all of the online bookmakers and then you'll get an idea of the amount of money bet on the "Cup"!
How to pick a Melbourne Cup winner?
Call it superstition, or whatever, but if the horse you fancy to win draws an "unlucky" barrier, which has never produced a winner in the Cup's 152-year long history, then it might not be a good bet!
That doesn't mean that e.g. barrier 15 (has never won) is any worse than barrier 14 (one of the most successful). It's just one of those things that can't be explained so you may opt not to bet on any "unlucky" barriers to increase your chances.
In the 2011 Melbourne Cup I couldn't believe that punters were pouring money on Americain even after he drew the unluckiest barrier #15. Besides this he had already won in 2010. It is extremely difficult to win back to back Melbourne Cups and I just didn't believe he was the "miracle horse" to make it a double, and also to break a 151-year barrier hoodoo. I guess lucky me since American came fourth in 2011. American is again in 2012 one of the favourites but I'm still not betting on him, but this time due to his age. Seven year olds have only won the Cup ten times and besides at his age improvement is very difficult to achieve. The ideal age for a Melbourne Cup runner is between four and six years. This doesn't mean that Americain can't win the Melbourne Cup again. In my personal view it is just unlikely.
Betting online offers the best odds so ideally place your bets a couple of days prior to the race. Immediately after the final field is called is the best time to get good odds before they get too short.
The current betting odds, prior to the final declarations, are known as all-in betting odds. If you bet prior to the final field has been declared you have a chance of getting excellent odds. However if the horse is withdrawn for whatever reason prior to being nominated you will not get a refund on your bet. This is standard bookmaker policy. It's a risky venture and that is why "all-in odds" are for serious punters, or gamblers.
If you are considering such a bet you can reduce your chances by selecting an Australian-based runner that is being trained for the Melbourne Cup. This limits your risk of betting on a more risky international runner which has yet to make the long trip to Australia. For example Manighar (trained by Peter Moody) and Niwot (won the 3200m Sydney Cup in April 2012) are both in Australia and have been racing great.
Melbourne Cup runners are some of the best stayers in the world and any of them can win on their best day. The selection criteria for the Melbourne Cup handicap is rigorous. Anywhere from 100 to 300 hopeful stayers are tipped to be Melbourne Cup runners each year, but at the end there can be only 24. The 24 is the Final Field and each of the 24 "finalists" will have paid in excess of $50k to be there. So a lot is at stake not only for punters for also for the owners, trainers, and jockeys.
A good way to measure final field form is to check the prior wins or placings in the following "Melbourne Cup lead-up races":
- Lexus Stakes (2500m), Victoria Derby (2500m) run on the Saturday prior to Melbourne Cup Day.
- LKS Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) run late October.
- Cox Plate (2040m) run in October.
- Caulfield Cup (2400m) run in late September.
- Doncaster Cup (UK) (3621m) run in September.
- Irish St. Leger (IRE) (2816m) run in September.
- Tenno Sho (JPN) (3200) run in late April or early May.
Learn more about Melbourne Cup handcapping strategy.
The Melbourne Cup is a grueling 3200 metre handicap that suits chasers (a horse that has the fitness to charge from behind). For the jockey timing is everything, push too early and your runner will tire, push too late and others will be too far to catch up. Just look at some of the videos at the top of the page to see the type of horse that can win at 3200m. Think Red Cadeaux last year - a 31 chance compared to Dunaden (a 9.00 chance) lost only by a nose-length after a charge from mid-field.
Barriers 11 and 14 are the most successful barriers, but barriers 12 and 15 have never won.
Age of Winners
Four and five-year-olds have the best record with 43 wins each. Six year olds have 29 wins. Here are some recorded age of winners:
3 year old - 23 wins.
4 year old - 43 wins.
5 year old - 45 wins.
6 year old - 28 wins.
7 year old - 10 wins.
8 year old - 2 wins.
Caulfield Cup Edge
Caulfield Cup runners have won 14 of the last 31 Melbourne Cups. Also the Geelong Cup is becoming an important lead-up race. Both Dunaden and Americain won the Geelong Cup prior to winning the Melbourne Cup.
Five international raiders have won since 1993, and the last two winners were trained in France (American in 2010 and Dunaden in 2011). Significantly many more have placed 2nd and 3rd!
Bart Cummings Factor
A winner of 12 Cups, Bart always has a potential winner in the field!
The Shortest and Longest Odds.
Shortest priced facourites:
1.73 - Phar Lap (1930, won).
2.00 - Phar Lap (1929, was 3rd).
2.50 - Duke Foote (1912, was 14th).
2.75 - Revenue (1901, won).
2.75 - Lanius (1917, was 6th).
2.75 - Manfred (1925, was 2nd).
2.75 - Beau Vite (1940, was 4th).
2.75 - Howe (1948, was 5th).
2.75 - Redcraze (1956, was 2nd).
2.75 - Gay Icarus (1971, was 9th)
The longest priced favorites to have won:
101 - The Pearl (1871, won).
101 - Wotan 100/1 (1936, won).
101 - Old Rowley (1940, won).
81 - Rimfire (1948, won).
31 - Tawrrific (1989, won).
The Highest Winning Margin
The highest winning margins ever in the Melbourne Cup were:
Eight lengths - Archer (1862) and Rain Lover (1968).
Seven lengths - Colonus (1942).
Six lengths - Archer (1861), Newhaven (1896), Artilleryman (1919) and Russia (1946).
Highest Winning Weights
The highest weight ever carried in Melbourne Cup was 68 kg for Phar Lap back in 1931. Phar Lap, in his last Melbourne Cup campaign in 1931, carried a 10 stone, 10 pound (68 kg) handicap. Even a horse with a heart as big as Phar Lap's couldn't overcome the extra weight and finished a distant eight.
Other highest winning weights include:
10st 5 lb (65.5 kg) - Carbine (1890).
10st 2 lb (64.5 kg) - Archer (1862).
10st 0 lb (63.5 kg) - Poitrel (1920).
Lightest Winning Weights
The lightest ever horses to win the Melbourne Cup include:
Banker (1863) - 33.5 kg.
Zulu (1881) - 36 kg.
Lantern (1864) - 39.5 kg.
Briseis (1876) - 40 kg.
Shorten your chances by picking a winning number!
Number 1: 11 wins.
Number 4: 11 wins.
Number 12: 10 wins.
Number 8: 8 wins.
Number 11: 7 wins.
To make punting on the cup more fun do your own form analysis. It really isn't that difficult.
Melbourne Cup Facts
Horse racing has its moments -- well-known ones that go straight into the pages of history, and lesser known ones that cause amusement or nervous breakdowns in the few who experience them or bear witness to them (Black Caviars' race at Ascot comes to mind). While the famous events are talked about and repeated especially when the Spring Carnival draws near, the lesser known ones are more or less forgotten, or remain half-remembered anecdotes in smaller circles.
The Barb, winner of the Cup in 1866 was stolen from his paddock in Bathurst by bush rangers. These folks were well-known for their tendency in this direction and specialised in easy money making ventures that won them a lot of profit. But surprisingly the horse was found in Caloola quite unharmed though a bit disoriented. Those in the know later attributed his escape to his foul temper that the bush rangers probably found too much to handle.
Minor misunderstandings may have caused a few bets to be lost when in 1866 two horses named Falcon ran the race. This happened again in 1867 which saw two Tim Whifflers. This time round they were more prepared and named them Sydney Tim and Melbourne Tim, and the race was won by the former. Sydney Tim's mother has been immortalised by a painting called Whiffler's Mother, and this adorns a wall in the Victoria Racing Club committee room.
1876 saw the winning horse Briseis jockeyed by a thirteen year old aboriginal boy Peter from St. Albans, who is to date the youngest jockey to have won the Melbourne Cup. In all likelihood this is one record that shall remain unbroken.
In 1881 the tension was reported to be fever pitch and a dog that couldn't stand it any longer ran onto the track and upset proceedings considerably. But the winner, a lame pony named Zulu, had a single track mind and wasn't unduly upset by the canine's over enthusiasm. The fate of the hound is not known.
In 1895, Mark Twain while on a lecture tour Down Under, was fascinated by all the fuss taken over a horse race. In his world famous book Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World he records his amazement noting, "Nowhere in the world have I encountered a festival of people that has such a magnificent appeal to the whole nation. The Cup astonishes me."
It is an interesting fact that the first ever film newsreel shot in Australia is that of the Melbourne Cup Day in 1896. This was also the first ever Cup Day to be captured on film. This would make Newhaven the winning horse, the first media horse celebrity.
In 1925, the Melbourne radio station 3LO broadcast a live commentary of the Cup for the very first time. Race-caller, Eric Welch gave a dramatic version of proceedings right up to the point where Windbag won the event.
In 1948, for the very first time photofinishing was used to decide the winner, and Rimfire won over Dark Marne by a nose length. He was the great-great grandson of the hall of famer Carbine.
1983 saw an unprecedented upset when Kiwi, being last at the turn, ran for his life and went on to win the Cup. His training mainly consisted of herding sheep, and that was all the experience he had. But against all odds, he just did what came naturally to him and ran for all he was worth.
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. There are other events that lead to and from this great day on the Aussie calendar.
