Feb 272020

Australia is well-known for conducting prestigious and most popular social and racing events throughout the year. And there is no doubt, “Melbourne Cup” is not one among them, it is the top racing event in Australia. Though the public are offered with many amazing racing events, still they get attracted to the ‘Melbourne Cup’ during racing season. To help you know more about Melbourne Cup, we are offering a detailed description on Melbourne cup that includes, fascinating statistics, trivia, fun facts, etc. What are you waiting for!? Make your next Melbourne Cup Trivia filled with a lot of fun and prize winning. Here we go!

Melbourne Cup

During racing season, Melbourne Cup is the most prestigious, popular, and biggest racing event in Australia and also Australia’s most fascinating annual Thoroughbred horse race. This race is actually conducted every year by Victoria Racing Club on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Victoria takes special part in Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival.

A three year and over old horse can participate in this 3200 meter Australia’s best horse racing event. Generally, the Melbourne Cup racing event is held on every first Tuesday of November. We have compiled a few fun and awesome facts about Melbourne Cup in the following trivia. Do not miss it!!

  • When do you think the first Melbourne Cup was happened!? Do you think it is the recently introduced racing event like around the year 2000!? If so, you are absolutely wrong! This prestigious racing event is first introduced or took place in the year (by learning the year, definitely you would be saying ‘what!’. Yes, believe me!!) 1861. Wondering! Yes, this is such an old racing event but still it is the one which gains more public attention than any other prestigious racing events.
  • The other fascinating fact is that the first and foremost Melbourne Cup was won by “Archer”, name of the horse participated and won the title ‘the first ever winner of Melbourne Cup’.
  • The prize money won by Archer was a hand beaten gold watch plus 710 pounds. The next day, Archer also won second race over 2 miles, the Melbourne Town Plate as well as the following year’s Melbourne Cup. Amazing Archer!! Isn’t it!? One more interesting fact I would like to add about Archer is people say that Archer had to walk 700-800km to Melbourne from New South Wales, Nowra to participate in the racing event.
  • How many horses does Archer defeat in the race!? Total seventeen horses participated and Archer defeated all and topped in the first Melbourne Cup held in 1861. About 4000 public gathered to watch the race. But over years passed, for ex: after 20 years, the crowd number has reached to 100,000 that come to watch the race.
  • Michelle Payne, Australian jockey was the first female jockey won 2015 Melbourne Cup riding Prince of Penzance. It is said that someone placed bet on her horse with Sportsbet of about 465 pounds and picked up 47000 pounds (today’s value).
  • Kingston Rule, an American bred race horse contested in 1990 Melbourne Cup and bagged the title and record of ‘The Fastest Winning Time for Melbourne Cup’ and record time is 3:16:3. Just a Wow to Kingston Rule!!
  • Makybe Diva, one of the record making race horses in the Melbourne Cup racing event. The horse won the title of ‘Most Wins’ that means this British-bred, Australian-trained Thoroughbred racehorse won the Melbourne Cup not for a single but constantly three years i.e. in 2003, 2004, and 2005. In 2003, the horse contested for the first time and won the cup and continued the winning for two more following years. In 2005, the same horse won the title Cox Plate. After winning the third cup, Makybe Diva became the greatest Melbourne Cup racehorse ever and the first horse to win the Melbourne Cup on three consecutive years.
  • In 2003, when Makybe Diva first contested the race, there was a huge crowd of 122,737 spectators attended to watch the race and this was the first and largest ever attendance to the race event.
  • In 1867 Melbourne Cup, there had two horses holding the same names i.e. Tim Whiffier and completed the race. The bookmakers give them different names to them as ‘Sydney Tim’ and ‘Melbourne Tim’ to avoid confusion.
  • Bart Cummings, one of the most successful Australia’s horse trainer made a record of winning Melbourne cup 12 times as a trainer in 1965, 1966, 1967, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1999 and 2008.
  • 1890 Melbourne Cup is the largest ever Melbourne Cup field where 39 horses contested the race and the Carbine (horse) grabbed the winner or champion title. The Carbine also set a record in the same race by carrying a weight of 10 st 5lb or 66kg which is unusual and ever beaten in the race.
  • In 1987 Melbourne Cup, Maree Lyndon was the first female horse jockey in Australia to ride but unfortunately she was second last in the same race.
  • Two times the Melbourne Cup had been postponed till date i.e. on 1870 and 1916. Both were delayed due to waterlogged track cause of rain and held later 5-7 days.
  • Sheila Laxon became the first women trainer to win both Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup with her mare Ethereal in 2001. She also received ‘Fred Hoysted Award’ for her efforts and Australian season’s outstanding training performance.
  • In 1877, the Melbourne Cup Day was declared as a public holiday in Victoria on the first Tuesday of November month and still people enjoy Melbourne Cup public holiday.
  • In 1893 Melbourne Cup had a father and son combination, both participated in the race and won the title. Tarcoola, the winner was trained by the father, Joseph Cripps while it was ridden by the son, Herbert Cripps.
  • In 1954, ‘Rising Fast’ won all the three major Cups including Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup treble.
  • Originally, the race was set to run for over two miles I.e. approximately 3218 meters but it is now fixed to 3200 meters following Australia’s metric system in 1972.
  • Archer also bags the title of ‘the slowest ever time to win the Melbourne Cup’ as it came home at another race within 3 minutes 52 seconds.
  • The 2012 Melbourne Cup announced $6.2 million (Australian) prize money. See more about the prize money.
  • In 2017, the first three horses across the line were trained in Ireland.
  • Local people call Australia‘s most famous annual Thoroughbred horse race as “the race that stops the nation”.

