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The Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is Australia's major annual thoroughbred horse race, held at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. It is one of the world's richest horse races. Nearly every person in Australia stops to watch or listen to this event, it is billed as 'The race that stops a nation'.

For many Australians, the first Tuesday in November is a de facto public holiday. Offices and schools close, and communities gather to watch the Melbourne Cup. This race has transcended its sporting roots to become a unifying national event. In the moments leading up to the race, there's a palpable sense of anticipation, and then, for just a few minutes, the nation comes to a standstill as the horses charge down the home straight.

Melbourne Cup horse racePhar Lap winning the 1930 Melbourne Cup (more photos)

The Melbourne Cup is held by the Victoria Racing Club on the first Tuesday each November, at 3 p.m. The race is for three-year-olds and over, and covers a distance of 3200 meters. The start of the race is in the straight, 888 meters from the finish post. The runners race past the post and complete another lap (2312 m) after that.

The 2024 Melbourne Cup is to be held on Nov 5, 2024

Future race dates:

More Melbourne Cup Information

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Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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