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“The Race That stops a nation”

MELBOURNE CUP – the thoroughbred horse race

The Melbourne Cup is the biggest domestic sporting event in Australia or has been for much of its history. The actual race runs about three and a half minutes in duration, covering 3200 metres, and begins at 3pm, AEDT.[2]

The “Cup” was first run in 1861 and since 1875, is now held “The First Tuesday in November”.[3] The race was won by Archer.

The entire Nation stops to watch!

At the races, people dress up – many women wear their best or most colorful hats or fascinators and dresses, with some

participating in fashion parades on the field. Marquees are set up for VIP guests, including local, national and international celebrities, who attend this festive event. Champagne, wine and gourmet finger foods are usually served on this day.

Although it is not a declared National public holiday, celebrations also occur in people’s homes, offices and other venues throughout Australia.[4]

A good portion of the Australian Mayflower Society Members that reside here in Australia will take part in some type of celebration on this day.

This year the winner was Without A Fight.

Author: Connie Lynn Riley

[1] Vivienne McCredie, “The Race that Stops a Nation”, 3 November 2020, The Footy Almanac,, accessed 27 October 2023 [2] Kyle French, “Melbourne Cup 2023”, 18 October 2023, Racenet,, accessed 27 October 2023 [3] Shane H., “Fun Facts about the Melbourne Cup”, Ranvet,,accessed 27 October 2023 [4] Alex Gionfriddo, “Horse racing and the Melbourne Cup”, 2 Feb 2023, State Library Victoria,, accessed 27 October 2023

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