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Saturday 31 October 2020

Australia's Most Important Horse Race - The Melbourne Cup


The Melbourne Cup 

Who hasn't heard of the Melbourne Cup? It's Australia's most important horse racing event, with a rich history since its inaugural running back in 1861. The Melbourne Cup field is exclusively composed of thoroughbred racehorses, with only those with the finest ancestral lineage able to compete. Are you ready for this year's Cup? It's just around the corner, in fact it's on first weekend of November date, this year falling on 3rd November. Take a look at these winners over the years. 

The 11-Year-Old Child Peter St Albans Wins Melbourne Cup


It's true. 

In 1876, an 11-year-old jockey named Peter St Albans rode the Melbourne Cup winner. Incredibly 33 runners took part and the biggest field in the history of the race, while today's maximum field is 22. Scandalously, it’s reported that St Albans had to lie about his age to be granted the opportunity to ride in the race. Reports from the time suggest different ages for him for this reason, it’s difficult to know his exact age to the day. Regardless, this is one hell of a record, and one which won’t be beaten any time soon.  

It was St Albans' lucky day and the major reason he was allowed to ride is due to having the perfect weight - 39 kilograms. The filly he rode, Briseis, had a previous owner, Tom Hales, couldn't make the required weight for the Melbourne Cup. So Hales gave permission for Peter Albans to ride the filly, because he was a work rider for the horse and knew her well. Also, he rode an impressive session of work on the filly, and was subsequently given the nod to ride her in the big race! 

Albans went on to beat Sybil and Timothy, the more favoured runners in the race, clocking a race time of 3.36.25 in the process. This win was hugely celebrated at the time and day of the race, and many had celebrated and cheered for Peter Albans miraculous win-especially the punters who actually had taken a bet and leap of faith in him. 

Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup Double Winners  

Just about ever jockey would love to win the Melbourne Cup. However, there are other events that share such high status in both the context of Australian racing and the wider horse racing world: The Cox Plate and The Caulfield Cup. Only 11 horses have won both races. Look back to 2001 to see the last double by Ethereal, and the very first to win a double, was by the horse Poseidon.

For punters that want to bet on the Melbourne Cup, The Caulfield Cup can be a decent indicator in terms of performance, as the event occurs is a few weeks before the Melbourne Cup and comparable.  

Easiest of Melbourne Cup Winner  

What's the widest winning margin in Melbourne Cup history? 

8 lengths. 

In fact this distance has happened twice: 1862 when legendary Melbourne Cup horse Archer hosed up and once again in an effort by Rain Lover in 1968. It was almost 100 years in the making. 

Which Coloured Horses Have Seen Most Success? 

Over almost 160 years of the Melbourne Cup tournament, the majority of winning horses have all been bay colour, winning a total of 69 times in total. Not too surprising when you consider this is the most common colour for thoroughbred horses. If you want to bet on a colour – bet on a bay. 

Bay winner of the Melbourne Cup include: Constantinople, Mirage Dancer, Huntington Horn, Mer De Glace, The Chosen One and Raymond Tusk.  

Melbourne Cup Barriers  

Since the beginning of Melbourne Cup history, there have been barriers that have yielded more wins than others. The top barriers to date that have given a total of 8 wins, are barriers 5 and 8. Barriers 1,4,6,11,14,17,19 and 22 have all given 7 wins in total, and are not far behind the best barriers 5 and 8. One barrier however, that has had no luck in being the Melbourne Cup winning barrier, is number 18. For 84 years, not one win was made from number 18, which has very much created a superstition within the horse racing community for this barrier. Number 13 is also considered another unlucky draw, even though Ethereal, Baghdad Note and Phar Lap, have all won from that barrier! 

Saddlecloth Numbers: Lucky Numbers 

The saddle cloth help identify horses in the race. Within the history of the Melbourne Cup, numbers 4 and 12 have produced the most wins, in all the years this tournament has been running for, with a total of 11 wins each. The saddle cloth representing number 10, is very close behind with 10 wins in total and in third position, is the saddle cloth number 8, with 8 wins in total. 

Jockey Weights In The Melbourne Cup: Facts and Figures 

The heaviest recorded weight and winning was Carbine in 1890, which carried 66 kilograms. This record remains to this day. 

Banker in 1863, carried the lightest weight recorded to victory with just 33.5 kilograms. Weight is a major factor to consider when it comes to winning the Melbourne Cup. However, the most popular winning weight is at 54.5 kilograms. This Melbourne Cup winning trends has seen 8 champions.  

The Most Successful Trainer? 

Melbourne Cup history has seen some incredible training performances. One trainer in particular that stands above the rest. Bart Cummings is the most successful trainer with 12 cups. In fact, not other trainer has won more than four times. Cummings last victory was in 2008 by the horse Viewed, a famous Australian Thoroughbred.  

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