This dodecagonal fifty cent coin was issued to commemorate the 150th running of the classic horse race, The Melbourne
The 150th running of the Melbourne Cup took place on Tuesday 2nd November 2010 at 3.00pm local time. It was first run back in 1861 with around 4,000 spectators and won by a horse named Archer. Little did anyone know at that time that this race would become 'The race that stops a nation'. Flemington Racecourse was pretty basic at first with hardly any running rails or stands. But the Melbourne Cup quickly became the place to be and was seen as a carnival with picnic parties, sideshows, celebrations and people showing off the latest fashions. Australia's rich and famous attended the Cup along with socialites and politicians. Over the years, this event has become the pinnacle of the sport. Even by 1880, the crowds that flocked to the event swelled to 100,000. Considering the population of Melbourne at the time was only 290,000 it was quite impressive (Melbourne Cup, 2013) . The horses themselves have quite a history with the race. There have been scandals, tragedies, controversies and heroism. Some of the great horses to have competed in the Melbourne Cup are Carbine (1890), Phar Lap (1930), Peter Pan (1932 and 1934), Comic Court (1950), Rising Fast (1954), Rain Lover (1968 & 1969), Kiwi (1983), Vintage Crop (1993), Might and Power (1997) and Makybe Diva (2003, 2004 & 2005).
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