Flemington Racecourse is the most iconic race track in Australia. It is home to the Melbourne Cup, which many refer to as “the race that stops a nation”.
Flemington is located 6km north-west from the Melbourne CBD with racegoers being able to catch public transport or an Uber/Taxi in order to attend the venue.
Flemington was first used for horse racing back in 1840 and on November 7, 2006, it was placed on the National Heritage List.
The Flemington track dimensions are as follows:
* Circumference: 2312m
* Home Straight: 450m
* Long Straight: 1200m
* Direction: anti-clockwise
The long straight of 1200m is used for sprint-distance racing with races held over 1000m, 1100m and 1200m taking place down the long Flemington straight; the 1200m sprinting races are said to be run down ‘The Straight Six’ which refers to six furlongs.
Races that are held over a distance greater than 1200m begin on the course proper, which is where the 450m straight comes into effect. This does not include the Melbourne Cup which begins up the extended straight.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival is the most popular racing week on the Australian calendar each year. It kicks off with Derby Day on a Saturday in late October or early November before leading into Melbourne Cup Day on the first Tuesday in November. Oaks Day follows on Thursday before the carnival concludes with Stakes Day on Saturday.
Other feature races that are held at Flemington each year are the Australian Guineas, Newmarket Handicap, Australian Cup, Makybe Diva Stakes, Turnbull Stakes, Victoria Derby, Coolmore Stud Stakes, VRC Oaks, Cantala Stakes and VRC Sprint Classic.
Legendary racehorse Phar Lap completed a remarkable feat in 1930 by winning the Melbourne Stakes on November 1 over 10 furlongs, the Melbourne Cup on November 4 over two miles, the Linlithgow Stakes on November 6 over eight furlongs and the CB Fisher Plate on November 8 over 12 furlongs. All four victories came at Flemington within the space of one week; it is safe to say this feat will not be replicated, let alone attempted, any time soon.
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