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The Melbourne Cup: Date, how to watch, past winners, latest odds & more

Billed as the 'race that stops a nation', the Melbourne Cup takes place at Flemington Racecourse in early November.

Jockey Mark Zahra is is the current star of the show, having backed up a victory on Gold Trip with a triumph on board Without A Fight in early November 2023.

Here's our guide to Australia's most storied race, the jewel in the crown of the southern hemisphere nation.

Melbourne Cup Date

The Melbourne Cup takes place on the first Tuesday in November. In 2024, that falls on 5th November and the race usually goes to post at around 3.00pm AEST.

Melbourne Cup Venue

The Melbourne Cup is Australia's most famous annual racing event and is a Group 1 handicap contest run over a two-mile trip at Flemington racecourse in the state of Victoria.

Flemington hosts a number of top-quality races, including the Australian Guineas, the Black Caviar Lightning. the Victoria Derby and the VRC Oaks.

The track at Flemington is often described as pear-shaped and features a six-furlong straight and a final straight of 450 metres.

Melbourne Cup - How to watch

The race will be shown on Network 10 and is also available on Foxtel.

How old is the Melbourne Cup?

This will be the 164th running of the Melbourne Cup, with the first race held in 1861. The official trip is 3200 metres, or 1 mile 1,740 yards, about 19 metres shy of two-miles.

Past winners and record holders

Makybe Diva (2003, 2004, 2005) remains the only three-time Melbourne Cup winner and the only repeat winner this century.

Jockey Glen Boss is one of seven riders to have won three times, with Kerrin McEvoy also in that grouping.

No name is more synonymous with the Melbourne Cup than that of Bart Cummings, the legendary trainer of 12 Melbourne Cup winners from 1965 to 2008.

Rivalling him these days is owner Lloyd Williams, who targets this race above all others and has won seven times, most recently in 2020 with Twilight Payment.

In 2015 Michelle Payne etched her name into the history books as the first female rider to win the Melbourne Cup when she guided 100/1 chance Prince of Penzance home.

What horses are eligible for the Melbourne Cup?

The race is open to any horses ages three-years and older. Handicap weights were theoretically calculated to give each horse an equal winning chance in the past.

However, in recent years the rules were adjusted to a 'quality handicap' formula, where superior horses are given less severe weight penalties than under normal handicapping rules.

This was done in part to attract quality horses from elsewhere in the world.

What is the Melbourne Cup prize money?

The total purse for the 2023 Melbourne Cup was $8m Australian dollars, with more than $2.5m going to the winner.

Melbourne Cup Odds

2023 winner Without A Fight is currently at the head of the market for the race in 2024, along with Soulcombe, with the pair both priced at 15.00.

A whole host of horses are rated at 26.00, including Just Fine and Prowess.

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