Your Guide To The Melbourne Cup Carnival

With spring less than a month away, it’s time to start thinking about the horse racing that accompanies it! The Spring Racing Carnival is one of Victoria’s most anticipated annual events, and with over two-dozen different races and events – you’ll be pretty hard-pressed to not attend at least one of them over the next few months. However, a lot of people tend to just get excited with four days of the Carnival in particular. The Melbourne Cup Carnival runs from the 2nd to the 9th of November this year and consists of four days of racing and refreshments that you can enjoy with your colleagues or friends. Our Melbourne bus hire experts have compiled this comprehensive guide to the week of high-fashion and even higher stakes.

Melbourne Cup Carnival Horse and Champagne Flutes


AAMI Victoria Derby Day

The first event for the week falls on Saturday the 2ndof November and is the Derby Day. This is the final day for horses to actually qualify for a chance at the Cup. It features a card of nine group racers – four of which are at the elite level of Group 1. If you’re unfamiliar with what this means, it basically translates into a race between nine horses, of which four are in the top-rated group in the country.

Derby Day traditionally invites ladies to sport monochromatic colours and light charcoal suits for the men. Fascinators can be purchased or rented and are a must for ladies during the carnival. Our tip is to rent your fascinators as you’ll probably end up wanting to wear a different one for next year’s carnival – or maybe a different one for each day of the Carnival if you really want to change up your looks.


Lexus Melbourne Cup Day

Melbourne Cup Day is the most well-known of the four days as it’s a public holiday! With the tagline “the race that stops the nation” it always falls on a Tuesday and this year it’ll be the 5thof November. This is the day where you should dress to impress. Navy, cobalt blue and grey or charcoal suits are particularly favoured by men and should be worn with plain white shirts.

If you feel the need to add a bit of flair to your outfit, then try a paisley patterned pocket square or tie. You can wear chinos with different coloured blazers without a tie if you prefer to go on the more casual side as well. It’s important to note that for all days, if you’re in a member’s area such as the birdcage, then the dress codes are quite strict, and you will most likely be required to wear a suit.

Ladies have a bit more leeway when it comes to their outfits for the rest of the three days. Dresses, playsuits, pants and even nice dress shorts are all acceptable and can all look ravishing when the right combinations are put together. Remember, spring is when the flowers bloom, so use bright colours to your advantage. Colours such as pink or green against a white base are great options.


Kennedy Oaks Day

Thursday the 7thof November is Oaks Day, which is traditionally concerned with femininity, style and grace. It has long been considered a day for the ladies, so this is the day for the ladies to pull out their best outfit and parade around the racecourse. This is not an event exclusively for women – for those wondering – but it does concentrate on their beauty and style more so than the other days. There is even a Group 1 race which features female horses (fillies)!

A lot of men take it upon themselves to compile an outfit ensemble that showcases some more heavily patterned suits or blazers with uncommon colours. A combination of a pink blazer with white pants would not be an uncommon scene on Oaks Day.


Seppelt Wines Stakes Day

This is the final day of Melbourne Cup Week and falls on Saturday the 9thof November this year. Stakes Day features some racing but is mainly held as a celebration of the past week. It is a bit of a more casual affair and often thought of as the day for everyone to “let their hair down”, so to speak. Stakes Day also concentrates on holding more of a family-friendly environment.


Looking for bus hire to Melbourne Cup Week?

It can be quite a challenge navigating public transport during the Cup Week – and with everyone else catching a cab to and from the event, it’s easy to get lost in the mix. Plan ahead and look at a Melbourne bus hire service like Melbourne On The Move. Booking a charter bus with a group of friends is the best way to enjoy the day as you won’t have to worry about getting there or coming home afterwards – you can just enjoy yourself whilst you’re there.

If you’re interested in Melbourne bus hire services, then please give us a call on 1300 558 686 or fill out the enquiry form on our website.