The Race That Stops a Nation SLV display

  • November 2010–November 2011
  • The Changing Face of Victoria
  • Dome Galleries (Level 5)
  • State Library Victoria
  • Swanston Street
  • Melbourne, Victoria
  • Australia

  • Curator: Christine Eid

This special display in The Changing Face of Victoria exhibition, at the State Library Victoria, commemorates the running of the 150th Melbourne Cup in 2010.

Introduced in 1861, the two-mile handicap race was conceived by the Victoria Turf Club to outshine its rival the Victoria Jockey Club.

Since 1877 Cup Day, as it's known, has been declared a public holiday in Victoria.

Throughout the history of the Melbourne Cup there have been significant milestones: champion thoroughbred Carbine made a record win in 1890; Phar Lap won races on each of the four days of the 1930 Cup carnival; and Makybe Diva was the first horse to win the Melbourne Cup three times in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Today horses from across the globe compete, punters place bets, capacity crowds are drawn and the race is televised internationally. It's a day long associated with a carnival atmosphere, garden parties, fashion and glamour.