On November 6th, Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne will once again host the Race that Stops the Nation. The 2018 Melbourne Cup will feature 24 horses from across the world racing for a total prize pool of US$4.7million. Here’s everything you need to know before you attend.
More than a single race, the excuse to guzzle champagne and gamble goes on for a full week, with the Melbourne Cup Carnival comprising four race days; the AAMI Victoria Derby Day November 3; the Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on November 6; the Kennedy Oaks Day on November 8; and Stakes Day on November 10.
Fashion on the Field
Be assured, you won’t feel out-of-place in the three-piece suit you had made for the Royal Wedding. This is the one day of the year when Australians willingly ditch their flip-flops for dress shoes and six-inch heels. Top hats are in for those looking to make a mark but remember it’s coming into an Aussie summer so chances are you’ll end up in shirt sleeves before the day’s up.
Perch in The Birdcage
Ensure a premium spot at the rail with a ticket to The Perch, a chic cocktail bar located at the coveted Birdcage marquee, front and centre at the finishing line. This enclosure, home to a signature Mumm Champagne bar, is the place to be; located just a short walk from the on-course helipad, this is the perfect watering hole for gents who fancy seeing visiting celebrities, with the likes of Nicole Kidman and Sir Richard Branson attending previous Cup Days.
Last year’s winner will be topping the favourites list again this year; in 2017 Rekindling stole the victory from Johannes Vermeer and Max Dynamite, who are also set to run again in 2018, ensuring a superb day of racing. The last two Melbourne Cups were won by international horses – Rekindling from the United Kingdom and Almandin from Germany – which has increased the focus of international breeders looking for a win.
Race Day App
Stuck in a queue for cocktails? The Flemington Race Day Guide lets you watch live streaming of the racing on your phone. The app also lets you check on-field information and updates betting odds to help you pick your next favourite while you wait.
It’s not all About the Sure Things
Only 23 percent of betting favourites have won the Melbourne Cup. Outside chances often perform well, either coming home with places or even a win, so don’t just go with the crowd, mix it up with an exotic bet like an exacta, quinella, or superfecta.
If you’re heading to one of the marquees throughout Cup week, be sure to note the ever-changing dress theme. Victoria Derby Day is strictly monochrome; Lexus Melbourne Cup Day is the day to make a statement, with a theme of bold colours and standout headwear; and the “Ladies Day”, Kennedy Oaks Day, is about femininity and grace — tell your lady friend it’s all about spring pastels, floral and lace, we’re sure she’ll thank you later. You might want to skip Stakes Day, as the attention turns to children’s fashion.
Play at The Park
Included in each cup day ticket price is entry to The Park, one of the hottest destinations for anyone attending the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Located near the train station, outside the racecourse, you’ll find food, drink, and garden party vibes. Boasting pop-ups from Melbourne’s hottest food institutions and a lineup of live entertainment, The Park offers a stylish breather from the racing action, not to mention a great chance to meet the…locals.
Family Day Out
If you truly fail to find a babysitter, kids under 16 are given free entry, but they aren’t excused from the dress code. The Stakes Day is the recommended “family day”, where parents show off miniature waistcoats and hats, sported by their children. However, with over 100,000 punters expected, kids must be accompanied by an adult (how responsible they may be is down to you).
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