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Protectionist before the 2014 Melbourne Cup | © Chris Phutully/WikiCommons
Protectionist before the 2014 Melbourne Cup | © Chris Phutully/WikiCommons
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The Ultimate Guide To The 2016 Melbourne Cup

Picture of Monique La Terra
Updated: 19 September 2016
‘The Race That Stops a Nation’ is the ‘richest two-mile handicap’ thoroughbred horse race in the world and attracts 100,000 people including celebrities and racing royalty, with millions more gathered at home with family and friends around their TV sets in anticipation of the race. There are ten events throughout the day, and at 3 pm, the main race begins, with the winner receiving an 18 carat gold trophy and $3.6 million – the total prize money for the race is valued at $6.2 million. Emirates Melbourne Cup Day is also an opportunity to make bold and sophisticated fashion statements in an effort to win Myer’s Fashions on the Field.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The first race of the Emirates Melbourne Cup will commence at 10:40 am, and the final race of the day will get underway at 5:15 pm. The gates will open on the race that stops a nation at 3:00 pm.

Race 1: Emirates Airline Plate Group 3, 1000 metres, $150,000

Race 2: Schweppes #FlemingtonFling, 1000 metres, $100,000

Race 3: Lexus Hybrid Plate, 1400 metres, $150,000

Race 4:  MSS Security Sprint, 1200 metres, $150,000

Race 5: Lavazza Short Black, 1400 metres, $100,000

Race 6: Melbourne Cup Day Plate, 1800 metres, $150,000

Race 7: Emirates Melbourne Cup, 3200 metres, $6,000,000

Race 8: BM96 Handicap, 2800 metres, $100,000

Race 9: Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes Group 3, 1400 metres, $200,000

Race 10: Trophy, 1700 metres, $100,000

Ticketing Options

General Admission tickets will get you up close to all the thoroughbred action with access to the Flemington front lawn, Hill Square, Hill Stand level 1, the betting ring, Saintly Place and all public bars. $71.40

The Precinct’s location has moved from behind the Hill Stand to the trackside besides The Birdcage and The Rails, immersing ticket holders within the excitement. Feel the ground tremor as the finest horses thunder past. Precinct tickets include a $15 redeemable food voucher, souvenir pen, commemorative pin, and racebook. Precinct tickets can be upgraded to a Precinct Grandstand seat for those wanting an elevated view of the track. $198.80

Lawn Grandstand Reserved Seat tickets place racegoers opposite the winning post and provide a panoramic view of Melbourne’s city skyline. This year, those with Lawn Grandstand Reserved Seat tickets have the option of indulging in one of three gourmet picnic hampers, including a vegetarian option. $224.30

Saintly Place Reserved Seat, formerly known as The Undercroft, gives you access to an indoor, air-conditioned viewing area under the Lawn Stand. This year, gourmet picnic hampers are available to add onto your ticket. $234.50


Although there is no enforced dress code for general admission, half the fun of attending the races is dressing up, and all racegoers, no matter their ticket, are encouraged to dress smart for the occasion. Sophisticated, feminine silhouettes and tailored suits are always a winning choice, and this season, pastels such as powder pink, lilac and mint green are expected to be popular, as is print clashing. If classic ladylike fashion isn’t for you, try a structured modern silhouette, and whatever you do, don’t forget your headwear. Melbourne Cup Day sees racegoers embrace colour as fashionistas don their brightest looks.

When choosing an outfit, opt for a hemline below the knee, as short mini-dresses are frowned upon – remember you’re not going to the club. Also, be smart when selecting your shoes because there’s nothing attractive about sore feet and heels too high to walk in, and consider where you’ll be spending most of your day. If you’re planning to sit on the lawn, then leave the stilettos at home as they’ll only sink into the grass.


Fashions on the Field

In 1962, in an effort to draw more women to the races, Fashions on the Field was set up with the mission of ‘finding the smartest dressed women at the Carnival within economic restraints.’ Today, Myer Fashions on the Field is an opportunity for men and women from across Australia to dress up and compete for the coveted title. Registrations are now open.

Official Flower

Did you know that each major race day at Flemington has its own flower? The Melbourne Cup is associated with the yellow rose; Victoria Derby Day – the cornflower; Oaks Day – pink rose; and Stakes Day – red rose. You can purchase these flowers from flower sellers near the entrances at Flemington.