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Melbourne Cup Date: when is the 2017 Melbourne Cup?

  • The 2017 Melbourne Cup will be held on November 7.
  • Start time: 3pm
Jockey Ryan Moore celebrates with the trophy after winning on Protectionist

Australia’s most famous race, the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) will be held at Flemington Racecourse on November 7, 2017.

Held on the first Tuesday in November each year, and regarded as ‘the race that stops a nation,’ the Melbourne Cup will be watched by millions of Australians as well as a rapidly growing international audience.

Anticipation builds as the Australian National Anthem is sung at Flemington prior to the race, while the introduction of each participating jockey sets the scene for the gruelling staying contest.

How many horses are in the Melbourne Cup?
The maximum field for the Melbourne Cup is 24, and due to the configuration of the pari-mutuel (TAB/Tote) which only allows for a maximum 24 runners in any Australian horse race, no emergencies are allowed.

Melbourne Cup History
First held in 1861 and won by Archer who would go on to claim victory the following year, the Melbourne Cup is the highlight of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and the week-long Melbourne Cup Carnival held at Flemington.

The Carnival kicks off with Victoria Derby Day on the Saturday prior to the Cup and is followed by Crown Oaks Day on Thursday and concludes with Emirates Stakes Day the following Saturday.

While the inaugural winner of the Melbourne Cup received a gold watch, prizemoney has grown to be in excess of $6 million, making the Melbourne Cup the richest two-mile handicap race in the world.

It attracts the best stayers from Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Japan and is celebrated as the greatest racing carnival on the planet.

Past winners of the Melbourne Cup have gone on to become household names with the immortal Makybe Diva topping the list with her unrivalled three consecutive Cup wins from 2003-2005 with Hall of Fame jockey Glen Boss in the saddle.

Other greats of the turf to have won the prestigious event include Poseidon (1906), Phar Lap (1930), Peter Pan (1932 & 1934), Comic Court (1950), Rising Fast (1954), Rain Lover (1968-69), Think Big (1974-75), Kiwi (1983), Let’s Elope (1991), Saintly (1996) and Might And Power (1997).

Legendary trainer Bart Cummings won the Melbourne Cup on 12 occasions - a feat that will most likely stand the test of time and be a benchmark for any trainer for centuries to come.

The man affectionately known as the 'Cups King' died on October 30, 2015 and has been immortalised with a bronze statue at Flemington.

Cummings' winners include:
Light Fingers (1965)
Galilee (1966)
Red Handed (1967)
Think Big (1974 & 1975)
Gold and Black (1977)
Hyperno (1979)
Kingston Rule (1990)
Let's Elope (1991)
Saintly (1996)
Rogan Josh (1999)
Viewed (2008)

In 1993 the Melbourne Cup rose in international stature when Irish trainer Dermot Weld claimed victory with Vintage Crop.

The first win by a European horse ignited the interest of international trainers who have since become regular visitors to the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

Weld would again claim victory in 2002 with Media Puzzle, while other international trainers to have tasted success include: Katsuhiko Sumii (Japan 2006) with Delta Blues, Alain de Royer-Dupre (France 2010) with Americain, Mikel Delzangles (France 2011) with Dunaden and Andreas Wöhler (Germany 2014) with Protectionist.

Sheila Laxon became the first female trainer to capture victory in the Cup when Ethereal saluted in 2001, while Australia’s First Lady in racing, Gai Waterhouse, would claim her first win with Fiorente in 2013.

In 2015, Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup when piloting the Darren Weir-trained six-year-old gelding Prince Of Penzance to success at odds of $101.

In 2014, German galloper Protectionist sprinted to the lead to claim an emphatic victory from three-time runner-up Red Cadeaux and Who Shot Thebarman. Protectionist brought up a race-to-race double for his sire Monsun who had also sired Fiorente.

The most common lead-up races in Australia are the Cox Plate (2040m), Geelong Cup (2400m), Lexus Stakes (2500m) and the Caulfield Cup (2400m).

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Melbourne Cup Date: when is the 2017 Melbourne Cup?

Australia’s most famous race, the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) will be held at Flemington Racecourse on November 7, 2017.

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