About the Cup

It is widely billed as the ‘race that stops a nation’, when the whole of Australia tunes in to hear one of the greatest horse races in the world.

The Melbourne Cup has been held each year since 1861 and sees thoroughbreds over three-years-old competing in the famous ‘two-mile’ handicap. In modern terms this is 3,200 meters – a long distance by any stretch of the imagination but it is all over in less than 4 minutes. Melbourne in November reaches a sultry 30 degrees and rarely rains. Only 13 of the Melbourne Cup runs have had rain.

The Melbourne Cup is the richest ‘two mile’ race in the world, attracting both the seasoned punters and millions of ordinary Australians who don’t normally follow horse racing. The electric atmosphere, the prize money and the office sweeps all over Australia mean that at that magic 3pm everything else stops for the race. For many Victorians it is a public holiday, and more than 100,000 enthusiasts pack into the Flemington racecourse to partake in the great atmosphere of race day and the best odds.

Upcoming Melbourne Cup Dates

Want to book early for next year? The Melbourne Cup is always on the first Tuesday of November.
So, the dates for the next four years are:

2018 Melbourne Cup Tuesday, 6th November 2018
2019 Melbourne Cup Tuesday, 5th November 2019
2020 Melbourne Cup Tuesday, 3rd November 2020
2021 Melbourne Cup Tuesday, 2nd November 2021

Melbourne Cup Race Time

Due to daylight saving and time zone differences, the start time may differ from 3:00pm in your city.
When does the Melbourne Cup start in your state, territory or city? Below is a table listing when the race is due to start for each state and territory of Australia (with capital city in brackets).

Melbourne Cup live start time, Australia-wide
if you live in… the race starts at…
Victoria (Melbourne) 3:00PM (15:00)
New South Wales (Sydney) 3:00PM (15:00)
Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) 3:00PM (15:00)
Tasmania (Hobart) 3:00PM (15:00)
South Australia (Adelaide) 2:30PM (14:30)
Queensland (Brisbane) 2:00PM (14:00)
Northern Territory (Darwin) 1:30PM (13:30)
Western Australia (Perth) 12:00PM (12:00)

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