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The Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup, a horse race, is Australia's greatest sporting event and literally stops the nation on the first Tuesday in November. In Victoria, a public holiday exists for Cup Day, while in other states people usually get an afternoon off work or else stop work to watch the running of the Cup. A great many schools stop classes so children can watch the race, such is the great history of the race.

In recent years, more and more international horses have come to Australia in the hope of winning the cup, but those victories have been few and far between.

The greatest horse to win the Cup was Phar Lap, who was a freak racehorse that raced in the 1930's and which eventually died in tragic circumstances in the United States.

Australia's greatest trainer of Melbourne Cup winners is Bart Cummings, who has trained 11 cup winners over a 37-year period. Both the names "Pharlap" and "Bart Cummings" are deeply embedded within Australian culture and history and along with cricketing great Don Bradman are arguably among the three best known names to both older and younger Australians.

Visit the Melbourne Cup information web site.

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