Hi V ... Today is the Melbourne Cup, billed as "The Race that Stops a Nation". Even Prince Charles and Camilla are in town! Some interesting facts: - (1) Horses must be 3 years old and over, (2) the distance is 3,200 metres (3) international horses must undergo a quarantine of 14 days before travelling to Australia (5) the total prize money last year was $A6,175,000 (6) the first Melbourne Cup was run on 7 November 1861 and the winner received a gold watch (7) Some 4,000 men and women attended to the first Melbourne Cup and crowds were thought to be less than expected because news reached Melbourne of the death of explorers Burke and Willis (8) the youngest jockey to win was Peter St. Albans on Briseis aged 13 (officially), but actually 12 years 11 months and 23 days (9) Phar Lap won the Melbourne Cup in 1930 (10) The Race that Stops The Nation is a poem about Australia's fascination wit the Melbourne Cup written by Vivienne McCredie in 1986. (PS. The above photograph was taken at the Kilmore races). Cheers J.