Age of Melbourne Cup Winner

As I already told you, the Melbourne Cup is open to all the horses aged 3 years and over but generally 4-5 year old horses win the race. Skipton in 1941 won Melbourne Cup at the age of three. The oldest winning age of Melbourne Cup is ‘8 years’ and this record was made by 8 year old Catalogue in 1938.

8 year old 2 times
7 year old 10 times
6 year old 30 times
5 year old 47 times
4 year old 45 times
3 year old 25 times

Melbourne Cup 2020 Facts

  • As always, The 2020 Melbourne Cup is set to run at Flemington Racecourse, on November 3rd.
  • The 2020 Melbourne Cup will be run over 3200 metres distance with a start time set for 3pm.
  • The value of prize money in 2020 Melbourne Cup will be worth a total of $8,000,000.

The other Melbourne Cup Trivia in short


First woman owner to win–Mrs E.A. Widdis with Patrobas (1915)


  • Most wins–Bobby Lewis, 4 wins, The Victory (1902), Patrobas (1915), Artilleryman (1919), Trivalve (1927)Harry White, 4 wins, Think Big (1974, 1975), Arwon (1978) Hyperno (1979)
  • Youngest to win–Peter St. Albans won at age 13 (1876)
  • First female jockey to ride in the Melbourne Cup–Maree Lyndon on Argonaut Style (1987)


  • Closest finish on record–Dunaden (2011)
  • Biggest winning margin–Eight lengths by Archer (1862) and Rain Lover (1968)
  • Oldest horse to win–Eight-year-olds Catalogue (1938), Toryboy (1865)
  • Fastest winning time–3.16.30 by Kingston Rule (1990)
  • Consecutive Cup wins–Makybe Diva (2003, 2004, 2005), Archer (1861, 1862), Rain Lover (1968, 1969), Think Big (1974, 1975)
  • Most wins–Makybe Diva (2003, 2004, 2005)


