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The last time the Melbourne Cup saw off the threat of a pandemic

The race that stops a nation has, crucially, never been stopped in its tracks.

With an iconic spot on the calendar that has historical links to the 1870s, the 159-year-old Melbourne Cup has prevailed through two World Wars and seen off at least one other public health crisis. In the aftermath of World War I and not long after the Spanish flu had been beaten off, a then "record crowd" descended on Flemington for the running of the 1919 race.

This year's famous 3200-metre handicap race at Flemington – officially to be run with the backdrop of COVID-19 hovering over the city and without crowds – represents new territory for Melbourne and the Victoria Racing Club.

Please click here to read the rest of the article as it appears on the Brisbane Times website.

Article written by: Scott Spits

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