20,000 people squeeze into Fannie Bay Racecourse for the Darwin Cup, which is traditionally held on the first Monday in August. 20,000 people mightn't sound like a lot, but when the local population is about 60,000, and Darwin is a long, long way from anywhere, it's a huge crowd!
The racing mightn't be the highest standard (the Northern Territory horse population is full of cast-offs from the southern states of Australia), but the Darwin Cup carnival is a fantastic event with a very strong bookmakers' ring. The racing schedule is done right too, with the Cup being the last race of the day at 5.30pm, followed by post-racing festivities at the track - so there's no need to start ridiculously early like they do on Melbourne Cup day, when many are passed out by the big race. It also gives the crowd plenty of time to arrive, and recover from the previous night's hangover....
If you've never been, it is a fantastic event to attend. Can't wait to get back there again myself....
For those in the UK, Darwin will be shown on the overnight Australian racing coverage on ATR, but I can't guarantee they won't switch to the teleshopping before the Cup!
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