I want to see as much as I can while I’m in Melbourne so going to the Melbourne Cup was at the top of the list.
This was bigger than I anticipated. The saying “the race that stops the nation” is no joke. Cup day is actually a public holiday. Although most people stay at home and enjoy the day off, there are the crazy people like me that venture down to the race track.
Horse racing is one of the bigger sports in Australia. The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is 50 days of racing with Melbourne Cup being the premier event. Prize money is over $6 million so if you’re smart and know how to bet you can make some serious money.
I just went for the atmosphere and to check it off my list of things to do. So I did my homework before hand and found out that fashion at the races is very important. Women spend hundreds of dollars on fascinators and dresses and there is even a competition on the field for the best dressed. Now I don’t care that much nor do I have that kind of money to spend so I bought a fascinator for $5 and my dress was $60 at Target.
So my friend Bec and I ventured out on the train to get to the historic Flemington Racetrack and it was packed! The final total for the number of people that attended was over 100,000. You can imagine that it was tough to find space. Our ticket, which was just admission into the Racecourse, was $75 and that didn’t include a place to sit. Walking in heels is bad enough but I think standing in them is worse. We managed to find some steps to sit on but it was incredibly crowded. But we did take a walk around the course and checked out all the ladies in their dresses. Honestly, everyone looked fabulous! I may have been looking more closely at all the men in their suits 😀 . It’s my weakness. LOL! It was great environment to be in. I felt so fancy!
On the down side, Melbourne Cup is known for the excessive amount of alcohol that people consume. It didn’t take long after we arrived at noon for people to get pretty messy which was disappointing; however I was there for the horses so I managed to get a picture of some of them right before they race. The jockeys come out and parade their horse around in a small field.
Bec and I decided to bet a small amount on some of the races including the Cup race and we ended up standing in line for almost an hour because two guys in front of us were placing over 400 bets that had to be done separately and ended up breaking the machine. But we got our $5 bets and actually ended up winning some money! I ended up getting the price of my ticket back and then some so I was happy! The big win came from the Cup race and the horse I bet on ended up winning. Here’s some video of the last lap:
So would I go back next year? Heck no! I like people and I like crowds to an extent but this was excessive. I don’t like being in places so crowded that you can’t comfortably walk around. I would go to some of the smaller races leading up to Melbourne Cup and still get dressed up and probably have even more fun than I did 🙂