Melbourne Cup 2010
On 2 November 2010 the city of Melbourne grinds to a halt. It is a public holiday and more importantly, it is the running of the 2010 Melbourne Cup. Last year, more than a hundred thousand spectators attended this prestigious horse racing event, and it is expected that this year’s attendance levels will be even higher. And not only will some of the best horses in the international horse racing industry be attending the Melbourne Cup, but a very special local horse named So You Think will also be in the starting gates, making the 2010 Melbourne Cup the event of the year.
In Australia, there are a number of racing events that stand out on the horse racing calendar, but the Melbourne Cup is seen as one of the most prestigious. It was inaugurated in 1861, and carries a purse amount of $6.175 million. Twenty-four contenders is the maximum entry for the event and it is a race held for horses that are three-years-old and older. It is a grueling race that is hosted by the Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, and run over a distance of 3 200 meters.
For international horses to attend the Melbourne Cup takes a lot of planning and scheduling as a quarantine period is required for international competitors. This year, horses from Japan, Hong Kong, Britain and Ireland will be attending. Legendary horses of the Melbourne Cup include Makybe Diva; the only horse to date that has been able to conquer the Melbourne Cup three times. So You Think is seen by the Australian public as another Phar Lap, and many are hoping that he will be able to outshine the international competitors.
Of course there is not only racing that lures thousands of visitors to the Flemington Racecourse and the Melbourne Cup, but the fact that this 150 year old event is filled with fashion, glamour and off the field entertainment. Hats, dresses and a variety of designer outfits fill the day with color, splendor and excitement. And if watching the racing action or taking in the fashion extravaganza is not enough, visitors will be left breathless by the twelve thousand roses that fill the gardens, as the rose is the official flower of the racecourse.