The greatest glory and success that Australia' horse racing has enjoyed is due to the Melbourne Cup, which had started out as a domestic sport in its initial days but today, is a much awaited international event. The Melbourne Cup has a very long history and has its origins in the year 1861. In its very early years it proved to be quite an elegant racing championship wherein the winner was awarded £ 170 and an expensive gold watch. The initial number of horses in the racing game was 17 and the number of spectators the event attracted went beyond 4000. With passing years, the prize money has also increased along with the standard at which the event is conducted and also the fan base the game has been able to draw is worthy of appreciation.
The Melbourne Cup allows only thoroughbred horses to take part in the competition and the distance required to be traveled is 3200 meters. In the first race, Archer was the winner while at present the crown rests with Kingston Rule. The Melbourne Cup takes place at the Victoria racing Club in Melbourne and the popularity and prestige of the event is such that the day of the game, that is the first Tuesday of November is declared a holiday in metropolitan Melbourne. It is the in reality the Melbourne Cup which has made Australian horse racing, a most well-loved game in the country. Some of the most famous Australian horses, who have achieved fame and success are; Makybe Diva, Paleface Adios, Cardigan Bay and the most famous Phar Lap, a runner from 1928 till 1932. Australian race horses have always been very successful because they usually are of very good breed and that is chiefly because of the climate and topography of the country which breeds very good horses.
At present, the Australian Horse Racing Board is the only official organization responsible for promoting and developing thoroughbred horse-racing in Australia. The Board was established in the June of 1998 and can be called to perform a very good role in taking Australia' horse racing to international levels. Australia' horse racing events is conducted on the basis of 9 rules laid down by the Australian Horse Racing Board. The 9 rules which should necessarily be followed are:-
- Race Meetings