Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The first Melbourne Cup

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
1861 Melbourne, Australia: Archer, ridden by J Cutts, won the first Melbourne Cup, one of the world's richest horse racing prizes. The event has been held on the first Tuesday in November since 1861 by the Victoria Racing Club, on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. It is generally regarded as the most prestigious 'two-mile' handicap in the world (the race was originally held over two miles, about 3,218 metres, but following Australia's adoption of the metric system in 1972 the current distance of 3,200 metres was adopted).

Virtually the whole of Australia stops to watch or listen to the race in homes, offices and even in cars pulled over to the sides of roads, and in the State of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, Cup Day is a public holiday. It was first declared a holiday for Victorian public servants and bank employees in 1865, and in the following year it was declared a public holiday for all workers ...

[Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing two women in my town at the moment that they discovered they had won $27,000 on a small bet in the 2007 Cup.]

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