In Australia it’s known as ‘the race that stops a nation’. Will next week’s Melbourne Cup, taking place Tuesday, November 3rd (Monday evening, November 2nd in the US), stop the American nation in its tracks this year – or at least America’s horse-racing nation?
Australia’s premier thoroughbred race and a horse-racing event that rivals our own Kentucky Derby internationally, the Emirates Melbourne Cup boasts prize money of $6.2 million AUD with a field of 24 world-class thoroughbreds competing for the $3.6 million AUD that goes to the winning horse. This prize packet and a two-mile course at the Flemington Racecourse in Australia’s second city makes the race a first internationally – the richest handicap race in the world of its distance.
Next Tuesday, as many as 100,000 Australians will descend on Flemington to see if current favorite Fame Game, trained by legendary Japanese trainer Yoshitada Munakata, will beat Trip to Paris, Mongolian Khan, and Preferment, the horses with the next best odds, by just a nose or by several lengths. The crowds in Melbourne will be joined by TV and internet audiences of over 700 million.
Among the Melbourne Cup spectators will be many Americans. Although Australia is on the other side of the world, the time difference works to the advantage of US horse-racing fans. When the starting pistol sounds at 3:00 pm. next Tuesday afternoon in Melbourne, it will be 11:00 p.m. Monday evening on the US East Coast and 8:00 p.m. on the West. This means that the Cup won’t overshadow what’s going on at American tracks that day.
Even better, Americans have never had more choice when it comes to watching the Melbourne Cup. More and more advance deposit wagering (ADW) websites provide simulcasting live from Flemington. These include TVG, TwinSpires, Xpressbet, BetAmerica, MyWinners, and NYRA Rewards, which is showing the Australian race for the very first time this year, as well as many other ADWs.
Of course, as well as offering live video streaming direct from Flemington, the ADWs also give US horse-racing fans the opportunity to wager on their favorite thoroughbred Down Under. ADWs aren’t the only place Americans can place a bet, though. All the big race-books in Nevada, The Turf Paradise track and off-track betting (OTB) outlets in Arizona, the Sam Houston Race Park in Texas, the Remington Park and Will Rogers Downs tracks in Oklahoma, and numerous OTBs in New Jersey are all showcasing the Melbourne Cup this year.
Last year, North Americans wagered close to $1 million on the Melbourne Cup. Will they top that this year and, more importantly, will you be one of them?