Melbourne Cup frenzy: The 2016 race by numbers

Melbourne Cup 2016

The field on race 1 at the 2016 Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Source: AP/Joe Castro

It might be the race that stops the nation, but the Melbourne Cup certainly doesn’t put the brakes on spending.

Cup Day is a showcase for hats, luxury brands, good food and big bets. Want an idea of the scale? Here are some key metrics for the day:

Viewers and crowds 

  • 5.6 million Australians are tipped to tune into the broadcast, according to Roy Morgan.
  • For the first time, more viewers will be aged 50 and over; 55% will be aged 50+, compared with 46% a decade ago.
  • $3.6 million in prize money on offer for the winner of the big race.
  • 2:30pm – is when Twitter will launch an hour-long live stream sport event when it broadcasts the race and lead-up, in the first event of its kind in Australia.
  • TAB is chasing its $100 million bets booked in just on the Melbourne Cup, hoping this will be the first year it cracks the 100.
  • 70% is the chance the Bureau of Meteorology gives to rain in Victoria this afternoon.

Fortunes and fancy 

  • Big Orange is receiving no shortage of support, including from executive chairman of the $10 billion Visy business (and red head) Anthony Pratt, who is backing the horse. Big Orange has earned $1.5 million in prize money and is currently sitting at $13 odds. 
  • $AU310 million  the fortune of Big Orange owner and UK property mogul Bill Gredley.
  • $20 billion – the estimated net worth of owner of race favourite Hartnell, Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohhamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
  • $80,000one single bet on Australian horse Jameka to take out the trophy.
  • $5.50 – current odds for Hartnell, which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull seems to be happy with, having announced he’ll back the horse today.

  • One – swimming pool, which will make its debut in the Birdcage this year at the Mumm marquee.
  • $850 – the price of a bottle of Penfolds 2012 Grange, which Emirates has reportedly shipped three cases of to its marquee at Flemington today for guests to enjoy at 3:00pm.
  • 64 – the years that Myer’s Fashions on the Field has been running.
  • 15 – the years that the Men’s fashion category has been on offer at Flemington.
  • 87% – the number of HR managers that expect one of their staff members will call in sick tomorrow. Experts tell SmartCompany that’s fine – just make sure you’ve got a certificate.


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