Today is Melbourne Cup day in Australia.

Billed as 'the race that stops a nation', the Melbourne Cup is the biggest even on the horse racing calendar in Australia and seems to be a pretty big deal judging by the fact that people have been going on about it for weeks now. Apparently, aussies are more likely to throw a sickie today than any other day (I thought it seemed quiet in the office).

Established in 1861, the Melbourne Cup is a thoroughbred race held over a distance of 2 miles.

The main race is on at 2pm our time so they're putting it on the big screen in the office (the one that usually shows the status of the IT Networks and major servers). I must be the only person who hasn't put a bet on. I did get given a sweep-stake ticket when I bought a coffee this morning though, so if Black Tom wins I'll get a free coffee. Whoo ooh! I tell you, they have got serious issues with gambling over here!

Melbourne Cup Official Website

UPDATE: Black Tom came 17th out of 21. There goes my free coffee.