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Melbourne Cup Trivia

Melbourne Cup Trivia of this great race that has been around for over 150 years.

Melbourne Cup Trivia, the race that stops the nation

Melbourne Cup Trivia: The Melbourne Cup was first run on 7th November 1861 over a distance of two miles.

The winner, Archer (6/1), there was 17 in the field. First prize was a gold watch and £170

His was the slowest winning time yet recorded for the race (3:52). The Cup was first presented to a winner in 1916. The Cup was first run on the first Tuesday in 1875 in November.

This Melbourne Cup race attracted just 4000 people. Over the next 20 years over 100,000 people would come to see the Melbourne Cup.

The largest ever attendance was in 2003 when more than 122,737 people attended and saw Makybe Diva win her first of three Melbourne Cups.

In 1972 the Melbourne Cup was converted to the metric distance of 3200 metres which is 18.69 metres or 61.30 feet short of two miles. Click here for Melbourne Cup Free Bets

Find below other interesting Melbourne Cup trivia and facts about the great race.

MELBOURNE CUP ATTENDANCES:

  • 2013 - 104,169
  • 2012 - 106,162
  • 2011 - 105,979
  • 2010 - 110,223
  • 2009 - 102,000
  • 2008 - 107,000
  • 2007 - 102,411
  • 2006 - 106,691
  • 2005 - 106,479
  • 2004 - 98,181
  • 2003 - 122,736 (record)

MELBOURNE CUP RACE RECORD:

  • Kingston Rule 1990 - 3 minutes 16.3 seconds

BIGGEST WINNING MARGINS:

  • 8 lengths - Archer 1862 / Rain Lover 1968

HIGHEST WINNING WEIGHT:

  • 10st 5 lb (66.0 kg) Carbine (1890)
  • 10st 2 lb (64.5 kg) Archer (1862)
  • 10st 0 lb (63.5 kg) Poitrel(1920)

LOWEST WINNING WEIGHT:

  • 1863 33.5kg, Banker

HIGHEST WEIGHT CARRIED:

  • 10st 10lb (68 kg) Phar Lap and lost
  • The most popular weight carried is 52.5kg and 53kg with eight wins each, followed by 47, 48, 51, and 56kgs each with seven wins

AGE OF WINNERS:

  • 3 year old - 23 (last 3yo - Skipton (1941)
  • 4 year old - 44
  • 5 year old - 43
  • 6 year old - 32
  • 7 year old - 10
  • 8 year old - 2
  • The last three-year-old to win the Cup was Skipton in 1941

SEX OF WINNERS:

  • Entire 65
  • Gelding 51
  • Colts 21
  • Mares 13
  • Fillies 3

SHORTEST PRICED FAVOURITES:

  • 8/11 Phar Lap (1st 1930)

SHORTEST PRICED WINNING FAVOURITES:

  • 8/11 Phar Lap (1st 1930)
  • 7/4 Revnue (1908)
  • 2/1 Archer (1862)

FAVOURITES RECORD:

  • 35 of 153 favourites (23%) have won the Melbourne Cup
  • 72 Cup favourites have finished in the first three placings

LONGEST PRICED WINNERS: (Longshots)

  • The Pearl 100/1 (1871)
  • Wotan 100/1 (1936)
  • Old Rowley 100/1 (1940)
  • Rimfire 80/1 (1948)
  • The longest priced winners in the last twenty years was Viewed at 40/1 in 2008 then Tawrrific in 1989 starting at 30/1

ODDS:

  • 10/1 - 15 Times
  • 8/1 - 13 Times

DUAL WINNERS:

  • Archer 1861 - 1862
  • Peter Pan 1932 - 1934
  • Rain Lover 1968 - 1969
  • Think Big 1974 - 1975

TRIPLE WINNERS:

  • Makybe Diva 2003- 2005

SMALLEST FIELD:

  • 7 starters 1863

LARGEST FIELD:

  • 39 starters in 1890

SUCCESSFUL JOCKEYS 4 WINS EACH:

  • Bobbie Lewis: The Victory 1902, Patrobas 1915, Artilleryman 1919 & Trivalve 1927
  • Harry White: Think Big 1974 and 1975, Arwon 1978 and Hyperno 1979. Harry White also holds a unique record of two Melbourne Cup doubles

FEMALE JOCKEYS:

  • First female jockey to ride in the Cup was New Zealander Maree Lyndon on Argonaut Style in 1987, she ran second last out of 21
  • Clare Lindop was the first Australian female to ride in the Cup when unplaced on Debben in 2003

