Steeped in history and rich with drama, the Melbourne Cup is known as “the race that stops a nation.” The Victoria Racing Club has sponsored this important event on the Flemington Racecourse since 1861, and it has always drawn entrants from far and wide. While Melbourne Cup carnival events extend for several days, the focus is on the weekend. Here is a short guide to getting the most out of those important two days on the racing calendar.
AAMI Victorian Derby
This race for 3-year-old horses holds prize money of over $AUD 1.5 million, and it is the most important event for horses of this age anywhere in the nation. In addition to the excitement of the race, the event includes the Myer “Fashions on the Field,” Australia’s largest outdoor fashion show. Both men and women can register ahead of time to enter the competition, where their outfits will be judged according to standards of grooming, fashion sense, appropriateness, and elegance. Women’s outfits are required to include headwear, and there is also a separate millinery competition. Even for those attendees not competing in the fashion show, distinguished clothing is part of the Melbourne Cup experience, and shopping on eBay is a fun way to put together innovative and stylish weekend outfits.
Classic Race Wear
Fantasy hats are a major element in women’s fashions at the Melbourne cup, so people-watching is an especially rewarding pursuit on the race weekend. Women plan and shop for their outfits carefully ahead of time, assembling stunning millinery creations and pairing them with pencil skirts or tailored dresses. Ultra-chic high-heel shoes are important to complete the look.
The true luxury of watching the races at the Melbourne Cup cannot be fully savoured without dining at one of the gourmet restaurants located at Flemington Racecourse. Looking down onto the stalls and the city skyline from the Parade Lounge while sipping a cool drink is a world-class sporting experience, as well asenjoying the buffet in the middle of the track at the Home Straight Enclosure.Race wearfor women and jacket and tie for men are naturally expected at these formal venues.
When it’s time to step away from the field for a bit and enjoy the crisp springtime air in a quiet location, many race-goers consider touring Victoria’s wine region. Tours are available in picturesque Mornington or the Yarra Valley region, so visitors enjoy bringing along their cameras and a good appetite for Australian wine.
St. Kilda Beach
Just 6 kilometres south of Melbourne’s centre is the city’s most famous shoreline. A barefoot stroll along St. Kilda beach is a nice change from the formality of the Melbourne Cup. From the sand and grass, it’s possible to view windsurfers and sailors on the bright water, and some people even swap out their formal race wear for bathers and roller blades for a few hours of the carnival weekend.
The city of Melbourne has a vast array of attractions for attendees at the Melbourne Cup. This springtime weekend is an ideal chance for visitors to fit in as many events and experiences as their days can hold.