Melbourne Cup | The Ultimate Guide to the Biggest Horse Race in Australia

The Melbourne Cup, also known as the race that stops the nation, is the biggest horse race in Australia. Every year, it takes place at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse on the first Tuesday in November.

Touted the richest two-mile handicap in the world, this prestigious horse race attracts people from all over Australia and New Zealand. Also, it attracts millions of viewers to televisions and websites around the world to see who walks away with millions of dollars in prize money and bragging rights. 

So what can you expect from this legendary race? What makes Melbourne Cup Day so unique? Keep reading to find out!

About Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup, the premier event of the spring racing carnival, is a 3,200-meter horse race held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria. This horse racing event conducted by the Victorian racing club is one of the world’s richest turf races.

The Victoria racing club restricts the event to horses that are three years old or older and is open to both local and international horses. Besides the“ race that stops a nation,” Melbourne Cup goes by other names. Some call it Melbourne Cup Carnival; others call it Lexus Melbourne Cup Day.

Archer won the inaugural Melbourne Cup, which was run in 1861. Since that time, Makybe Diva is the only horse to have won the Cup three times (2003-05). The jockeys with the most victories are Harry White (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979) and Bobbie Lewis (1902, 1915, 1919, 1927). With 12 Melbourne Cup victories, Bart Cummings (1965–2008) holds the record for the most victories as a trainer.

Verry Elleegant is the 2021 Melbourne Cup winner and will look to defend the title in the 2022 Melbourne Cup.

It’s basically the most anticipated sporting event of the year in Australia, and it’s not hard to see why! There is $8 million in prize money awarded at this exciting annual event.

When is it?

Melbourne Cup Day is on the first Tuesday of November every year, two weeks after the Caulfield Cup, a Melbourne racing club. Gates open at 8.30 am, and the race starts at 3 pm. 

This year, the Victoria racing club will hold the event on 1st November. The race itself lasts just over 3 minutes, but planning and preparations can take months!

Other horse racing events preceding the Melbourne Cup include Cox Plate, Andrew Ramsden Stakes, Hotham Handicap (Lexus Stakes), and The Bart Cummings.

What are My Best Betting Options?

Are you a punter looking to bet money on horse racing? Well, you’re in for a treat.

The Melbourne Cup is one of Australia’s biggest horse races; big odds come with that. So, gambling on this horse racing event promises big payouts. But what are the odds? And how do they work? 

First off, let’s define odds. They’re a type of measurement used to show how likely something will happen. So when you hear about the odds of a particular event happening, it’s basically saying what percentage chance does this event have?

A few options are available for placing a bet on the Melbourne Cup. You can go to your local bookmaker, or you can bet online. 

If you’re new to betting, it’s important to understand the different bets available. The most common are win, place, and each-way bets. 

A win bet means that you think your horse will come first, while a place bet means that you think your horse will come either first or second. 

An each-way bet combines a win bet and a place bet. For the “win” part, the selection must win the event or place first to give a return. For the “place” part, the selection must either win or place in one of the predefined places, such as first place or second place, to give a return.

Best Bookmakers for Melbourne Cup Carnival 2022

You’ll need to find a good bookmaker if you’re looking to get involved and have a punt on the race.

Melbourne Cup promotes over 15 legal bookmarkers. Some popular betting sites include Sportsbet, bet365, Neds, PlayUp, Unibet, Ladbrokes, Betstar, and Australian-owned WinnersBet.

Go to local bookmakers to place a bet and receive a paper ticket. Or skip the long queues with an online bookmaker via their website or app.

Research and check out some online tips to increase your chances of winning. Visit punters for the best Melbourne Cup tips. You’ll find historical trends, data, statistics, and suggestions to make a well-informed bet! 

How Are Entries Selected?

You can gain entry into the Melbourne Cup in several ways.

The most common way is to purchase a horse already nominated for the race by its owner. Alternatively, owners can enter their horse into the ballot system in the hopes that their horse will be one of the 24 selected to run on race day. 

Ballot-exempt horses can also enter the race, as are international horses that their trainers have nominated.

You must meet two requirements to participate in the race. First, each horse must be at least three years old. Second, each horse’s racing must have a top allocated weight of at least kilograms. Ballast adjusts the weight of the horse and the jockey to a nominated figure.

Melbourne Cup Nominations 2022

The 2022 nominations for the Melbourne Cup field will be on 25th August and will be updated weekly. The nomination is restricted to just 24 horses.

So, which jockey will make the cut this year? Well, jockey James McDonald from New Zealand, Australia’s Kerrin McEvoy, and female jockey Michelle Payne are some of the names we expect on the race day. Also, we expect trainer Chris Waller will be gracing the event.

How To Get To Flemington Racecourse

No matter how you choose to get to Flemington Racecourse, you’re in for an exciting day. 

The racecourse is located just north of the Melbourne CBD, making it easy to get to no matter where you’re coming from. If you take public transportation, there are plenty of options: bus, tram, and train all run right to the racecourse. Refer to this guide if you want to get to the venue by train, tram, bus, car, or foot. 

Or, if you prefer, you can take a taxi, Rideshare, or chauffeured car service. 

Silver Top Taxi, Silver Service Taxi Melbourne Airport, Melbourne Silver Premium Cabs, Crown Cabs, and 13CABS are the main taxi operators from the city to Flemington Racecourse.

Melbourne Cup Carnival: 2022 Ticketing Information

Below are ticket prices for general admission at Melbourne Carnival Cup Events. 


Event Family Adults Concession
Penfolds Victoria Derby Day $146.00 $83.00 $45.00
Lexus Melbourne Cup Day $158.00 $89.00 $62.00
Kennedy Oaks Day $100.00 $60.00 $31.00
Paramount+ Stakes Day $108.00 $64.00 $32.00

NB: Admission is free for children under 12 years. 

Where To Stay: Accommodation Options

There are plenty accommodation options near Flemington Racecourse, so you can be sure to find something that suits your budget and needs. 

If you’re looking for something luxurious, several hotels in the area offer upscale amenities and rooms with a view of the racecourse. For those on a tighter budget, plenty of Airbnbs and hostels in the area will provide you with a comfortable place to stay.

In order to make your Melbourne Cup experience as enjoyable as possible, we recommend booking your accommodation early! Flemington is one of Melbourne’s most popular suburbs, so hotels and Airbnbs often fill up quickly during this time of year.


Recommended Distance To Venue Accommodation Type
Quest Flemington Central 1.2 km
  • Studio Apartment
  • One-Bedroom Apartment
  • Two-Bedroom Apartment
  • Deluxe Apartment
Atlantis Hotel Melbourne 4.8 km
  • Executive
  • Grand Rooms
  • Superior Rooms
  • Family Suite
Melrose Apartments 3.1 km
  • Studio
  • Studio – Interconnecting
Quest NewQuay 4.2 km
  • Studio Apartment
  • 1 and 2-Bedroom Apartments
  • Studio Executive
  • One and Two-Bedroom Executive
Plough Hotel 1.7 km Deluxe Room (King, Queen, Double & Twin


The Melbourne Cup is an event like no other. A day where the nation comes together to celebrate horse racing and all that comes with it. 

For many, it is a day to dress up, enjoy some champagne and place a bet on the horse they think will win. For others, it is an opportunity to reflect on the event’s history and what it means for Australia.

Be sure to prepare early so you can relax and enjoy the day without worrying about last-minute details.

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