When Horses Stop A City

phar lap

Phar Lap

It is one of those things I find rather amazing living here. And this thing is called “Cup Day”. It is a horse race. Or better, it is THE horse race! It’s part of what is called the Spring Carnival. What is pretty amazing (at least for me) is, that this race, this “Cup Day” takes place on a Tuesday. And you know what? Everything is closed. Basically nobody works! The schools are off, some of them were off already yesterday. As much as I like horses, I find it rather strange that one race brings the entire city to a halt. And I actually think it does not only affect Melbourne, but also other parts of Australia. I’ve never been to the races in Melbourne so far. It is a pretty big deal. Women and men nicely dressed up, big hats, beautiful dresses and nice suits. Unfortunately a lot of drinking as well. And I guess that kept me from going. But It seems fun and every year I happily accept the fact, that this day is a day off and watch the “Cup” on TV, sometimes even some of the races held prior to it. These beautiful horses fascinate me. So much power, so much speed, so much beauty! They are athletes, ready to perform. You can see the tension in their muscles and the excitement in their eyes. They are ready to go. It all comes down to this race. So much relying to this one race. I wonder how will take the crown this year… You gotta love horses…

22 thoughts on “When Horses Stop A City

  1. Hmm, sounds like a good post topic! When I saw this in my email I actually paused for a moment to reread what blog it was posted on! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So interesting to hear about the special days in other parts of the world. I knew that sailing was a big deal in Australia, but I had never heard of Horse Day. At one time, we lived in a part of the US where horse racing was a bigger deal (Nashville, Tennessee, where there was a steeplechase; people wore hats, but it was more of an upper-class thing, and we weren’t upper-class). A holiday is always great!

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  3. Great post. Here in Sydney.. We don’t get a public holiday, but most people are off to watch the race at some club or Resteraunt with a large TV and a nice lunch. The race falls at the time when the school bell rings for most schools… So I will be hearing the race on the radio while driving to pick up my son.
    It is amazing how this race is huge each year and I love watching the outfits, hats and fascinators. I don’t think id be brave enough though to watch it on Melbourne… The grog and the crowds would be too much to handle in heels.

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  4. I’ve been to Oakes Day, it’s a lot of fun. I’m back in NSW these days but just about to head off to the pub to make a bet and watch the race. I generally make my bets, drink one drink, soak up the atmosphere (it gets so exciting when they run!) and then go home. I sat in the Royal Oak in Footscray the year Makybe Diva won the second time in a row, with only enough money for a beer (and my rent money, but was sensible enough not to bet!). I watched her come out with her jockey and I knew she was going to win. Such a magnificent horse, all the way through her withers and her head, you could tell she was a horse with real class. It’s so fun in Melbourne when the city gets flooded with people in their get ups though…

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      • No… I wasn’t very until that year I sat in the pub in Footscray and watched that horse run just a kilometre away in the rain. It hammered down where I sat in the pub, out of nowhere, and the course was flowing! I caught the cup fever from that experience. And then went over seas for a few years.

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      • It must have been in 2007… I think. He was an outsider. Beautiful horse. And did kind of a Phar Lap… From way back… It was just so amazing. I would have bet some money on him if I would not have been too busy looking after little kids… Too lazy to do it… Such a beautiful horse. Not sure if he did anything on top of that after or before. But hey, they don’t really have to… I think the next horse I liked as much was Black Caviar…

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