Brisbane, QLD

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The Melbourne Cup is Australia's major horse race, billed as: "The race that stops a nation." This is because it is a public holiday in metropolitan Melbourne and everywhere else in the nation and New Zealand people stop to watch the race at 3:00pm on the first Tuesday in November.
The race is for 3 Year old thoroughbreds  over 3,200 metres (2 miles). The first race was held in 1861 and today it is the richest "two mile" handicap in the world. The purse is $6 million.
The race is held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. There are over 12,000 roses and 200 varieties of flowers growing at the racecourse.
(The next 4 photos are from the Courier Mail website)

 Over 110,000 people attend the race usually dressed in high fashion,

 with hats or fascinators (like above)

 However others dress in all manner of amusing and exotic costumes.

 There are prizes for the best dressed.
All over the country there are melbourne Cup Day luncheons and parties, where people get dressed up in high fashion and have fun (and usually drink too much). Many people who don't usually bet on horses do on this day. 80% of the population place a bet or participate in sweeps. This is the first day that I haven't been working on Melbourne Cup Day but we didn't go out for lunch we decided to slum it at home.

We had BBQ chicken, coleslaw, Camembert Cheese, Gruyere Cheese, beetroot, cornichons, mango, yoghurt and red wine.

 Bill donned his leather hat and bow tie and I made a fascinator and we had a fun lunch together. (talk about a pair of idiots)

 Then we watched the famous race on TV.

 The favourite didn't win. Instead it was "Americain", a horse bred in America, trained in France, and owned by two Australians.

 The jockey and trainer are french.

 The silks are in American colours.

The weather was typical for Melbourne, sunny one minute and raining the next.


  1. Well done Diane and Bill! Did you have a punt? We are still watching highlights on tonight's news as I am sure you are. A great day and the weather never disappoints. Does it?

  2. I love the fascinators, it suits you and the funny man with the sunflower jackets.

  3. You guys know how to have fun. Out our office it was a quick squizz at the TV and back to work.

  4. :) Sweet that you made it into an event.

    We had ours at the indoor tennis club. We played in a friendly half day tournament (no hats or facinators though), then everyone sat down to watch the race on TV. We placed $20 each and drew a name out of a bowl. I got Desperado. It was in the front for most of the way... but didn't even come in 3rd. Like previous years, it's $20 into someone else's pocket. Oh well, a fun day of tennis anyway.

  5. Looks like Ascot at least for what concerns the hats, must be a little "cooler" than with the Royal Family ! I love the sunflower costumes, I want one, lol !

  6. Holy catfish - you have excelled yourself - AGAIN!
    One correction for the viewers - the race is for 3 year olds and upwards - a couple of the geldings were 9 year olds - I think in horse age about the ages of the delightful pair enjoying themselves - ie: 60+!!!!!!
    Pity the French can't spell - AMERICAIN - the "i" and "a" are back to front.
    This horse would have to be a TRUE international - bred in the USA, trained in France, ridden by a top French jockey and owned by Australians! Maybe it should be called "THE UNITED NATIONS" !!!!

    Great reporting Diane.
    Colin (HB)

  7. Diane, looks you and your hubby had a great time at home watching the race. We have a similiar race here in Maryland at the Pimlico racetrack called the Preakness. It is the famous second part of the triple crown between the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes in New York.

  8. Yay, wonderful post, and great you had such a good day at home.
    We forgot about it until we called in on friends and watched it with them.
    I saw on FB though, that my grandson got the winner and trifecta and his Mum was collecting his winnings...
    Hugs, Jan

  9. A nice piece on The Cup Diane - love your outfits too, and quite a luncheon you had in a lovely spot. Much better than in a carpark as they do in Melbourne at the cup!!

  10. What an interesting piece and I love that you dressed up at home for the occasion!! Thats something we would do too! PS I have noticed that I now have lots of Commentors called Diane! xxx

  11. I love it! And, I would much rather have spent the time with the two of you than any froo-froo fancies at the track! You look adorable :-)

  12. PS- facinators? I am assuming they are head-band thngies (that's MY technical term..) Am I mistaken?

  13. Thanks for this interesting post about the Melbourne Cup. I enjoyed both the information and the pictures. It seems that this race is similar to England's Ascot races.
    I think you and Bill celebrated in a perfect way.

  14. HI Diane, I know why Colin didn't win... He forgot to wear his sunflower outfit... (Note picture 3)... I'm sure if he had have dressed like that, he would definitely have won..... ha ha ha

    Looks like you two dressed for the occasion and had a fabulous lunch at home --not fighting the crowds!!!!!!

    This race reminds me a little of our Kentucky Derby (which takes place in May)... The horses are older ones though... I've never heard of a nine-yr. old racing... WOW--that's incredible.

    Thanks for sharing.

  15. Hi Diane, I love people who have a sense of humour. I wished for a nice lunch like this. I had to visit the dentist. (Nothing against the dentist he is a very nice man and a good dentist; just the timing!

  16. I'm glad you dressed up for the day. :)

  17. You two just have so much fun! The sunflower suits are just too funny! Anyway, we are not folks who would actually bet on a horse, but we have gone to the race track just to watch (and hear and feel) the thundering hooves when they run. Very exciting much power and grace in a race horse.

    If more of us found you obviously do...we'd be a healthier lot, I'm sure!

  18. Fun day (who needs all the crowds)!
    Did you each place a bet? With each other?

    My mother was originally from Kentucky and away on the other side of the country we always watched the Kentucky Derby on TV -- mint juleps (fake ones for the kids) and we made bets.

    I had never heard of this race before -- love the hats! And the sunflower suits.

  19. I love to watch events like this on TV. All of the fun, none of the expense! :)

  20. Thank you for your very kind offer. Make my bed up - i'll be there at the weekend!!!!!

  21. Curious what is cornichons?


  22. What a lovely way to spend the day, Diane. I did not see the track when I was in Melbourne. I love, love, love facinators. I should send you a picture of the one Honey Bee picked up in England and then wore to a wedding in Greece. Lovely!

    Your pictures are always so wonderful. I feel like I shared the day with you guys down under!

  23. What fun to dress up and celebrate. One of our most famous races is the Grand National in April. I always long for it, because for me it signifies the start of Spring.

  24. I sure enjoyed looking at all the colorful pictures. This event looks like it's a very special day for one and all. Sunshine always!

  25. The sunflower suits are great!! I love the way you and Bill always have fun, even when you are just at home! :-)

  26. Great post I have said before you should manage the campaigns for Oz your take on events and quirky sense of humour....

  27. Thanks for posting the photo of my and my FascinatoR! (the pink flowers....!) Thats was hand made by me, Im a milliner!
    Monique :-)