Unforgettable has to be the iconic Melbourne Cup Day . This historical horse race, run on the first Tuesday in November and regarded as "the race that stops the nation" brings the majority of Australia to a stand still at 3pm, as the 3200 metres event runs. Recognized as one of the world 's greatest handicap races it is held at Flemington, a glorious suburban racecourse in Melbourne, named after a butcher who once lived there.
The first Cup was run in 1861. There were 17 starters, along with the cash prize of 170 quid, there was no 'cup' but a hand beaten gold watch and Archer, the winning horse, had walked the 500 miles / 800 kms to Melbourne from its stable in Nowra, New South Wales to compete, took home the spoils!
Since the inaugural horse race meeting in 1810 Australians have become renowned as some of the worlds greatest sports whether competing or having a punt or a wager, no matter their age someone, somewhere is running a Melbourne Cup sweep in the hope of being able to brag they had the winning horse! From school kids to the Aussie troops in Iraq and Afghanistan a flutter is a must on this day!
Whether on course or at parties across the country at race courses, restaurants, offices or puns you'll find hat's, hunks, fillies, flappers, winners, whiners, flutterers, fascinators, the fascinating and lets not forget the splurgers and the spewers! The gorgeous image of those pretty young things that consume too much champagne, too soon, seen with carrots in their fascinators often before the big race has run, being escorted from the venue by embarassed friends or foes obviously contemplating how swiftly they can remove the offenders details from their address book, never ceases to amaze.
Squillions of dollars are seen on the track in sponsorship, horse flesh and the flesh of the not so young salubrious fillies who turn the Spring Racing Carnival, of which the Melbourne Cup has become the highlight, into a major social event! It's a public holiday in the state of Victoria and many people across the country organise the day off work - Aussie's love it!
Unforgettable Melbourne Cup luncheons are advertised all over, for me it's the Peter Alexander's, a flutter via the online TAB , plus the live telecast of THE race ... now that's unforgettable!