Horse racing is not confined to those few days in November; rather it is a common event in this sport loving country. But it is this season that acquires an importance that is hard to ignore. Come November and all roads lead to Flemington. On the Saturday before the Cup day the party begins with Victoria Derby. While the horses, their owners, and the jockeys are totally absorbed on how to win the race, a good part of the audience have slightly different pre-occupations. The Derby Day has grown over the past and now one of the major side shows is the Fashion on the Field for men. This has become such a popular event that in 2006, it out did the Melbourne Cup Day in attendance figures.
The following Tuesday is D-day, and the race that stirs a nation to passion. From Flinders St. to Flemington you see the carnival atmosphere evident in the crowds all expectant and excited. Fancy hats bob along the streets, and the colours of spring are everywhere. Melbournians dress for this event as if there were a red carpet to walk on. Though most have to trudge along soggy turf on stilettos that sometimes get bogged down, it definitely doesn't come close to bogging down the spirits. The atmosphere is electric and buzzing with animation. And when it is all over, there's no depressing anticlimax because there's always tomorrow, and that's Oaks Day.
Oaks Day sometimes outdoes all other related events by its sheer enjoyment factor. This is the Ladies Day out that the ladies take to heart. The Fashion on the Field on this day is for the ladies and the judges really have a job on their hands. It is also called blokes day for they seem to enjoy the sights as well, and I'm not talking about the scenic landscapes. The horses do their racing and are cheered enthusiastically, but the fashion competition is what wins money for the lucky few in the audience.
And then comes the last day of the Carnival, the Stakes Day, which is fittingly nominated as Family Day. On this day the kids have their Fashion on the Field Day and win huge prizes for the whole family. They get to interact with TV stars, play games, go on rides and simply enjoy themselves. They of course get to see the horses run like mad to win their prizes. That brings the curtains down on a series of equestrian events that held a nation in thrall. One can only wonder if the horses realise what the fuss is all about.
Victoria Derby Day
If it weren't for Victoria Derby Day, you wouldn't have known there were so many suave men in Melbourne. It's the day when men who believe a folded handkerchief is the epitome of urbanity, actually let their wives or girlfriends go crazy telling them what to wear and how to walk.
Traditionally, Victoria Derby takes place the Saturday before the Melbourne Cup Day. It all started way back in history in the year 1855, and is even today considered an exhibition of raw animal power, speed, and thrill that captivates, and holds you in thrall. This event is the first of a group of four that marks the culmination of a series of racing events which had been going on around the city for about fifty odd days. It is the first in the final group that takes place in the fabulous Flemington grounds. This would be followed by the actual Cup Day, Oaks Day, and Stakes Day. About nine group 1 races take place on this day and there is a dedicated audience that watch without blinking or letting go of their binoculars. Sharing the limelight with the thoroughbreds are the men in suits and hats participating in the Men's Fashion on the Field.
But for some it is the carnival atmosphere, the heady champagne, great food, wonderful company of friends, and the marvelous spring weather that does it. They love those horses to death, but don't speak horse; they do place bets, but are too lazy to find good odds and usually just pick a number they fancy; and they do know who most of the jockeys are, but are more excited by the celebrities. And they're happy and excited for whoever wins.
Popular and past Derby Day winners include Phar Lap (1929), Elvstroem (2003), Efficient (2006) and the fastest ever around the track was Star Of The Realm in 1991.
Melbourne Cup Day
Whether it is construed as a tribute to the fine animals, or as a mark of Australians' love for horses, the Melbourne Cup Day is when the whole country concentrates its collective attention on the fabulous race grounds of Flemington.
Every TV set in the country would be tuned into the event, just about every Australian has a punt on Melbourne Cup, and this would have to be the topic of conversation in every pub or sidewalk. Come 3 o'clock and there is a collective holding of breaths... to be let out in a mighty whoop when the winner rushes in like lightning.
The first ever race for the Melbourne Cup was run in 1861 by seventeen horses and it has been a regular event since then. In the forty odd years since, it has thrown up legends such as Phar Lap and Makybe Diva, horses more famous than their owners or the jockeys who rode them to success. This goes to prove that it really is all about the horses, even though side shows have made the horse racing event a lot more popular with a lot more people. A name such as Makybe Diva is sure to prick your curiosity as to its origins. It was coined by the owner of the horse, Tony Santic, from the first syllables of the names Maureen, Kylie, Belinda, Diane, and Vanessa - all workers in his tuna factory.
The naming of Phar Lap has a colourful background. The name derives from the Thai word for lightning. Phar Lap also had many nicknames. He was called the Wonder Horse, Red Terror, Bobby and Big Red (he truly was a big horse). The name suggested first was 'farlap' but this was changed 'pharlap' to create a seven letter word in keeping with the dominant naming pattern of prior Melbourne Cup winners, including names such as Carbine, Windbag, Bitalli, Poitrel, and Sasanof and Piastre and others.
