The Melbourne Cup is an annual horserace held in Australia and it is the country’s most important horseracing event. It is an event only for thoroughbred horses – horses bred purely for racing and was first held in 1861. If you have any interest in horseracing, you will have undoubtedly heard of the Melbourne Cup as it is one of the most prestigious races in the world. For the uninitiated though, this guide will be a useful tool in getting to grips with horseracing and why the Melbourne Cup race attracts horse owners and jockeys across the world.
Horseracing is one of the world’s oldest sports and in the time since it was created, it has undergone virtually no change. This is mainly because of its simplicity – it is purely a test of speed, similar to the 100m race that humans compete in. Like our races, there are also racing events that test a horse’s stamina over a longer distance instead of a speed race. One thing that all horseracing events have in common though is the winning factor: the horse that finishes first wins. Horseracing used to be a sport that was reserved for the upper classes, but it has since transformed into a massive public event that is designed for entertainment.
The Melbourne Cup then is one of these races with a difference, it is a handicapped race. This helps limit advantages that might arise when inexperienced horses go against experienced horses. In such a race, the weight that horses must carry are adjusted relating to their skill – a better horse will have a higher wait and vice versa. This has the effect of equalising every horse’s chance of winning and so the skill in betting on a horse lies in predicting which horse will overcome its handicap. Such is the popularity of the Melbourne Cup that it is a public holiday in the city. It takes place over nearly 2 miles which is the metric adjusted distance after Australia’s adoption of the system
The 2021 Melbourne Cup is due to take place on the 2nd of November and will attract horseracing enthusiasts from around the world. As is common with horseracing events, it attracts a massive betting scene, more information to bet on the Melbourne Cup can be found here, and millions of bettors will seek to bet on the winning horse. The betting scene of horse racing is so popular as the races are very quick, with each lasting around 13 seconds on average. When compared to sports like football, where games can last from 90 to 120 minutes, it is easy to see why gamblers might prefer the near-instant way in which the winner is revealed. The only other sport that can achieve this feeling would be greyhound racing.
Those who had no idea about the Melbourne Cup and horseracing should now have a good understanding of the sport and be looking forward to the upcoming competition taking place in November.