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How Australia celebrates Melbourne Cup day

The Melbourne Cup may be held at Flemington but the $7.3 million horse race is celebrated across Australia.

THE RACE THAT STOPS A NATION

* Melbourne Cup day has been a public holiday in Melbourne since 1877

* Lloyd Williams, the owner of six Cup winners, has called for the day to be a national public holiday. Williams is going for seven wins this year with Irish-trained stablemates Yucatan The Cliffsofmoher

WHEN THE WORLD JOINED IN

* This is a milestone anniversary of Vintage Crop’s win, the first international horse to take the Cup when the Irish stayer was successful in 1993

* There are 11 northern hemisphere-trained horses running on Tuesday.

WHY ISN’T WINX IN THE CUP?

*The world’s highest ranked racehorse, Winx has won 29 races in a row including four consecutive Cox Plates but has never contested a Melbourne Cup and has never run beyond 2400 metres.

* Because of her success, Winx would be slugged with a big weight, more than 60kg.

* She doesn’t need to. Having amassed nearly $23 million prize money and earned herself the title of world’s best thoroughbred, Winx hasn’t got anything else to prove

* Her trainer Chris Waller will have three runners – Who Shot Thebarman, Youngstar and Finche

* Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman will ride English horse Marmelo

ECONOMICS OF THE CUP

* More people take sick leave on the day after the Melbourne Cup than at any other time

* Analysts say it costs Australia more than a billion dollars in lost productivity

* But in 2017 the carnival attracted more than 100,000 interstate visitors and contributed $225 million in new tourist dollars.

* And it poured more than $444 million gross into Victorian state coffers

* Australians are expected to place more than 35 million individual bets over the four-day Melbourne Cup carnival.

HOW AUSTRALIA CELEBRATES

* Forty three race meetings will be held across Australia on Tuesday. Queensland leads the way with 14, followed by NSW with 13.

* The border town of Wentworth in the far south-west of NSW where the Murray and Darling rivers meet holds its own annual Cup meeting to coincide with Australia’s greatest race.

* Wentworth’s population of 1400 people doubles with tourists who come to indulge in the country hospitality

FASHION

* Fashion became a Melbourne Cup staple in 1962 with the debut of Fashions in the Field. It stopped in 1971 during a cash-strapped economy

* For the 2017 Cup carnival more than $32 million was spent on fashion including 49,067 pairs of shoes, 46,448 dresses and 59,665 hats and fascinators

ROYALS

* Despite her love of racing, The Queen has never attended the Melbourne Cup, leaving it to other British royals including

* Prince Charles and his then-wife Diana, Princess of Wales (1985)

* Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (1990)

* Zara Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne and the Queen’s granddaughter (2009)

* Prince Charles and Camilla (2012)

* The Queen has had a Cup runner with Arabian Story sixth in 1997.

FORECAST

* Some rain and thunderstorms are predicted on Monday and Tuesday with Cup day temperatures to be around 20 degrees.

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