  • 12 wins– Bart Cummings with the most wins . . . Light Fingers (1965), Galilee (1966), Red Handed (1967), Think Big (1974, 1975), Gold And Black (1977), Hyperno (1979), Kingston Rule (1990), Let’s Elope (1991), Saintly (1996), Rogan Josh (1999) and Viewed (2008)
  • 5 wins–Lee Freedman, Tawrrific (1989), Subzero (1992), Doriemus (1995), Makybe Diva (2004, 2005), Etienne de Mestre, Archer (1861 & 62), Tim Whiffler (1867), Chester (1877), Calamia (1878)
  • 4 wins– John Tait, The Barb (1866), Glencoe (1868), The Pearl (1871), The Quack (1872), Richard Bradfield, Patron (1894), The Victory (1902), Night Watch (1918), Backwood (1924), James Scobie, Clean Sweep (1900), King Ingoda (1922), Bitalli (1923), Trivalve (1927), W S Hinkenbothem, Mentor (1888), Carbine (1890), Newhaven (1896), Blue Spec (1905)
  • First woman to train a winner – officially recognized–Sheila Laxon with Ethereal (2001)
  • First woman to train a winner – true winner– Mrs A McDonald with Catalogue (1938) was the first woman trainer to win. However, her husband is listed as the registered trainer because earlier woman were not allowed for racing and prevented from being registered.

All Time Top Melbourne Cup Winning Trainers

Trainer Wins
George Hanlon 3
Frank McGrath 3
Jim Scobie 4
Richard Bradfield 4
Walter Hickenbotham 4
John Tait 4
Lee Freedman 5
Etienne De Mestre 5
Bart Cummings 12

I also rounded off a list of Melbourne Cup Winners over past 15 years i.e. since 1999. We also included the Names of the Winner Horse along with their trainers. Have a look!

Year Winner Trainer
1999 Rogan Josh Bart Cummings
2000 Brew Mike Moroney
2001 Ethereal Sheila Laxon
2002 Media Puzzle Dermot K. Weld
2003 Makybe Diva David Hall
2004 Makybe Diva Lee Freedman
2005 Makybe Diva Lee Freedman
2006 Delta Blues Katsuhiko Sumii
2007 Efficient Graeme Rogerson
2008 Viewed Bart Cummings
2009 Shocking Mark Kavanagh
2010 Americain Alain De Royer-Dupre
2011 Dunaden Michael Delzangles
2012 Green Moon Robert Hickmott
2013 Fiorente Gai Waterhouse
2014 Protectionist Andreas Wohler
2015 Prince Of Penzance Darren Weir

Melbourne Cup Trophy

  • Value— The handmade 18-carat gold trophy is worth $150,000
  • Duplicate– A second identical Melbourne Cup is made each year in case the race ends in a dead-heat.

Money Values

  • Longest odds winners– 100 to 1 on The Pearl (1871), Wotan (1936), Old Rowley (1940)
  • Shortest odds winner– Archer 2-1 (1862), Tim Whiffler 5-2 (1867), Revenue 7-4 (1901), Phar Lap 8-11 (1930), Even Stevens 3-1 (1962), Let’s Elope 3-1 (1991) and Makybe Diva at 5-2 (2004)
  • Barriers- least winners  (thru 2015)– barrier 18 (0 wins), barrier 7 (1 win)
  • Barriers – most winners(thru 2015)– 7 each winners for barriers 5 and 11, and 5 winners each for barriers 6 and 19
  • Prize money– First million dollar prize money ever awarded to winner and placers (1985)
Year Prize Money
2004 $4,600,000
2005-2007 $5,000,000
2008, 2009 $5,500,000
2010 $6,000,000
2011 $6,175,000
2012-2017 $6,200,000
2018 $7,300,000
2019 $8,000,000

Media Coverage

  • The first radio broadcast of Melbourne Cup was held in 1925 at ABC Radio
  • The first camera photo finish was used in Melbourne Cup in 1948 but it declared the wrong winner due to wrong alignment. Later the problem got fixed before the next race.

