The Melbourne Cup

Every year in November, the race that stops the nation is held. All of Australia almost pauses, eager to see the outcome of the famous horse race. Held by the Victoria Racing Club, the Melbourne Cup is one of the richest races in the world. In 2017, around 657 million dollars was wagered by Australians throughout the course of the four-day carnival. On the first Tuesday of the month over 100,000 people flock, in their best dresses and brightly coloured suits. This iconic race is recognised across the globe and is televised to over 650 million people worldwide. The first race was held in 1861, popularity continued to grow and in 1877 the day was announced as a public holiday for those living in Victoria. The regulations for the race outline that the horse participating in the race must be three years or older and are required to run a distance of 3,200 metres. It costs 600 dollars to enter a horse and the winning prize is 3.6 million dollars for first place. All the prizes together reach a total of 6,200,000 Australian dollars. Fashion is also a main aspect of the race and one of the most popular things that occurs within the event are the fashion shows. Many women dress up on the day in hopes of possibly winning the title of best dressed. Titles also include best fascinator. Previously years ago, women at the race would wear fascinators to show their wealth and social status. Even though today, in modern society, they do not reflect the same meaning they used to- they are still a popular tradition that many women enjoy participating in. The uncommon accessories are part of the history of the race and are just another interesting element of the race that stops the nation. Businesses also use this race as an opportunity to gain profit, with many restaurants and bars throwing themed lunches and providing a comfortable place to watch the race. Many work places also have their own competitions in relation to best dressed and use it as fun interaction between work colleagues. Many people love to dress up for the occasion and parties are held across Australia. Race tracks around the country are filled with people and overall Aussies use the Cup as a day to get out and celebrate. This year will be no exception, with the Melbourne Cup expected to bring with it the usual excitement and masses of crowds. There is no doubt that Australia, and the rest of the world, will be watching. Their interest not only focused on the winner of the elusive Cup- but also on the high-end fashion, celebrations, food and good times with friends. Watched by millions we sit by and wait for yet another successful year of racing.

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