The Melbourne Cup is the most anticipated horse race on the Australian calendar. Affectionately dubbed ‘the race that stops a nation’, hundreds of thousands of people around the world stop to watch the elite thoroughbred horse race. Held annually in November at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, the race is for three-year-olds and over, and takes place over 3,200 metres.
Being a handicap race, the Melbourne Cup adjusts the weight of the horse and jockey to allow for each competitor to have an equal chance of winning.
Melbourne Cup Information
- Date: First Tuesday in November
- Carnival: Melbourne Cup Carnival
- Racecourse: Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
- Distance: 3,200
- Race Type: 3YO
- Group Listing: Group 1
- Total Prize Money: $6 million
Melbourne Cup History
The first Melbourne Cup was raced in 1861 and won by Archer, trained by Etienne De Mestre, and held on a Thursday. It was not until 1875 that the race was permanently moved to take place on a Tuesday. With household names winning the coveted cup such as Carbine (1890), Phar Lap (1930) and nore recently Makybe Diva (2003, 2004 and 2005), it is no wonder the event has such widespread popularity.
Originally, the Melbourne Cup was raced over a distance of two miles, but had to be adapted as Australia moved from the imperial to metric system, taking 218 metres off the distance in 1972. It was for the first time in 1985, in front of the Prince and Princess of Wales, that the prize money for the cup reached $1million, and was won by What A Nuisance.
Melbourne Cup Records
- Time: 3.16.30 – Kingston Rule (1990)
- Largest Winning Margin: 8 Lengths – Archer (1862), Rain Lover (1968)
- Most Wins By A Jockey: 4 – Bobby Lewis (1902, 1915, 1919, 1927), Harry White (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979)
- Most Wins By A Horse: 3 – Makybe Diva (2003, 2004, 2005)