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A little about The Melbourne Cup, the leading horse racing event in Australia
casino blog
20 August 2008

A little about The Melbourne Cup, the leading horse racing event in Australia

The Melbourne Cup is Australia's largest annual thoroughbred horse race. It is one of the world's top races, and completely brings Australia to a standstill. All three-year-olds and over are eligible to compete in the race, and it covers a distance of 3,200 meters. It is regarded as the most prestigious 2-mile handicap in the world, and is held on the first Tuesday in November by the Victoria Racing Club on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.

The race was originally held over two miles, but after Australia's adoption of the metric system in the 1970s; the current race distance is 3,200 meters, knocking off the extra 18 which equaled the 2-mile mark. The record is presently held by Kingston Rule, who ran the race in 3:16.3.

The inaugural race was held in 1861 and was comprised of 17 horses competing for 170 in cash and a gold watch. It is rumored that the winner of the race, Archer, walked over 800km to participate in the race from Nowra, New South Wales. A crowd of over 4,000 watched the opening race, and the numbers would have been larger had it not been for the untimely death of explorers Burke and Wills.

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