Why Is The Melbourne Cup ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’?

in Melbourne


From Melbourne to Maroochydore, Kalgoorlie to Kangaroo Island and everywhere in between, the Melbourne Cup is the horse race that truly captivates all of Australia, the race that stops a nation. Year after year on the first Tuesday of November, Flemington Racecourse comes alive with glamour, glory and of course, the GGs. And the 2012 Melbourne Cup, the 152nd to be held, is sure to be no different.

The week long Melbourne Cup Carnival is part of the greater Spring Racing Carnival, but Australia stops particularly on that first November Tuesday at 3pm AEDST for the 3+ minute, 3200 metre horse race whether they are at work, at home or out shopping.  Whatever your reasons for getting into the spirit of the Melbourne Cup Carnival – be it the fashions, the races or anything in between – once the horses leave their barrier everyone’s eyes are glued to the nearest TV screen, their ears listening intently to the nearest radio. 

You can bet on an amazing day with the Melbourne Cup


Bookmakers and betting agencies typically experience their busiest day of the year on Melbourne Cup day. In 2010 Australians nationwide gambled over $140 million on the race. Even the most inexperienced of gamblers will usually put a bet on for the race or at the very least will enter a sweepstake with workmates or family members.

We can’t forget the fashions that have become synonymous with the Melbourne Cup, not just in Melbourne alone but across the country at the many Melbourne Cup luncheons. From the Fashions In The Field on display amongst the women and men at Flemington to similar events nationwide, the fashions have become almost as big a highlight to many as the race itself. 

But ultimately the Melbourne Cup is considered ‘the race that stops a nation’ because it’s a cultural and sporting event that transcends borders. With national media coverage and millions of dollars at stake it truly becomes an event that people across the country still talk about hours and days after the winner has been crowned. Bring on the 2012 Melbourne Cup!


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Christine Molloy has 2 articles online


Christine Molloy has been watching the Melbourne Cup ever since her grandfather took her to Flemington Racecourse when she was four years old. She lives and breathes the Spring Racing Carnival, and claims to be already planning her outfit for the 2012 Melbourne Cup. Christine keeps a keen eye on the Melbourne Cup field each year by reading Racenet, Australia’s trusted resource for horse racing. 

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Why Is The Melbourne Cup ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’?

This article was published on 2012/05/28