Melbourne Cup History and Facts
In the Beginning
Horse racing is something that has been going on competitively for about as long as there has been recorded history. Some of the first professional horse races that were documented occurred as early as Greek and Roman times. Chariot races and similar events made quite a spectacle for citizens.
As far as the history of the Melbourne Cup, a man named Frederick Standish has been credited with coming up with the idea to hold the race. The first ever Melbourne Cup took place on a Thursday in November in 1861. What is now arguably one of the biggest and most popular horse races around, was once much smaller and a more humble affair. Only 17 horses competed in the first race, but it would prove to set the stage for a phenomenon that would eventually evolve into the great game it is today.
A Social Affair
The thing about the Melbourne Cup is it is not just for fans or horse racing. The event has become so entrenched and ingrained in the local culture of Melbourne, that it has become a cultural affair that attracts fans from all over the world. Typically over 100,000 people visit the race in-person. This does not even take into account the over 650 million fans watching the event from home.
Melbourne Cup Day is a celebrated event that is far more than just horse racing. The women of Melbourne spend the day dressing up in their most fun and colorful attire. There is a lot of pageantry involved, including a fashion parade that is a fun spectacle for locals and tourists alike.
This is no small celebration, as often the cup includes many VIP guests. Celebrities come from all across Melbourne, the country, and even the world to take part in this event. The cup has become such an integral part of Melbourne, that offices typically end work early in honor of the main races.
Bet On It
There is a reason that they call the Melbourne Cup, “The Race That Stops the Nation”. So many people stop what they are doing when the cup rolls around to give it due attention. Everyone from horse racing professionals to fans, and even sports bettors.
As you can probably imagine, an event this huge attracts lots of money to the area, and with it, plenty of opportunists as well. Sports betting has recently experienced a huge spike in popularity, so leading up to the Melbourne Cup, you can imagine this year’s betting will be hotter than ever. Melbourne Cup free bets are heating things up even faster. Free bets mean that amateurs have a better chance of turning a profit at these events but because of the unpredictability of horse racing, getting some free bets in is a pretty great incentive for even the most seasoned punters. More than that, more amateurs involved means more money and attracts experienced gamblers to the scene. This domino effect creates a lot of profit opportunities for everyone. There’s plenty of knowledge to be found to ensure that you make the right choice on which horse you bet on, including professional statistics and available information about the horses themselves and their previous performances, but horses are living creatures who are totally susceptible to illnesses or just “off days” that could seriously mess with the odds.
A Lasting Tradition
After over 100 years of annual racing, it is safe to say that the Melbourne Cup is a tradition that is here to stay. In fact, it has only increased in popularity over the years. Over time there has been official legislation marking the Melbourne Cup as a public holiday, allowing it to officially integrate into the Australian culture for hopefully many centuries to come.