Many of the world’s greatest stayers will head to Flemington Racecourse in November to contest the $8 million Melbourne Cup. It is Australia’s most prestigious race, and it always attracts a high-quality field featuring superstars from across the globe.
Millions of fans in Canada, the United States, Europe and elsewhere will tune in and watch the race that stops a nation. However, there is no need to confine yourself to watching this race alone, as Melbourne Cup Day also boasts an exciting undercard. Read on to learn more about all 10 races taking place on 7 November.
Race 1: Darley Maribyrnong Plate
The action gets underway with the Group 3 Darley Maribyrnong Plate at 10.45 a.m. local time on November 7. That equates to 8.45 p.m. ET on November 6 for anyone watching the action unfold in North America.
This 1000m (5 furlong) race takes its name from the nearby Maribyrnong River, which provides a beautiful backdrop to Flemington. It occasionally floods the racecourse, but hopefully that will be avoided this year.
The Darley Maribyrnong Plate has been held on an annual basis since 1871, so it is one of the oldest races in Australia. It is open to sprinters aged two and older, with a total prize purse of $200,000. Krakarib, a $26 outsider, won the race last year for trainer Simon Zahra.
Race 2: The Macca’s Run
The 2800m (1 ¾ mile) Macca’s Run is next up in the pantheon of Melbourne Cup races. It takes place 35 minutes after the Darley Maribyrnong Plate. The prize purse is $135,000. The race takes place under handicap conditions. Last year, $2.35 favourite White Marlin justified his status by saluting for star trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
Race 3: Subzero Handicap
The 1400m (7 furlong) Subzero Handicap takes place at noon local time (10 p.m. ET) and it is restricted to grey horses only. The prize purse for this race is $130,000. Love Tap secured a narrow victory over Kooled following a thrilling battle in 2022.
Race 4: TAB Trophy
The fourth race is the TAB Trophy, sponsored by the TAB, which is Australia’s leading pari-mutuel bookmaker. It is an 1800m race (9 furlong) won by High Approach last year. The race has a prize pool of $175,000. It is a handicap race open to mares aged four or older.
Race 5: The Schweppervescence Plate
Next up we have The Schweppervescence Plate, a 1000m (5 furlong) dash sponsored by a leading soft drinks brand. This set weights race carries a $130,000 purse, and it is open to three-year-olds only. Renosu, trained by James Cummings, beat stablemate Kin by almost two lengths to salute in this race last year.
Race 6: Furphy Plate
The Furphy Plate is held an hour and 5 minutes prior to the Melbourne Cup. It is another 1800m race (9 furlong) event, which is run under handicap conditions. Long shots have performed well in recent years, with $31 underdog Bartholomeu Dias winning for trainer Annabel Neasham last year.
Race 7: Melbourne Cup
The main event is held at 3 p.m. in Victoria, so most bettors in Canada will need to stay up until the early hours of November 7 to watch it unfold. However, it should be worth the wait, as it always serves up a great deal of excitement.
The race takes place over 3200 (2 miles), so it is a real test of endurance. It attracts the best runners from across Australia, but there are also elite international raiders from countries such as Ireland, the UK, Japan, France and sometimes the United States.
The winner earns $4.4 million, and it is an extremely prestigious race, so the Melbourne Cup is always fiercely contested. Last year, French-bred stayer Gold Trip – trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace – defied a starting price of $21 to win the race ahead of fellow long-shots Emissary ($26) and High Emocean ($41). Deavuille Legend, the favourite, finished fourth.
Race 8: In Memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
The eighth race of the day takes place 50 minutes after the Melbourne Cup. It was known as the Grinders Coffee Roasters Trophy in 2021 for sponsorship purposes, before being renamed to honour the memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II last year. It is a handicap race for four-year-olds and five-year-olds, with no greys, with a prize pool of $130,000, run over 1400m (7 furlong).
Race 9: The Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes
The Group 3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes is one of two main undercard races on Melbourne Cup Day, along with the Group 3 Darley Maribyrnong Plate. It was first run in 2005, and it was bumped up to Group 3 status seven years later.
The 1400m (7 furlong) race is open to mares aged four and older, run at set weights with penalties. Rich Hip was a back-to-back winner in 2020 and 2021, but she did not return to defend her crown last year. Larkspur Run handed James Cummings another victory by getting the better of Literary Magnate.
Race 10: MSS Security Sprint (Always Welcome Stakes)
The action draws to a close with the MSS Security Sprint, a 1200m (6 furlong) sprint with a $150,000 prize pool. This race takes place under handicap conditions. Last year, $8.50 shot Vespertine won the MSS Security Sprint, ensuring that only one favourite – White Marlin – saluted on Melbourne Cup Day.