The Race That Stops A Nation: A Beginner’s Guide To The Melbourne Cup

Anyone who’s been to the Melbourne Cup or follows it will agree as to why ’it’s a race that “stops a nation.” The race involves thoroughbred horses racing in a distance of 3,200 meters and huge prices to be won by the competitors. More importantly, jockeys and their steeds have been competing here since 1861. These factors and more have made it the biggest and richest horse racing sport in the world. (1)

Most people already know about the Melbourne Cup and everything involved in it. Nevertheless, the thrill it manages to offer fans is sure to attract many more. This year’s race = is an excellent place to start following this prestigious competition.

The race involves several things, such as the venue, number of participants, and ways to enjoy it. If ’you want to take your experience to the next level, you should try placing bets.

Before betting, however, you should check the tips for Melbourne Cup to stand a higher chance of winning. Consider this article as a good beginner’s guide.

Where And When

The Melbourne Cup takes place every year on the first Tuesday of November, as it has been since the first race. The big date for the 2021 Melbourne cup race will be on the 2nd November at 3:00 p.m.

Since its inaugural race, the Melbourne Cup always takes place at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria. The racecourse has a circumference of 2,312 meters, with the nearby field having hosted horse races since 1840. The vote for the final field this year will be determined on 30th October. (2)

The Melbourne Cup Carnival

The Melbourne Cup isn’t just about horse racing. While the race doesn’t start until the first Tuesday of November,people start visiting Melbourne weeks before. The other major attraction in the city is the Melbourne Cup Carnival, a series of entertainment events.

The carnival comprises four race days: Victoria Derby, Melbourne Cup, VRC Oaks, and the family-friendly Mackinnon Stakes. The height of the carnival is a fashion event for both men and women, with prizes to be won. Even if ’you’re not attending the race, the carnival is still worth your time. (3)

Horse Participation

The Melbourne Cup attracts thoroughbred horses from around the world in an ultimate test of strength and endurance. The race has become a global affair, with international raiders having dominated the race in recent years.

As a handicap-based system, the primary qualification for horses in the Melbourne Cup is their weight. A handicapper allows horses that weigh between 49 and 57 kg in the field (though there’s no maximum weight in the race itself). (4)

The selection procedure sees an initial list of up to 400 horses cut down to only 24 starters. Horse owners still have to confirm their intentions to race four more times before the final race. For a fee, they’re given a chance to bet that their steeds will be selected to race in the final field. (4)

Betting In The Melbourne Cup

Betting on this year’s Melbourne Cup is an excellent way to enhance your experience in this already fun-filled event. The activity is as straightforward as these three steps:

  • Create an account with an online bookmaker to enable you to place a bet.
  • Fund your account and pick the horse you expect to win- When choosing a horse, you should consider selecting a horse before you even open a betting account. Tips such as studying the history of the winners will help you know which horse has a higher chance of winning.
  • Submit your bet and watch the race to see how your chosen horse performs.
  • The bookmarkers open the betting market as early as a year before, and people can place bets for as little as AUD$ 0.50. (5)

    How To Watch Melbourne Cup

    Unlike the pre-pandemic races, this year’s race will accommodate a maximum of 10,000 fans. The organisers consider this a trial move as fans are being eased back in large crowds to sporting events without the risk of more infections. The fans attending the Melbourne Cup should’ve received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

    Those who can’t attend can still watch the event online through licensed and compatible online bookmakers. Some television channels will air the race live. For that reason, nothing should come between you and this exciting event. (2)


    The Melbourne Cup is an event full of excitement and entertainment that you can’t afford to miss. As the events keep gaining more global recognition and a massive following, it may just be the right time to join in.


    1. “Melbourne Cup 2021”, Source:
    2. “Melbourne Cup 2021”, Source:
    3. “Melbourne Cup Carnival”, Source:
    4. “Melbourne Cup Qualification”, Source:
    5. “Melbourne Cup 2021 Betting”, Source: