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Blog post from Tuesday, 4 November, 2014

Melbourne Cup Day is celebrated today in Australia.

The first Melbourne Cup was held on November 7th, 1861.

This programme is from the State Library of New South Wales collections.

See our Discover Collections feature: A Day at the Races.

The event has been held by the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse in the first week of November since 1861. It is generally regarded as the most prestigious ‘two-mile’ handicap race in the world.

By the end of the 19th century the Melbourne Cup had become a national event. In 1877, the first Tuesday in November was officially declared a public holiday in Melbourne which ensured crowds flocked to the track.

In 1861, the winner was a horse called Archer.