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Flemington Racecourse, 448 Epsom Rd, Flemington VIC 3031,Flemington VIC
It’s the race that stops a nation. It also happens to be the race that brings the finest of dresses, suavest of suits and fanciest of fascinators to Melbourne’s Flemington Raceway for a day of betting and beers. Held on the first Tuesday of November, the Melbourne Cup is an iconic Australian pastime, calling the crowds from near and far to come and celebrate. A public holiday for Melbourne, cup day has been publically celebrated since 1877, with the first race being run in 1861. The original winner received a prize of £170, along with a gold watch. Among the Melbourne cup attendees are the well bred – and not just the horses.
More than a horse race, the Melbourne Cup is a fashion festivity, bringing the crème de la crème of celebrities and well known Australians to parade their outfits on the field.In true Australian style, many offices throughout the country stop work close to the main race time of 3.00pm in anticipation and celebration of the event. Others who have planned ahead take the day off, suit up and head to Melbourne to experience the event first hand. Even non-gamblers try their luck and place a bet on the day. In the lead up to the Melbourne Cup, there are many events that take place within each state, such as cup lunches and fashion parades that all add to the prestigiousness of the event. Attending the cup is a truly unique experience, with an assorted ambience of formal meets casual. The more the merrier for this occasion, with socialization the key activity. Champagne and wine are the most popular cup beverages, although when mixed with a day full of sunshine, can sometimes cause the day to end less elegantly than it began.
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