[ADVERT]The Spring Racing Carnival sees the cream of the world's thoroughbred horses descend on Victoria to compete in races that are run from mid-September until the beginning of November. But it's not only metropolitan Melbourne that hosts these stars of the racetrack.
The 2013 Geelong Cup will be held on Wednesday the 23rd of October at the Geelong Racecourse. Part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, the Geelong Cup is a lead up race to the famous Melbourne Cup and is the most important country race day of the carnival.
While the Melbourne Cup is billed as 'the race that stops a nation' and is a public holiday in Melbourne, what many people do not realise is that the people of Geelong actually get their own race day off as the public holiday.
First run in 1872, the Geelong Cup takes place 13 days before the Melbourne Cup. Just because it is a country race doesn't mean that it fails to attract a quality field. Recent winners of the Geelong Cup, Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011), went on to win the prestigious Melbourne Cup. 2008 winner Bauer missed out on the win two weeks later at Flemington by the narrowest of margins while On A Juene, Geelong Cup winner in 2005, was probably unlucky to have been in form during the reign of Makybe Diva, coming second to the amazing mare at her third Melbourne Cup victory.
It's not just the horses that compete at the Geelong Cup. There is also a Fashion on the Field competition with prizes for best contemporary race wear, best classic race wear, best men's race wear and best hat. Last year's first prize was a holiday to New Zealand.
The only thing missing from the Geelong Cup is the hefty price tag for admission. General admission tickets are $30, considerably less than the cost of attending a major Melbourne race day.
If you are looking for a more lavish race day experience, marquee packages are also available with some including meals and beverage packages, race books, access to totes, and televisions so you won't miss a minute of the racing.
And just like any other major race day you can expect to see the young fillies leaving the racetrack with their shoes in their hands. That's racing.