Making the Most of Melbourne Cup Day 2023

The world’s finest stayers will converge upon Flemington to vie for glory in the $8 million Melbourne Cup on 7th November. The race that stops a nation is one of Australia’s most iconic and prestigious sporting events, and it also draws a huge worldwide audience.
Some fans will be lucky enough to watch the drama unfold at the racecourse, while many more will watch on from the comfort of their own homes. Either way, there are many ways to ensure you enjoy a fun and memorable experience on Melbourne Cup Day. This guide provides our top tips for racegoers attending Flemington and for those watching at home on TV.

For Racegoers Attending Flemington

Dress the Part

Melbourne Cup Day is not just about the horses. It is also a fashion extravaganza. Racegoers showcase their stylish attire, with a focus on elegant dresses, sharp suits and creative headwear. For women, the unofficial dress code is “feminine and floral,” although the official code is pretty loose. Many opt for a summery dress paired with a fascinator or hat.

Men traditionally opt for tailored suits with eye-catching accessories, such as a colourful pocket square. The official flower is a yellow rose, so you can pin one above your jacket pocket to complete the look. However, comfort is key, especially if you will be on your feet for an extended period, so try to wear sensible yet stylish shoes if possible.

Plan Ahead

Flemington Racecourse can grow very crowded on Melbourne Cup Day, so it is important to plan ahead. Arrive early to secure a prime spot, and you can also leave yourself time to explore the racecourse and enjoy the pre-race festivities. Make sure you’re familiar with the race schedule and the location of amenities too. Remember that there are many more races taking place on Melbourne Cup Day, so give yourself time to settle in for a day of world-class action.

Soak Up the Atmosphere

The atmosphere at the racecourse on Melbourne Cup Day is electric. Take in the sights and sounds of the event, from the powerful horses parading to the increasingly raucous crowd. Most racegoers are friendly, so you can chat about the upcoming race and discuss tips on how it might unfold. There are also competitions taking place throughout the day, along with entertainment, so get involved in all the fun that Flemington has to offer.

Enjoy Culinary Delights

The racecourse offers an array of culinary options, from gourmet picnics to fine dining experiences. Indulge in traditional delicacies and explore various cuisines available. Do not forget to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially if the weather is warm. Drink responsibly.

Gamble Responsibly

It is also important to gamble responsibly. Set a budget for the day and stick to it. Study the form guide, which provides information about each horse’s past performances, along with the jockey and trainer. You can also search for expert tips. Remember that betting is a form of entertainment, which can help you increase the excitement when watching the action.

For Punters Watching on TV

Host a Viewing Party

Melbourne Cup Day provides a great opportunity to host a viewing party at home. Invite friends and family over to enjoy the races together. Stock up on snacks and drinks. You can even decorate your living room and encourage guests to dress up as if they were at the racecourse. You can even organise a virtual fashion competition with your friends, where everyone votes on the best-dressed attendee.

Place Bets

The Melbourne Cup becomes a lot more exciting if you have money riding on one or more of the horses. You can place bets online via a wide array of sites, making it very quick, easy and convenient. Markets include the win, the place, exacta, quinella and trifecta. Once again, it is important to gamble responsibly. Set a budget for your bets and avoid chasing losses.

Host Sweepstakes

Creating a Melbourne Cup sweepstakes is a fun way to add an extra layer of excitement to the day. Draw names randomly to assign each participant a horse. Attendees can pay into a communal pool, and the participant with the winning horse claims the top prize.

Mix Drinks and Cook up Traditional Delights

While watching the races, enjoy some iconic Australian beverages. Classic options include sparkling wine, beer, refreshing soft drinks and iconic cocktails such as the Flemington Fling, the official cocktail of the race. It offers a delightful blend of fresh flavours, which capture the lively spirit of the occasion.

To create this cocktail, muddle mint leaves in a shaker, and then add gin, elderflower liqueur, freshly squeezed lime juice and simple syrup. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain the cocktail into a highball glass with ice, fill up with sparkling water, stir and then garnish the cocktail with lime or a sprig of mint.

Consider preparing Australian dishes to celebrate the occasion. Whip up traditional treats like meat pies, sausage rolls, prawn cocktails, mini quiches, miniature vegemite sandwiches, cheese platters and seafood platters. For dessert, pavlova or Lamingtons can enhance the Melbourne Cup experience.

Embrace the Traditions

As you watch the races, take the time to delve into the history and significance of the Melbourne Cup. Familiarise yourself with past winners from the past and the stories that have shaped this iconic event, such as Phar Lap, Makybe Diva, Archer, Kingston Rule and Think Big.

Whether you’re at the racecourse or watching from home, Melbourne Cup Day is a time-honoured celebration of horse racing, fashion and camaraderie. Dress your best and indulge in delicious food and beverages, but drink responsibly and gamble responsibly. Embrace the excitement of the races and the spirit of the event, making lasting memories with friends, family and fellow race enthusiasts.