1881 Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is a thoroughbred horse race run in — obviously — Melbourne, Australia, every year on the first Tuesday in November. We’ve got the perfect burger below to celebrate, Australian style.

The race that stops a nation

Sometimes referred to as “the race that stops a nation,” the Melbourne Cup holds a special place in Aussie history and culture. In practice, the event has a lot of parallels to the American Kentucky Derby. However, in terms of national mindshare, it seems that Melbourne has Louisville beat … by much more than a nose.

This day is a public holiday for metro Melbourne. Public servants in Victoria get the day off, as well as in the Australian Capital Territory in New South Wales.

Even the older ones can compete

Unlike the Kentucky Derby, this race is not limited to 3-year-old horses. Three is just the minimum age. This means that a horse could theoretically win more than one Melbourne Cup during its career. For example, the most wins by any horse in Melbourne Cup history is Makybe Diva, an Australian-trained horse who won the 2003, 2004, and 2005 races.

Birth of a nation, birth of a brand

The Melbourne Cup also led to the formation of a (then) small radio manufacturing company in 1932.

At the 1932 Melbourne Cup, Bill O’Brien, a radio salesman, and Harry Norville, an engineer, placed a bet on 4-1 pony Peter Pan, and won. Despite tough economic times, the two decided to invest their winnings into something they’d long dreamt of and they started Breville Radio. The company’s name, ‘Breville,’ is a derivate of the founders’ names — O’Brien and Norville.

From airwaves to kitchen appliances

But by the late ’50s, television had all but replaced the radio, and Breville’s focus shifted to something different.  O’Brien and Norville decided to turn their attention to making small appliances work better, and the Breville line of kitchen appliances took shape.

Make your kitchen Australian for a day

As the largest racing spectacle in the world stops a nation, why not start up the grill and celebrate? This Aussie Burger goes best with an ice-cold Melbourne Bitter … if you can find it. Be sure to give a toast to Peter Pan.

Aussie Burgers on a board


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
Aussie Burger Ingredients in a Bowl

To serve

  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 4 whole grain rolls
  • 1 8-oz can of sliced beets, drained
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • ketchup
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • shredded lettuce as needed
  • butter
Grilling Aussie Burger


  1. Preheat indoor grill or grill pan to medium high heat
  2. Combine beef with bread crumbs, onion, parsley, garlic, and egg. Form into 4 patties.
  3. Place on grill or pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side or to your preferred doneness.
  4. Place bacon on grill or pan and cook for 4 minutes.
  5. Butter the rolls lightly.
  6. Place a patty on each bun and top with bacon, beets, tomato, ketchup, cheese, and lettuce.

Serve immediately.