Nowhere in the world have I encountered a festival of people that has such a magnificent appeal to the whole nation. The Cup astonishes me.
Melbourne Cup Day is Australia's most famous Tuesday. It's a day when the nation stops whatever it's doing to listen to the race call, or watch the race on TV, and even those who don't usually bet, try their luck Spring Racing Carnival
Melbourne Cup: The race that stops a nation
The Melbourne Cup is Australia's major annual thoroughbred horse race. The race that stops a nation, as it has been called, is for three-year-olds and over, and covers a distance of 3,200 metres.
The race has been held on the first Tuesday in November since 1861 in Melbourne, Australia. The race is held at Flemington Racecourse by the Victoria Racing Club. It is run as a "weight-for-age handicap", in which the weight of the jockey, and riding gear is adjusted with ballast to a nominated figure. Older horses are given more weight than younger ones, and weightings are further adjusted according to the horse's previous results
• Melbourne in grip of Cup fever