If you’re interested in experiencing the 2015 edition of the ‘Race that Stops a Nation™’, the Emirates Melbourne Cup then look no further! See some stunning fillies on and off the track and be a part of the electric atmosphere of the 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival with a package from Sportsnet Holidays – Official Tourism Operator of the Melbourne Cup Carnival! 2015 packages coming soon will include: Official Tickets; a great range of centrally-located, quality Melbourne hotel options; your choice from a fantastic range of exclusive experiences including our renowned Cup Day Gala Breakfast at Palladium at Crown, and much more!
Sound good?! Then please take a quick few moments to complete the form below to have one of our travel consultants contact you when our 2015 package details are confirmed discuss getting you to one of the world’s most iconic horse races courtesy of one of our fantastic 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival packages!
CHECK OUT OUR RANGE OF 2015 MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL PACKAGES!
MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL FACTS
The Melbourne Cup is a 3,200 meter thoroughbred race for three-year-olds and over. It is the richest two-mile handicap in the world, held at 3pm on the first Tuesday of November. Since it’s inception, The-Race-That-Stops-A-Nation has been held at the Flemington Racecourse, just 6km from Melbourne’s CBD. The oldest continuing metropolitan racecourse, Flemington has been in operation since March 1840 and held the first Melbourne Cup in 1861 in front of an estimated crowd of 4,000 people. Originally held on a Thursday, Cup Day was eventually moved to a Tuesday and has since been run on the first Tuesday of November. It wasn’t until 1873 that the Melbourne Cup was declared to be a Victorian public holiday, having previously been a half day for public servants and bank officials. By 1880, 100,000 people (A third of Melbourne’s population) were making the journey to Flemington to watch the Melbourne Cup. A stallion by the name of Archer was the winner of the first 2 Melbourne Cup races. In his 2nd year, Archer won the race by 8 lengths; a record which has never been beaten.
The Melbourne Cup takes over 200 hours to create
For the first four years in which the Melbourne Cup was held, the winner was awarded a gold watch. The first Melbourne Cup trophy was awarded in 1865 and was manufactured in England. It wasn’t until 1876 when the first Australian produced Melbourne Cup trophy was manufactured in Australia. The Cup went through a number changes over the following years, with designs ranging from olive wreaths to an image of a galloping horse on a 3-foot-long plaque. It was in 1919 when James Steeth’s three-handled iconic design, still used today was first presented. Each year, a new trophy is hand-made from 34 pieces of gold metal, beaten for over 200 hours. The trophy becomes the property of the winning owner/s and since 2008, each trophy has contained 1.65kg of 18-carat gold with an approximate value of $125,000.
PRIZES AND ATTENDANCE
The Melbourne Cup is the richest two-mile handicap horse race in the world and one of the richest turf races. From the original prize being a gold watch and £710, the prize money has increased steadily over the years. In 1985 the prize money reached $1,000,000 and is now $6,200,000 plus a $125,000 trophy. The prize money is divided between the first 10 past the post, with the winner receiving around $3,300,000 and tenth place receiving approximately $115,000. With as estimated attendance of 4,000 people at the first race in 1861, the Melbourne Cup now attracts over 100,000 attendees each year to Flemington Racecourse which has a maximum capacity of 120,000.
‘Fashions on the Field’ entrants
As much as the Melbourne Cup Carnival is about horse racing, it’s also become synonymous with fashion and style. Fashions On The Field has been a part of the Melbourne Cup since 1962 and has become a major focus of Cup Day with prizes awarded for the best-dressed man and woman. In 1965 model, Jean Shrimpton, wore a miniskirt on Derby Day, receiving worldwide publicity. Today, Fashions On The Field sees numerous award recipients throughout the Carnival ranging from Millinery (Hat design), to People’s Choice, to National Racewear.
TRIVIA & RECORDS
– Makybe Diva has accrued the most wins by a horse, winning the Melbourne Cup 3 years consecutively from 2003 – 2005.