FATHER AND SON COMBINATION:

  • Billy and Peter Cook are the only father-son combination to win the Melbourne Cup. Billy Cook (Father) winning the Cup 2 times in 1941 on Skipton and 1945 on Rainbird and Peter (Son) winning in 1981 on Just A Dash

JOCKEYS COLOURS:

  • 17 cup winning jockeys have worn black as their main colour. Last being George Podmore on Evening Peal in 1956
  • Navy blue and royal blue with 14 wins

WINNERS OF THE CUP DOUBLES, MELBOURNE CUP / CAULFIELD CUP (11):

  • Poseidon 1906
  • The Trump 1937
  • Rivette 1939
  • Rising Fast 1954
  • Even Stevens 1962
  • Galilee 1966
  • Gurner's Lane 1982
  • Let's Elope1991
  • Doriemus 1995
  • Might and Power 1997
  • Ethereal 2001

WINNING BARRIERS:

  • Barriers 5, 10, 11 and 14....7 winners
  • Barriers 6, 8, and 19.....5 winners
  • Barriers 1, 4, 17 and 22....4 winners
  • Since the barrier stalls were first used in the Cup in 1924, no horse has won the race from barrier 18
  • In the year 1924, the winner Backwood started from barrier 7. In the 85 years since, Makybe Diva is the only other winner starting from that barrier winning in 2004

MOST WINNING NUMBER:

  • No 4 and No 12 with 11 wins
  • No 1 with 9 wins
  • No 8 with 8 wins
  • No 11 with 7 wins

Makybe Diva winning in 2005 wearing no.1. The last horse carrying no.1 prior to that was Rising Fast in 1954.

  • TAB numbers 4 and 6 have won four of the last fifteen Cups
  • TAB numbers to win only one Cup are 26, 28 and 39
  • TAB numbers to win only two Cups are 7, 16, 18, 21, 23 and 25
  • Historically the best guides to the Melbourne Cup have been the Caulfield Cup and the Mackinnon Stakes

TRAINER WITH MOST WINS:

  • Bart Cummings 12 wins (1965, 1966, 1967, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2008)
  • Etienne de Mestre  5 wins (1861, 1862, 1867, 1877, 1878)
  • Lee Freedman 5 wins (1989, 1992, 1995, 2004, 2005)
  • Bart trained his first Melbourne Cup winner in 1965 with four year old mare Light Fingers. He last won the race in 2008 with Viewed, his 50th Anniversary of his first Cup runner
  • Bart Cummings Father Jim Cummings trained one Cup winner, Comic Court in 1950
  • Sheila Laxon in 2001, trainer Ethereal, was the first woman trainer to officially win the Melbourne Cup
  • 1938 Melbourne Cup was won by trainer Mrs. Allan McDonald who trained Catalogue. Mrs McDonald was a New Zealand trainer but at that time women were not allowed to compete as trainers in Australia so the record books have her husband down as the official trainer

MOST WINS BY AN OWNER:

  • John Tait 4 Wins (1866, 1868, 1871, 1872)
  • Etienne de Mestre 4 Wins  (1861, 1862, 1867, 1878)
  • Dato Tan Chin Nam 4 Wins (1974, 1975, 1996, 2008)
  • Lloyd Williams 4 Wins  (1981, 1985, 2007, 2012)

PRIZE MONEY:

  • Melbourne Cup in 1861 was $1,420
  • Melbourne Cup in 2005 was $5.1 million
  • Melbourne Cup in 2009 is $5.65 million
  • Melbourne Cup in 2010 is $6 million plus trophies to celebrate th 150th running of the race
  • Melbourne Cup in 2011 is $6.16 million plus trophies
  • Melbourne Cup in 2012 is 6.20 million
  • Melbourne Cup in 2012 is 6.20 million
  • In 1985 the race reached $1 million dollars in prize money for the first time (won by What A Nuisance)

MELBOURNE CUP POSTPONED DUE TO RAIN:

  • 1870 when the track was so waterlogged that it was deemed unsafe to ride. Won by Nimblefoot a week later
  • 1916 track agained deemed unsafe due to rain. Cup won by Sasanof 5 days later
  • 1892 The Cup was run in pouring rain and won by Glenloth
  • Rain during the race on average happens once in every nine years

MELBOURNE CUP TROPHY FACTS:

  • 1861 - The trophy took the form of a "hand beaten" gold watch
  • 1865 - The first year a trophy was awarded. Silver bowl on a stand with a narrow neck with two ornate handles topped with a horse and rider
  • 1867 - A silver trophy from England displays 'Alexander Taming the Horse
  • 1868 - 1875 No mention of trophy presented
  • 1876 - The first gold cup trophy manufactured in Victoria
  • 1877 - 1886 No trophy presented
  • 1887 - Dunlop A golden horse-shoe mounted on a plush stand and valued at 100 sovereigns
  • 1888 - Three silver horses on a silver plated base
  • 1889 - The silver "tea and coffee service" reputed to have been unacceptable as a trophy
  • 1890 - A silver ewer, salver and tazzas are representative of this magnificent trophy
  • 1891 - A trophy measuring two feet in length and fifteen inches high of a draped figure of Victory, standing on a pedestal holding out an olive wreath to a jockey upon his horse
  • 1893 - Multi-piece trophy of silver tankard, punch bowl and beakers
  • 1894 - 1898 Trophies were not presented as the economic depression engulfed the nation
  • 1900 - A tea and coffee service was presented
  • 1908 - Three feet long plaque of an embossed silver galloping horse resembling a greyhound. Much ridicule
  • 1909 - Two handled silver cups
  • 1913 - Silver epergne
  • 1914 - This was the last year the Melbourne Cup Trophy was made in England
  • 1915 - A large rose bowl that was made in Australia
  • 1916 - The first gold cup is presented
  • 1918 - Two handled gold cup trophy
  • 1919 - James Steeth's three handled "loving cup" first introduced
  • 1922 - The Melbourne Cup trophy valued at 200 pounds
  • 1953 - The Melbourne Cup trophy valued at 550 pounds
  • 1960 - The Melbourne Cup trophy valued at 750 pounds
  • 1973 - The Melbourne Cup trophy valued at $3000
  • 1978 - The Melbourne Cup trophy valued at $9000
  • 1984 - The Melbourne Cup trophy valued at $23 000
  • 1987 - The Melbourne Cup trophy valued at $32 000
  • 1999 - The Melbourne Cup trophy valued at $32 500
  • 2000 - The Melbourne Cup trophy valued at $32 500
  • 2001 - The Melbourne Cup trophy valued at $80 000. The Cup moves from 9ct to 18ct gold. Valued at $80,000
  • 2005 - The breeder of the Cup winner will be presented with a Melbourne Cup ½ sized Cup
  • 2006 - The Melbourne Cup trophy valued at $100 000
  • 2008 - The Melbourne Cup trophy valued at $125 000
  • 2010 - The Cup has been remodelled on the trophy won by Phar Lap in 1930 and is valued at $150,000
  • The Cup is made up of 34 pieces of hand-beaten eighteen carat gold and a lathe-produced base
  • Every year the Melbourne Cup trophy is awarded as a prize

TAB DIVIDENDS:

  • Record trifectas dividend on the Melbourne Cup - $61,867.90 in 1993
  • 2009 punters across the country splurged on Tuesday's Melbourne Cup with a record $95.6 million outlaid on the Victorian and New South Wales TABs
  • Average spend per person is approximately $8.50, of which $7.30 is returned in dividends
  • The prize money for the first Cup in 1861 was 1,420 Pounds

MORE MELBOURNE CUP TRIVIA:

  • The youngest jockey to win was Peter St. Albans in 1876 on Briseis aged 13 (officially), but actually 12 years 11 months 23 days
  • The Melbourne Cup was first filmed in 1896
  • The first radio broadcast of the Melbourne Cup was made by the Australian Broadcasting Company in 1925
  • The photo finish camera was first used in the 1948 Melbourne Cup
  • Dunaden wins the Cup in 2011 from Red Cadeaux in the closest finish ever in Cup history
  • Most runs by a horse in the Cup was Shadow King, from 1929 to 1935 who made six attempts to win the cup in seven years . He ran 6th, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, 2nd and 4th
  • Subzero and 5 other grey horses have won the Melbourne Cup
  • World Wars I and  II stopped most major races in Australia, but not the Melbourne Cup.
  • The Melbourne Cup is also a Greyhound Race and is also held in November.
  • Jockeys in Victoria must have blood-alcohol readings under 0.02.
  • The phrase The Race That Stops A Nation is a trademark of the Victoria Racing Club.
  • Great trivia question: What Australian sporting event did Russia win in 1946? The Melbourne Cup. Russia was a horse. He won by three lengths.
  • In Australia in any given year, there is approxiamately 32,000 active racehorses. Over half of them have never won a race.
  • Phar Lap's heart was 6.2kg.  The average horse heart weighs 3.2 kg.
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