Many consider the Melbourne Cup to be the greatest sporting day in Australia, and with over 150 years of races, it has also earned a rather interesting past many don’t know about. So, saddle up! Here are 10 Facts about the Melbourne Cup you never knew.
10 Rare Facts about Melbourne Cup
For all the horse race fans out there here are 10 rare facts about Melbourne cup that you either didn’t know or never noticed.
1. The youngest winner was only eleven
A jockey so young would be outrageous today, but back in 1876, they were a bit more lenient.
Briseis – Source: Wikipedia
Peter St. Albans won the 1876 Melbourne Cup riding Briseis at only eleven years old. He was able to pull off the feat after the original jockey meant to ride the horse couldn’t make the featherweight.
2. The horse that won the first Melbourne Cup also won the second
The Australian Thoroughbred named Archer has the honour of winning the first two Melbourne Cups.
Archer – Source: Wikipedia
Despite this feat, he was only added to the Australian Hall of Fame in 2017, more than 150 years since he first won.
3. Archer holds the slowest Melbourne Cup time
While he did
win the Melbourne Cup, he took his time doing it. With a time of 3:52, he holds
the slowest win time in the race’s history.
4. Only five horses have won the Melbourne Cup more than once
Winning the Melbourne Cup is a feat that most horses will never achieve, but some have managed to do it more than once, much to the chagrin of their competition. These horses are Archer, Peter Pan, Rain Lover, Think Big and Makybe Diva.
5. The barrier 18 curse is real (maybe)
Source: National Museum of Australia
You probably haven’t ever thought about barrier 18, but it had been often considerate a cursed gate. The reason? No one who has ever drawn the barrier has won. In comparison, the best barrier for wins; barrier 5, has had eight winners.
6. Bart Cummings is the most successful Melbourne Cup Trainer
When it comes to the Melbourne Cup, the trainers are just as important as the horses and Bart Cummings is proof of that. With twelve Melbourne Cup wins between 1965 and 2008, he has the most wins of any trainer and is still one of the most famous trainers in racing.
Bart Cummings – Source: ABC
7. Only three fillies have won the Melbourne Cup
The Melbourne Cup is often seen as a race for the world’s best stallions, but fillies (female horses younger then four years old) have had their time in the limelight as well. To date, three fillies have won the Melbourne Cup.
8. Makybe Diva is the only horse to win three Melbourne Cups
most famous modern Melbourne Cup winner, Makybe Diva is one of the greatest
horses in Australian racing circles. She is the only horse to have won three
Melbourne Cups (2003, 2004 and 2005), and at the time of her retirement, had
the most race winnings of any Australian horse.
Maykbe Diva – Source: Wikipedia
9. New Zealand likes the Melbourne Cup too
Despite our many rivalries with our kiwi neighbours, it seems both nations stop to watch the race, with many people in NZ watching online or on their TV.
10. 2018 saw the lowest attendance since 1995
While most Melbourne Cups see 100,000 people or more head to the track, last year only 83,471 decided to attend. This is likely due to the rainy weather that made heading out in your best outfit rather unappealing. Hopefully 2019 will see more people and more fashion on the track.