Melbourne Cup Day 2023: Date, Records, History

The Melbourne Cup is the most popular horse racing event held in Victoria, Australia every year on the first Tuesday of November. Horses of three years of age or over are eligible to participate in this cup which is conducted by the Victoria Racing Club on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria as part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. It is not just the richest two-mile handicap in the world and one of the richest turf races. The event starts at 3:00 pm on the first Tuesday of November and is a 3200-meter race. Also known as “the race that stops the nation”, Melbourne Cup Day is observed as a public holiday for all working within metropolitan Melbourne and some parts of regional Victoria. For federal public workers there is a holiday in the entire state of Victoria. The Melbourne Cup Day 2023 is being observed on Tuesday, November 7.

Melbourne Cup Day 2023 Date

Melbourne Cup Day 2023November 7, 2023Tuesday
Melbourne Cup Day 2024November 5, 2024Tuesday
Melbourne Cup Day 2025November 4, 2025Tuesday
Melbourne Cup Day 2026November 3, 2026Tuesday

Melbourne Cup Day 2023 Overview

Melbourne Cup Day is one of the most spectacular events in Australia that draws attention of people all over the country. As many as 100k people usually attend this event. People get dressed in traditional formal race day wear and other amusing costumes and attend the race with great enthusiasm. Also known as “the race that stops the nation, the event has its own poem of the same name written by Vivienne McCredie, a Sydney born writer, in 1986. Let us learn a little bit in detail about the Melbourne Cup Day 2023.

EventMelbourne Cup Day 2023
DateNovember 7, 2023
Observed byVictoria Racing Club
Race typeThoroughbred – Flat racing
LocationFlemington Racecourse
Inaugurated1861 (161 years ago)
Distance3,200 m (1 mi 1,740 yd)
QualificationThree-year old and up

Also check: Rugby world cup winners

History of First Melbourne Cup Day Observation

Frederick Standish, a member of the Victorian Turf Club and steward of the first thoroughbred horse race, is credited with forming the idea to hold a horse race and calling it the “Melbourne Cup”. Held first on Thursday 7 November 1861, seventeen horses participated in the first Melbourne Cup. Prize for winning was 710 gold sovereigns cash and a hand-beaten gold watch and a crowd of over 4,000 men and women gathered to see the race. On the day of the event, the attendance was the largest at Flemington on any day for the past two years. The event was a great success and was made an annual event in Victoria. Archer was the winning horse of the first Melbourne Cup.

As early as 1865, Cup day was a half-holiday in Melbourne for public servants and bank officials. Various businesses also closed at lunchtime. However, in 1973, the Gazette of 31 October announced that the Melbourne Cup Day be observed as a bank and public holiday.

The Melbourne Cup was first run on a Tuesday in 1875 and it was the first Tuesday of November month. After that it was decided that the event will be observed every year on the first Tuesday of November.

Check: Important days in November

Melbourne Cup Records

Melbourne Cup Day is observed on the first Tuesday of every November. Here are some amazing records made during the history of Melbourne Cup.

  1. Michelle Payne became the first woman jockey to win this tournament in 2015.
  2. Kingston Rule won the race in a record time of 3.16.30 in 1990.
  3. Archer in 1862 and Rain Lover in 1968 won the race by a margin of 8 lengths, the maximum winning margin till date.
  4. Most runners, a total of 39, participated in 1890 Melbourne Cup.
  5. Least number of runners, only 7, participated in 1863 Melbourne Cup.
  6. Banker with 34 kg became the lightest weight carrying winner in 1863.
  7. 8 year old Toryboy (1865), Catalogue (1938)& Twilight Payment (2020) are the oldest winners of Melbourne cup.


How much does it cost to enter a horse in the Melbourne Cup?

$600 initial entry fee plus multiple acceptance fees which is actually quite high ($45,375 for final acceptance)

Is there a holiday in all of Victoria on Melbourne Cup Day?

Some country Victorian cities and towns which hold their own spring carnivals do not observe holiday on Melbourne Cup Day.

Which horse won the first Melbourne Cup in 1861?


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