Melbourne Cup Festivities
Heading out to a Melbourne Cup Day lunch is one of the great luxuries taken by Australian workers. The first Tuesday in November is for most Aussies just another working day, however, millions of people around the country seem to be able to flex their time to attend the big race in Melbourne at Flemington (if they are lucky enough to score tickets) or to one of the Melbourne Cup Day activities held around the country.
It is no mystery why the Melbourne Cup is popular in racing terms. It is the richest prize stake race in Australia. The mystery is why do millions of ‘couldn’t give a damn about racing’ punters make so much effort to join in the mayhem at hugely overpriced functions all around the country? This marvel of marketing also has many making an annual bet on the most unpredictable of races and enjoying the result – win, lose or draw.
The Melbourne Cup has also become a social icon where notable people are in many cases paid to hob-nob in marquees and drink champagne with high paying wannabes. The fashion industry also uses the event to showcase a range of expensive and often outrageous frocks, hats and fascinators. In fact a large part of the mystique of the day is focussed on the who’s who of Australian celebrity and visiting overseas guests paraded more as an act of one-upmanship by competing corporations trying to have the swankest names associated with their brand.
Emphasis on the party
For many it is just an excuse to party. No knowledge of horses or racing is required. The spend on the race is phenomenal, the spend on the day’s festivities is astronomical. Hotels, clubs, restaurants, race tracks, seemingly every venue that has a large screen television and a booming sound system will host a $100 to $200 lunch to attract the droves of punters looking for a party destination. All seemingly for a horse race that lasts less than three and a half minutes. The national spend outside racing also includes swathes of alcohol and usually transport to and from the function. Taxis have a bonanza day along with chauffeur cars and stretch limousines for the party crowds.
Where to party in your state?
Flemington Race Course
Ascot Race Course