– The most wins by a jockey stands at four with two riders sharing the title: Bobby Lewis and Harry White.
– Bart Cummings (The Cups King) holds the record for most wins by a trainer. Bart has twelve Melbourne Cup wins to his name
– Four owners share the record for most wins: John Tait, Etienne de Mestre, Dato Tan Chin Nam and Lloyd Williams.
– The fastest winning time is held by Kingston Rule who finished the race in 3.16.30 in 1990.
– The record for the widest winning margin of 8 lengths is shared between Archer and Rain Lover.
– The heaviest weight carried by a winner was 66kg, carried by Carbine. Makybe Diva holds the record for a mare, having carried 58kgs in her 2005 win.
– The most runners in a race was 39 in 1890
– The fewest runners in a race was 7 in 1863
– 23% of the listed favourite horses have won the Melbourne Cup
WHAT’S A HANDICAP?
In horse racing, a handicap is a specified weight which each horse must carry, called the impost. Weights are added to the saddle to supplement the combined weight of the saddle and jockey up to the designated impost. Older horses carry more weight than younger horses and under the “quality handicap” formula, superior horses are given a less severe weight penalty. The minimum handicap weight is 49kg and the top allocated weight must not be less than 57kg. The weight which each horse must carry is declared in September by the Victorian Racing Club Handicapper.
WHEN IS THE DRAW?
Entries to the Melbourne Cup usually close during the first week of August. The initial entry fee is $600 per horse and around 300-400 horses are nominated each year, with this number eventually whittled to 24 starters. The owner of each horse must declare the horse as an acceptor on four more occasions before the race. On each of these occasions the owner must pay an additional fee. The acceptance fee starts at $960 and the final acceptance is $45,375. If a horse is balloted out of the final field, the final fee is refunded.
Horses charging down the straight at Flemington
To reduce the field to the safety limit of 24, horses are balloted out based on a number of factors including: Prize money earned in the previous 2 years, wins or placings in lead-up races and allocated handicap weight. The winners of any of the following races are exempt from any ballot:
– Lexus Stakes
– Victoria Derby
– LKS Mackinnon Stakes
– Cox Plate
– Caulfield Cup
– Doncaster Cup (UK)
– Irish St. Leger (IRE)
– Tenno Sho (JPN)
– Sankei Sho All Comers (JPN)
– Arlington Million (USA)
– San Juan Capistrano Handicap (USA)
– Australian Stayers Challenge
MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL
AAMI VICTORIA DERBY DAY
Considered by many to be the most prestigious day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. The official flower of the AAMI Victoria Derby Day is the cornflower. The Meyer Fashions on The Field competition also commences with the focus for the day being on classic elegance. Traditionally, women wear a black and white colour scheme with men choosing a morning suit. With four races held at the elite Group 1 level and the main race being the AAMI Victoria Derby, this is the curtain raiser for the biggest week in Australian horse racing.
EMIRATES MELBOURNE CUP DAY
The-Race-That-Stops-A-Nation is the pinnacle of the Australian racing calendar and the focus of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Held at 3pm on the first Tuesday of November, the race sees the greatest thoroughbreds from around the world descend upon Flemington. The official flower for Emirates Melbourne Cup Day is the yellow rose. Cup Day is a day of daring, flamboyant fashion and often sees the most most exotic and outrageous ensembles of the Carnival.
Oaks Day is traditionally known as ‘Ladies Day’
CROWN OAKS DAY
Traditionally referred to as “Ladies Day”, the third day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival is an occasion for women to express their own signature style at Australia’s largest outdoor fashion event. Fittingly, Crown Oaks Day also sees the national final of Meyer Fashions on The Field Women’s Racewear competition. The official flower of Crown Oaks Day is the pink rose. Not to be overshadowed, the racing highlight of the day is the Group 1 Crown Oaks, with $1,000,000 at stake along with a stunning crystal winner’s trophy.
THE NITTY GRITTY OF THE MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL
There are number of toilet facilities available throughout Flemington Racecourse.