This is an occasion when women dress to thrill and turn out in designer clothes with accessories to match from head to foot. Outfits from the flamboyant to the bizarre are worn with élan, with matching hats that range from the stylish to those that resemble road kill (maybe less so these days). Now that we have the attention of the world, this would be the time and the venue for designers to present their efforts, and so knockout designs are displayed to advantage with awards for the best. Not to be outdone men of all ages turn out in their sartorial best too. In fact you can be certain you won't spot denim anywhere in the vicinity. This has got to be the most spectacular, if not the biggest, outdoor fashion event anywhere. And the best thing about it is that it is so easy to join in if you have the nerve, or the false courage supplied by champagne. After spending a fortune on a dress, handbag, hat and shoes, the least you can do is win a prize for it!
Oaks Day originated in 1861 and was noted as the event after the Melbourne Cup Day. It was just the Thursday after the Tuesday and nothing that could upstage the glory of the cup day.
In 1962, some one in the Victorian Racing Club had a brain wave to enliven proceedings a bit. Introduce a Fashion on the Field event that would have the ladies all a flutter, vying for the best dressed award that would give them something to get really excited about for a whole day. We'll never know what prompted this outrageous piece of mental aberration, but the ladies welcomed it with open arms. This horse racing thing was all very well, but after all that brouhaha it lasted about 3 minutes; tell us about that.
The move to woo women onto the race tracks was a stroke of genius that set off a womens movement with a difference. What started as an attention seeking gimmick turned the event on its head and rewrote a few rules. Understandably there were some who thought all this "nonsense" would spell demise for what was basically an equestrian event, far removed from female fashion as anything could be. But fortunately for all concerned including the majestic horses, they were proved very, very wrong and the event has grown from gauche to poised sophisticate. It has of course, seen various changes take place and now includes a host of awards for Classic Race wear, Design, and Millinery.
Oaks Day has succeeded in winning international attention for the Carnival as a whole and this superb fun event is Melbourne' gift to horse racing events the world over. Most similar events have now incorporated fashion into what would otherwise be a mere sweaty, betting and boozing male prerogative. Celebrity judges and international media personalities have added to the glamour and over all feel good element, and you're left in no doubt as to the immense proportions of this mega event.
The ladies have now taken over this carnival which also races horses. The amount of exuberance and energy that the Oaks Day lends to the Carnival has to be seen to be believed. Women gather in their thousands dressed in gorgeous outfits and magnificent hats, all made up and dolled up with their best foot forward. A designer hat, handbag and a glass of champagne are mandatory accessories. Though most are aware that there is a horse race imminent and are heavily into the betting scene, there are at least a few who wouldn't know the front end of a horse from its rear if they bumped into one.
Past Oaks Day winners fittingly include: Miss Finland, Serenade Rose, Special Harmony, Magical Miss and Lovelorn. Is this some freaky coincidence or what!?
Stakes Day would have to be the perfect ending to a perfect event. This event signals the end of the Spring Racing Carnival, and is supposed to be a Family Day with special emphasis on the kids.
On Stakes Day kids whoop it up with a whole lot of activities that are perfect to keep their thrill levels high -- Jumping Castle, Animal Farm, and even Mini golf. The whole event goes to show that when Emirates does something, they do so in style. They even have a Kids Fashions on the Field which really has to be the cutest show on earth. Stakes Day is when kids get to show off some fashion and moms and dads can send their wine-stained party wear to the dry cleaners. They are judged by celebrities and come under two categories -- junior and teens. The lucky winners get to win fabulous prizes that include overseas trips for the whole family. Kids also get to go on rides, have their faces painted and play various games and of course, watch the horse race, which is what it is really about. Not surprisingly, there are many tots who go back home that day having decided they want to be jockeys when they grow up.
This day is for the ultimate horse racing fanatic who didn't get enough of it in the past ten days. Most mortals are raced out by the Cup day or at least by Oaks Day, and would be happy to catch the rest of it on TV. But apparently there are the die hard fans of the equestrian sport who are bent on squeezing out all they can. There are also the wiser ones who gave the go by to all the insanely overcrowded affairs, and attend the more sober, sedate Stakes Day when the hyper active elements of society are at home nursing hangovers the size of a horse.
On Stakes Day the attention shifts back to the horses as the family oriented audience realizes this is the last chance they have, to witness the majesty of a horse running at full speed ahead, with the jockeys perched so precariously on their backs. This is the last chance to hear the thundering hooves come rumbling from a distance and gets closer by the second. This is also when you notice the beautiful blooms and the shrubs and trees that go to make this one of the most beautiful, lively places in this splendid city, and decide that you definitely have to come again next year.
Recent Stakes Day winners include Divine Madonna, Valedictum, Sky Cuddle, Titanic Jack, Scenic Peak, Desert Eagle and Testa Rossa.