I had been wanting to attend Cup Day since our arrival in Melbourne. One of our friends who lives in Queensland was coming down for the race with some of his friends, so we thought it would be a good chance to hang out with him and to see the races.
|Joe and I. Contiki 2004 reunites again!|
|In the early hours there was plenty of room to move around.|
|Our view of the horses from the rail.|
|Crowds started to form on the rail around midday.|
|By the time the Melbourne Cup race rolled around, there was not any space to move!|
One unique thing about horse racing in Australia is that most races take place on grass, and Melbourne Cup is no exception. Also, there was a warm up area for the horses where spectators could get very close, and I honestly have no idea if that exists in the States for races like Preakness, Belmont, or the Kentucky Derby. I do know that there are a very small percentage of people at Melbourne Cup that do not dress up for the races. Headwear, in particular is something that stands out, as there are often unique hats or fascinators worn by women attending the races. From what I have seen of those big US horse races mentioned earlier, there are generally a lot of people in the infield who do not dress up and sometimes the well-dressed crowd is limited to the grandstand. We saw a few people in shorts or jeans but most men were in suits and most women in dresses.
|One of the horses showing off to "punters" before the races.|
All in all, we had an awesome day at Melbourne Cup. I am told that in order to truly experience horse racing in Australia, I also need to attend a race in the country (often termed "Country Vic" by the locals), so of course that is now on my radar and I will be looking for a country horse race to head to soon!
|Horses and jockeys racing with the CBD skyline in the background.|