Some call it the race that stops the nation.... Most picture the man blowing the horn or watching the jockeys warm up from afar when thinking about horse racing, but this is all about one city's day to stop the country, runway fashion, and spending money.
This week we had a national event, The Melbourne Cup. Personally it is an event that makes the betting agencies a lot of money and an excuse to dress up! In 2010 they brought in over $110 Million in bets just on race day. This is not just any race, it attracts over 100,000 people at the actual races in Melbourne. Take a look at my pictures though, you don't have to be at the races to enjoy the party.
Just like any event, you have some who enjoy it responsibly, some who spend their life savings, and others who are just there to people watch (this would be ME).
I was really relieved that I did not have to substitute teach on Melbourne Cup day. I had seen the announcements the week before, teachers were to dress like they were going to the cup, dress, heels, and, fascinator all day. Can't you just see me wearing that all day? "Uh, excuse me, are Chacos considered heels, in this part of the world?" Josh called me the morning of cup day, and told me to get downtown because this had to be the best day of people watching ever!
People were everywhere dressed like they were at the race. Nice hat, right? Mind you, we live a two hour plane ride from the race, and or downtown is not by a race track. The picture below and above are from a pop up party in a park in the city.
There was pop up betting stations ALL over town. It was quite comical. Most business declared a holiday from after lunch on. Most Aussies take off no matter. So, I guess they think declare a holiday, and close the office, or close the office because there are no workers.
And YES, don't worry, there was a retired jockey in town, he was racing folks on a stick horse! Like I said the people watching was worth it all. I rode into town and took some pictures, but I had to leave early, and had to miss the race. I am watching two kids for a few weeks, and I had to be home before they got out of school. Race time was 2:00, and to get their house it is an hour bus ride from downtown....so I missed out. There will always be next year.
Yes, I did miss the race, but let's talk about what I did see. It is true though, it does stop the nation. I was riding in the bus during the race, and EVERY place we passed had everyone standing around the tv. It was funny.
This was just in the middle of walking paths. Like I said, all about the betting. I was waiting for the guy with the mega phone to say "Step Right Up and place your bets," like in old movies at sideshows.
I would like to know how much money they took in this year, and how much they paid out. The one favored to win got last, and then fell over dead. Yes, you read that correctly. This race actually had two horses die, right after the race. Talk about pressure!
I feel like they are always having events around here. It is so fun learning about their culture.
These are just random people, I stopped for a picture. I can't wait for the next cultural experience.
Don't worry, I did place a small bet. $2.00 on the long shot, and $2.00 on the second most favored, just to get 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. I didn't win a penny, but hey my horses didn't die, and this race that is WINNING!