Lexus Melbourne Cup Day - All you need to know

2 November 2021 Written by VRC

‘The race that stops a nation’™ will today become the race that restarts the state as Australia comes together at 3pm (AEDST) for the 161st running of the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

In what marks the return of major events in Victoria, 10,000 spectators will be trackside as trainers from the UK and Ireland take on locals including Queensland-bred wonder horse Incentivise and reigning Australian Horse of the Year Verry Elleegant in the $8 million Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m)

Incentivise is set to start the shortest-priced Lexus Melbourne Cup favourite since the immortal Phar Lap in 1930 as he aims to become the 12th horse overall, and the first in 20 years, to land the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup double. He is currently the $2.80 favourite with TAB.

Jockeys Damien Oliver (Delphi), Kerrin McEvoy (Grand Promenade) and Glen Boss (Sir Lucan) will be attempting to join legends Bobbie Lewis and Harry White as the most successful riders in Lexus Melbourne Cup history with four wins.

A Welcome to Country by Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Colin Hunter Jnr will take place at 10.20am in the Mounting Yard ahead of the first race, the Group 3 Darley Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) for two-year-olds at 10:45am.

The cast of Moulin Rouge! The Musical will perform Lady Marmalade live from The Garden Stage in Wildflower at 1:10PM. It is a precursor to the return of musical theatre in Melbourne, with the Tony Award-winning musical set to open on November 12 at the Regent Theatre.

The traditional pre-Lexus Melbourne Cup proceedings and entertainment will captivate racegoers with the official VRC Ambassador for 2021, ARIA award winner and multi-platinum singer/songwriter Delta Goodrem, to perform a spectacular anthemic medley at 2:15PM from The Garden Stage in Wildflower.

Following the performance, to recognise and honour the inspiring efforts of all frontline workers during the pandemic, paediatric nurse Angela Maxwell and aged care nurse Lisa Travis will pass the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup to the Chairman of the VRC Neil Wilson as he welcomes the Cup home to Flemington.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical star Des Flanagan will then perform the Australian National Anthem live from near the Mounting Yard.

The performances, and all of the action from Flemington, will be beamed into living rooms and live venues across Australia with Network 10’s live and free broadcast, with extended performances available via 10Play and

The winners for the prestigious Myer Fashions on your Front Lawn® Millinery Award and Emerging Designer Award will be announced on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day as part of the Network 10 broadcast.

Myer Fashions on your Front Lawn® state and territory finalists have also been selected for the National Women’s and Men’s Racewear Competitions but racegoers attending Flemington today have a second opportunity to be selected for the national final via a new wildcard on-course component.

Dedicated style spotters will select and photograph the best dressed male and female attendees on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, having also been present on Penfolds Victoria Derby Day, with judges choosing one male and one female wildcard winner who both gain direct entry into the national final held on Kennedy Oaks Day.

Style spotters on course will include VRC Ambassador and former Myer Fashions on the Field winner Crystal Kimber, Myer Ambassador Kris Smith and Myer Fashions on your Front Lawn® Ambassador Tayla Damir.

The 2021 Myer Fashions on your Front Lawn® competition offers one of Australia’s richest prize pools, with the Women’s and Men’s Racewear National Final winners each receiving more than $100,000 in prizes. This includes a brand-new Lexus vehicle, an Omega Watch from Kennedy and a Myer gift card. 

To round out the iconic competition, three Just For Fun categories - Family Ties, Cup Week Costumes and Cup Week Casual – will allow everyone to revel in the joyful spirit the Melbourne Cup Carnival, with entries open until Saturday 6 November.

Up to 10,000 patrons including frontline workers who won tickets via a VRC and Herald Sun competition, have been approved to attend Flemington Racecourse on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, following the crowd over 5,000 who returned to the races for the first time since July on Penfolds Victoria Derby Day. A crowd of 10,000 people will also be at Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday and Paramount+ Mackinnon Stakes Day on Saturday, in line with the State Government’s plans for the safe reopening of events across Victoria.

Tickets for members and the general public are now on sale via Ticketek.

Off the track, Lexus Melbourne Cup Day Ambassador and Olympian Ariarne Titmus will be watching the race that stops a nation from Brisbane surrounded by friends and family while Melbourne Cup Carnival Ambassador and Brownlow medallist, Ollie Wines will be enjoying Cup Day at Morphettville where his horse, Sacred Armour will be running.

Friends of the VRC Candice Warner, Josh Addo-Carr and Suzan Mutesi will also revel in the spirit of the day and pop the Mumm champagne to celebrate from their homes in Sydney. In Melbourne, friend of the VRC Ash Pollard will be serving a decadent Cup Day spread, while stylist Stuart Walford will be swapping the activewear for bright colours to participate in all the fashions fun.

The rest of the nation can celebrate from wherever they are via the live and free broadcast on Network 10 and 10 Play on demand, supported by the VRC’s digital initiatives including ZED RUN and Giddy Up Flemington.

Racegoers on track will be encouraged to purchase a 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup lapel pin from volunteers on course, with all proceeds going towards the VRC’s 2021 Pin & Win charity partner Very Special Kids.

The commemorative pins cost $5 and $10 for a diamante horseshoe pin and are also available for purchase online here. Every purchaser is able to enter the draw to win over $130,000 worth of prizes including a brand new 2021 Lexus UX 250h AWD F Sport valued at $75,525.