BABY CHANGE AND FEEDING FACILITIES
Baby change facilities are available at the western end of the Betting Ring and the 1st floor of the Hill Stand (Parents Room). There is also a feeding area at the eastern end of the Betting Ring.
WHEELCHAIR AND DISABILITY ACCESS
Flemington offers accessible entry points, toilets, facilities, parking and more. Click here for the Accessibility, Limited Mobility and Special Needs Guide.
Public and Member’s cloakrooms are available for cloaking of items on all race days free of charge.
Public cloakrooms are located at:
– The northeast corner of the Betting Ring,
– The Hill Stand level 1 and
– The Terrace Restaurant.
Member’s cloakrooms are located at:
– The Committee Room
– The east and west ends of the Grandstand on the Forum level
– The Chairman’s Club
– The ground floor of the Old Member’s Stand
– The first floor of the Member’s Stand.
Make sure that you collect your cloaked items at the conclusion of the race day. Unclaimed items will be available for collection between 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, or on racedays. Unclaimed items will be stored for a period of 30 days only after which time they will be discarded. Contact Customer Service on 1300 727 575 with any queries.
ATM AND EFTPOS
ATM’s and EFTPOS facilities are located at various locations on course for both the public and Members.
Melbourne (almost!) always puts on beautiful weather for the Carnival
Public ATM’s and EFTPOS:
– Outside Visitors Centre, Betting Ring East (ATM)
– Grandstand Ground (Eftpos/ATM)
– Hill Stand 1st Floor (Eftpos)
– Outside The Precinct Fence Line (ATM)
– Outside Elms Trackside Fence (Eftpos)
Members ATM’s and EFTPOS:
– Western entry, Nursery Enclosure Car Park (ATM)
– Nursery Enclosure Central at Rotunda (Eftpos)
– Rails Enclosure East (ATM)
– Birdcage Enclosure (ATM)
– The Grandstand Forum (Level 1) East (ATM)
– The Grandstand Forum (Level 1) West (ATM)
– The Grandstand View (Level 4) West (ATM)
– Tote Windows, opposite Champagne Bar (Eftpos)
– Members Car Park, outside Phar Lap Marquee (ATM)
There is wifi available on-course. Connect to “Flemington wifi” after accepting the terms and conditions to gain full access.
WHEN DO THE GATES OPEN?
Gates open at the following times:
– AAMI Victoria Derby Day – 8.30am
– Emirates Melbourne Cup Day – 8.30am
– Crown Oaks Day – 10.15am
GETTING TO FLEMINGTON
Taxi ranks are located:
– Outside the main public entrance near the rose arbour
– Leonard Crescent
– Outside the Elms turnstiles on the riverbank
Limited public car parking is available in the centre car park. A $20 parking fee applies. Racegoers should enter off Smithfield Road at the Stables Drive entrance. Undercover parking is also available at Docklands Stadium on all days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Racegoers can then walk to Southern Cross Station to catch a train to Flemington.
Flemington bound trains will depart Flinders Street Station (platform 8 & 9), stopping at Southern Cross Station (platform 14) and North Melbourne Station (platform 6), then express to Flemington. Make sure you have a valid myki for your journey.
Catch the No. 57 tram from the corner of Elizabeth and Flinders streets. Trams stop at Flemington Drive off Epsom Road. Make sure you have a valid myki for your journey.
Catch the Route 472 from Williamstown, Footscray or Moonee Ponds and alight on Fisher Parade, near the Riverbank entrance. Catch the Route 404 from Footscray or Moonee Ponds and alight on Smithfield Road. Make sure you have a valid myki for your journey.
A free shuttle bus will run from Flemington to Footscray, courtesy of Maribyrnong City Council. The service will run from after the last race until approx. 8pm. The shuttle bus will pick up passengers at Flemington Racecourse at the Hill Gate and drop them in central Footscray, a short walk to the Footscray Train Station. A free shuttle bus will also run from main turnstiles to Southern Cross Station from 4pm to 8pm on each raceday.