To celebrate the 150th running of the Melbourne Cup the Royal Australian Mint has produced three fifty cent pieces. The first coin is an uncirculated cupronickel piece depicting horses crossing the finish line. The second and third piece are a selectively gold plated two coin set with the first featuring the famous winner Phar Lap and the second depicting the Cup itself.
The 150th running of the Melbourne Cup took place on Tuesday 2nd November 2010 at 3.00pm local time. It was first run in 1861 with around 4,000 spectators. Little did anyone know that this race would become 'The race that stops a nation'. The race grew quickly establishing a carnival like reputation with picnics, sideshows and the latest fashions. Australia's rich and famous attended the Cup along with socialites and politicians. Today the event has maintained its reputation for fashion and entertainment while also emerging as the key event in Australian horse-racing.