The Melbourne Cup is known as the 'race that stops a nation' and is Australia's most prestigious thoroughbred horse race, held on the first Tuesday in November each year at Flemington Racecourse.
Although technically the race will be held tomorrow, due to the time difference between Canada and Australia, the race will be run today in Canada time.
It is such a part of the Melbournian cultural fabric that it cause for a public holiday, I am not aware of any other public holidays in honour of a horse race.
These days the celebration is as much about 'fashion on the field' and exclusive marquees as it is about horses. I will sheepishly admit that I have attended a couple of 'cups' where I didn't see a horse at all. My father informs me that this year the Emirates (cup sponsor) four-level venetian inspired marquee and Saab Ice Bar are the most coveted marquees to gain entrance to.
It is an event where women will feel utterly ridiculous if they are not wearing a hat (or a fascinator) and the fashion stakes are quite high. Planing your 'cup outfit' can take weeks.
Fashion and marquees aside there is definitely something exciting about placing your one and only bet on a horse (even if like me you have no idea what you are doing and make choices primarily on silks colours or horse names) each year.
This year my money ($1) is on Dolphin Jo ridden by Clare Lindop.
Goooooo Dolphin Jo... gooooooooo!