Melbourne Cup day will look very different in 2020, with fans and connections banned from Flemington due to COVID-19 restrictions.
First run in 1861, the Melbourne Cup is a cultural institution that usually sees up to 100,000 well-dressed punters flock to Flemington, with boozy parties held nationwide.
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Despite hopes that some sort of crowd would still be allowed on Tuesday, the Victoria Racing Club conceded it would not be possible.
“While we are very disappointed not to be able to welcome our members and racegoers to Cup Week, we understand the (Victorian) government’s commitment to keeping our community safe,” chairman Amanda Elliott said in a statement.
“We also recognise the need for certainty and clarity for our patrons.”
Elliot said the Melbourne Cup would stage a number of events that viewers can participate in at home to keep everyone engaged throughout the day.
“What is certain is the Melbourne Cup Carnival will go ahead with viewing audiences watching from across Australia and around the world,” she added.
“The spirit of Cup Week, the high quality racing and the 160th running of the People’s Cup will be enjoyed by millions.”
‘Decadent and depraved’ Melbourne Cup history
Without anyone in attendance, Australia will be deprived of the annual Melbourne Cup gallery of shame - the photos that go viral every Wednesday after the race of punters enjoying a few too many beverages.
While the event is world-renowned, it is usually the behaviour of spectators at Flemington that makes global headlines.
In 2016, American journalist Bill Haisley described the Melbourne Cup as “decadent and depraved”.
“It's not until you see these photos of the Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most drunken and depraved horse racing event, that you can really understand just how out of hand [they] can get,” Haisley wrote for Deadspin.
“Following the proud British tradition of getting equal parts dolled and f****d up at horse races - it is a perfect event for young and old alike to don their finest of outfits and guzzle copious amounts of alcohol.
“The entire state of Victoria even gets the day off from work, since Melbourne Cup day has been decreed an official local holiday.
“There is a lot of booze. There is a lot of littering. There is a lot of smiling. There is, for whatever reason, a whole lot of falling/lying on the ground.
“All of these factors combined create opportunities for some marvellous photography.”
That year the The International Business Times also had a crack.
“Australia's most prestigious horse race descended into Australia's biggest party, as the booze kept on flowing long after the Melbourne Cup had run,” they reported.
“Around 100,000 spectators enjoyed the big day at Flemington racecourse - some rather more than others.
“Judging from these photos, the police must have been kept busy. Stewards had to step in to break up brawls, and several punters were carried away in ambulances.
“The Melbourne Cup is known as 'the race that stops the nation'. Perhaps this is because revellers are so hung-over the next day that they can't move.”
With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the wildest photos in Melbourne Cup history:
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