When the clock strikes 3pm on 6 November, more than five million viewers are expected to tune in to this year’s 158th running of the Melbourne Cup – better known as ‘the race that stops the nation’.
Synonymous with marvellous millinery, fine frockery and free-flowing champagne, Australia’s most prestigious thoroughbred horse race is also the richest 3,200-metre contest on the global racing calendar.
This year, the prize money on offer has shot up by more than A$1 million, now standing at a whopping A$7.3 million.
Melbourne Cup snapshot:
- A$200,000 – The value of this year’s Melbourne Cup trophy
- 46,570 — The number of champagne bottles that will be popped
- 10,000 — The number of oysters to be shucked
- 305,000 – The amount of beer units punters will enjoy at Melbourne Cup Carnival
- A$33 million – The amount Australians will spend on race day fashion
- A$125 million – The amount spent betting on the 2017 Melbourne Cup
For punters who can’t make it to Flemington racecourse this year, we’ve rounded up some of Australia’s most stylish venues to enjoy a day of high fashion, bottomless champagne, decadent hors d'oeuvres, and of course, horse racing.
Left Bank Melbourne
For uninterrupted views of the Yarra and city skyline, head to Left Bank Melbourne for a race day to remember. Enjoy a flute of GH Mumm NV Champagne on arrival and a three-course lunch including freshly shucked oysters, slow roasted lamb rack, crispy skin Tasmanian salmon, flame-charred chicken breast, and more. With thrilling sweeps and door prizes on offer, the big race will be shown across two massive screens before a DJ keeps the celebrations going late into the night.
Tickets: A$85-135 per person
Take to Sydney’s most iconic waterside setting for an elegant, all-Australian Melbourne Cup affair at Bennelong. With sweeps and prizes throughout the day, you’ll sip on Charles Heidsieck Champagne before indulging in three canapes and a delightful three-course lunch menu crafted by legendary Australian chef, Peter Gilmore – all under the stunning sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House.
Tickets: A$220 per person
The Terrace, Emporium Hotel South Bank
Located on the 21st floor of Emporium Hotel South Bank, The Terrace is the only rooftop bar in the South Bank precinct, offering panoramic views across the Parklands, Brisbane River and the city skyline. With floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening onto an expansive balcony, two retractable roofs, and a 5-metre digital LED screen, there is no better venue in Brisbane to enjoy Australia’s most famous horse race. Tickets include a four-hour premium beverage package including champagne, cocktails and canapés, live entertainment, charity sweepstakes and best-dressed prizes.
Tickets: A$260 per person
Start Cup day overlooking Swan River with abundant Taittinger Champagne and canapes on Wildflower’s sprawling terrace. Guests will enjoy three courses prepared by Head Chef Jed Gerrard, along with matched wines by State Buildings’ award-winning Wine Director Emma Farrelly. Following the big race, continue the celebrations at The State Buildings and Cathedral Square with big screens, abundant bubbles, a TAB pop-up, live entertainment and delicious food.
Tickets: A$250 per person
Riverside Restaurant, Intercontinental
November 6 will see Riverside Restaurant transform into a floral masterpiece, celebrating all things food, wine, fashion and racing. Savour the day with an elaborate grazing table, married with live oyster shucking stations, lobster dumplings and a Peking duck pancake rolling experience. Available all day are bottomless The Lane Vineyard wines, a selection of beers and ales, and G.H Mumm Champagne – as well as an extensive cocktail list at The Atrium Lounge downstairs.
Tickets: A$179-279 per person