The Melbourne Cup is more than just a horse race, with this special event surrounded by a rich and vibrant culture. Off-the-track attractions include ‘Fashions On The Field” and a variety of musical entertainment, with celebrity guests, fine dining, and flowers also playing a special role in “the race that stops a nation”. The Melbourne Cup is held on the first Tuesday of November each year, with this single day of racing the major highlight of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival each year.
‘Fashions On The Field’ is an important part of the Melbourne Cup, with great prizes on offer for the best-dressed man and woman. Everyone makes an effort in the fashion stakes for the Melbourne Cup, with Flemington transformed into a fashion capital for the day. Elegant hats and fascinators also play a big role on the day, with women taking the opportunity to wear their most outlandish and spectacular head-ware.
If anything can compete with the fashion culture which surrounds the Melbourne Cup each year, it would be the flower displays that adorn Flemington Racecourse. Flowers, especially roses, are a vital part of Melbourne Cup Day, with no expense spared in making Flemington Racecourse beautiful. There are around 12,000 roses in the racecourse grounds, with 200 separate varieties looked after by a team of up to 12 gardeners. Each of the major racedays at Flemington has an official flower, and for the Melbourne Cup it is the Yellow Rose.
Thoroughbred racing culture is as rich and vibrant as ever, with this one event continuing to capture the imagination of the entire nation. In the Melbourne metropolitan area, Melbourne Cup Day has been a public holiday since 1877, with the rest of the country known to stop for long lunches and special events. It has been estimated that 80 percent of the Australian population places a bet on the Melbourne Cup each year, with the popularity of this great race continuing to expand all over the world.