The Melbourne Cup is the crown jewel of the Australian horse racing calendar. First run in 1861, the Melbourne Cup is steeped in social, fashion related and cultural tradition.
Each year on the first Tuesday of November, the greatest thoroughbreds from across the globe make their way to Flemington Racecourse for a shot at the prestigious title and a chance at the AU$6.2 million in prize money.
Covering 3,200 meters, it is the richest turf race in the world and second only to the US $10 million Dubai World Cup.
It is commonly billed as the race that stops a nation —and it truly is. At 3 pm, Australians from all walks of life religiously stop what they are doing to clamber for a view of the race at bars, pubs, offices and schools all around the country.
The race creates a celebratory atmosphere combining the best of what Melbourne has to offer—food, wine, sport, fashion and gambling.
Fashions on the Field was established in 1962 to encourage more women to the races. Fifty years on and it is now as much of an icon as the race itself, with hundreds of fashion hopefuls competing in Australia’s most prestigious outdoor fashion event.
Celebrities, VIPs and fashionistas all don their best race-wear to compete for prizes. Here’s your chance to feel like an A-lister and grab that designer dress or suit.
Of course, no Cup outfit is complete without a touch of spring color. The official flower for the Emirates Melbourne Cup is the yellow rose and this can be bought from a variety of sellers near the entrance to the racecourse.
The huge crowds of over 100,000 are there for more than just a horse race. Whether socializing in one of the corporate marquees, dining in one of the excellent restaurants or dancing up a storm, the excitement is unique to this event. Those looking to continue the party usually end up at one of the many private events or dockside at the Crown Casino if they are still feeling lucky.