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As the home of the Melbourne Cup and the headquarters of thoroughbred horse racing in Victoria, Flemington Racecourse is considered to be an asset of state significance. It is the centrepiece of world class racing – especially the Spring Racing Carnival which brings hundreds of millions of dollars to the Victorian economy.

The Flemington Racecourse was built on the Maribyrnong flood plain and spring race meetings have been held there since 1854. In May 1974, the entire course was under water, and since then the river has broken its banks eight times. In 2005, specialists warned that flooding of the river within two months of the first Tuesday in November could mean the cancellation not only of Cup Day, but also Derby Day, Oaks Day and Stakes Day.

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