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The Melbourne Cup is Australia's major annual thoroughbred horse race. Nearly every person in Australia stops to watch or listen to this event, it is billed as 'The race that stops a nation'. The race is for three-year-olds and over, and covers a distance of 3200 meters. It was originally held over two miles, about 3,218 meters, but changed to the current distance of 3200 meters following Australia's adoption of the metric system in 1972.
The Melbourne Cup is held at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.
It is held by the Victoria Racing Club on the first Tuesday each November, at 3.20 p.m. It has been on this date since it conception in 1861.
see photos from the 2006 Melbourne Cup