The race that stops the nation is being run today: the Melbourne Cup has a Derwent River connection

The first Tuesday in November is never a public holiday across Australia (although residents of the state of Victoria enjoy a day off) however it is the day when at 3pm, regardless of whether someone is at home, at work, or in the pub, they will be watching the Melbourne Cup.

I wondered whether I could find any connections between this world famous thoroughbred horse race (a 3,200 metre race for three-year-olds and over. It is the richest “two-mile” handicap in the world. One of the prizes is a large gold Cup) and my walk along the Derwent River.

I was pleased (and immensely surprised) to discover that the clean power generated by some of the waters from the upper reaches of our Derwent River has been supplied to the Victorian Racing Committee.  The Melbourne Cup event and all others at Flemington are powered by our Derwent River. Amazing!

At best, the other connections are slim.

  • Currently Australia has a horse named Derwent which is racing today in Sydney, but this horse is not part of the Melbourne Spring horse racing carnival.
  • There are endless Melbourne Cup luncheons and parties in the Greater Hobart Area along the Derwent River including one at the Derwent Sailing Squadron.
  • Hobart’s main race course is at Elwick (Tasmanian Racing Club) in the northern suburbs with a view across the Derwent River: live races will be run there today and big screens have been set up around the facilities for racegoers to flock to and watch the Melbourne Cup mid-afternoon.
  • In early October the actual physical Emirates Melbourne Cup was brought to Tasmania to generate publicity for the great event today. I was surprised to read the following “The $185,000 Emirates Melbourne Cup came bitingly close to a Tasmanian Devil at the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park, found religion at Port Arthur Historic Site, took in the sights from the Tasmanian Air Adventures Seaplane and cruised the Derwent River with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys.” on the website  I guess I shouldn’t say “it’s only a cup for heaven’s sake!”

Do you want to know more, or to see a photo of the Cup, then go to

You can watch the race online at


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