Horse Racing in Melbourne
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Melbourne is the only city in the world to declare a public holiday for a horse race—the Melbourne Cup—held on the first Tuesday in November since 1861. The Cup is also a fashion parade, and most of Melbourne society turns out in full regalia. The rest of the country comes to a standstill, with schools, shops, offices, and factories tuning in to the action.
The city has four top-class racetracks.
Betfair Park. Betfair Park (formerly Sandown Race Course), 25 km (16 mi) from the city, hosts the Sandown Cup in November. Corrigan Rd. and Princes Hwy., Springvale, VIC, 3171. 03/9518-1300. www.melbourneracingclub.net.au.
Caulfield Race Course. Caulfield Race Course, 10 km (6 mi) from the city, runs the Blue Diamond Stakes in February and the Caulfield Cup in October. Station St., Caulfield, VIC, 3162. 03/9257–7200. www.melbourneracingclub.net.au.
Champions: Thoroughbred Racing Gallery. Champions: Thoroughbred Racing Gallery in the National Sports Museum is chock-full of horse-racing information, displays, and a mini-shrine to Australia's most famous race house, Phar Lap. Melbourne Cricket Ground, Brunton Ave., Yarra Park, Melbourne, VIC, 3000. 03/9657–8879. A$15. 10–5 on non-match days.
Flemington Race Course. Flemington Race Course, 3 km (2 mi) outside the city, is Australia's premier racecourse and home of the Melbourne Cup. 448 Epsom Rd., Flemington, VIC, 3031. 03/9371–7171. www.vrc.net.au).
Moonee Valley Race Course. Moonee Valley Race Course is 6 km (4 mi) from town and hosts the Cox Plate race in October. McPherson St., Moonee Ponds, VIC, 3039. 03/9373–2222. www.mvrc.net.au.
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