Previous Melbourne Cup Winners Ages

Age Winner Year
5 Tawrrific 1989
5 Kingston Rule 1990
4 Let’s Elope 1991
4 Subzero 1992
7 Vintage Crop 1993
6 Jeune 1994
5 Doriemus 1995
5 Saintly 1996
4 Might And Power 1997
6 Jezabeel 1998
7 Rogan Josh 1999
6 Brew 2000
4 Ethereal 2001
6 Media Puzzle 2002
5 Makybe Diva 2003
6 Makybe Diva 2004
7 Makybe Diva 2005
6 Delta Blues 2006
4 Efficient 2007
5 Viewed 2008
4 Shocking 2009
5 Americain 2010
5 Dunaden 2011
5 Green Moon 2012
5 Fiorente 2013
4 Protectioniste 2014
6 Prince Of Penzance 2015

Detailing Factors of Melbourne Cup Recent Winners

Are you willing to know more detailing factors of Melbourne Cup Winners!? Then here is the list of recent winner’s detailed information of their race. Also, you can use this information as a reference if you want to consider Melbourne Cup Betting.

Year Winner Draw Age Weight Jockey Trainer
1999 Rogan Josh – 5/1 21 7 07-Dec J Marshall B Cummings
2000 Brew – 14/1 24 6 07-Oct K McEvoy M Moroney
2001 Ethereal – 9/1 13 4 08-Feb S Seamer S Laxon
2002 Media Puzzle – 11/2 3 5 08-Apr D Oliver D Weld
2003 Makybe Diva – 7/1 15 5 8-0 G Boss D Hall
2004 Makybe Diva – 13/5f 7 6 08-Nov G Boss L Freedman
2005 Makybe Diva – 17/5f 14 7 09-Feb G Boss L Freedman
2006 Delta Blues – 17/1 11 5 08-Nov Y Iwata K Sumii
2007 Efficient – 16/1 10 4 08-Sep M Rodd G Rogerson
2008 Viewed – 40/1 9 5 08-May B Shinn B Cummings
2009 Shocking – 9/1 21 4 8-0 C Brown M Kavanagh
2010 Americain – 12/1 12 5 08-Aug G Mosse A De Royer-Dupre
2011 Dunaden – 17/2 13 5 08-Aug C Lemaire M Delzangles
2012 Green Moon – 19/1 5 5 08-Jun B Pebble R Hickmott
2013 Fiorente – 6/1F 5 5 08-Sep D Oliver G Waterhouse
2014 Protectionist 7/1 11 4 Aug-13 R Moore A Wohler
2015 Prince Of Penzance 100/1 1 6 08-May M Payne D Weir
2016 Almandin 10/1 17 6 08-Mar K McEvoy R Hickmott
2017 Rekindling 12/1 4 3 08-Jan C Brown J O’Brien
2018 Cross Counter 7/1 19 3 8-0 K McEvoy C Appleby
2019 Vow And Declare 21 4 08-Mar C Williams D O’Brien

Check here if you want individual Melbourne Cup Results

2019 Melbourne Cup Finishing Positions

Result Flemington – 4th Nov 2019 Age Jockey Trainer
1st Vow And Declare 10/1 4 C Williams D O’Brien
2nd Prince Of Arran 16/1 4 M Walker C Fellowes
3rd Il Paradiso 14/1 3 W Lordan A O’Brien
4th Master Of Reality 25/1 4 F Dettori J O’Brien

Other records

  • Most attempts – Shadow King contested for six attempts in seven years to win the cup during 1929 and 1935. He ran 6th, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, 2nd and 4th.
  • Oldest winner — 8yo, Toryboy in 1865 & Catalogue in 1938
  • Fewest runners – 7 (1863)
  • Most runners– 39 (1890)
  • Lightest weight carried by winner — Banker in 1863 with 5 stone 4 pounds (34 kg)
  • Heaviest weight carried by winner – Carbine in 1890 with 10 stone 5 pounds (66 kg) Makybe Diva holds the record for a mare with 58 kg in 2005.[75] The horse to carry the heaviest weight of all time was Phar Lap (10 stone 10 pounds, or 68 kg) in 1931 when he ran 8th
  • Record winning time– 3.16.30 Kingston Rule (1990)
  • Widest winning margin– 8 lengths by Archer in 1862 and Rain Lover in 1968
  • Favourites record– 34 of 150 favourites (23%) have won the Melbourne Cup

Here is the list of Melbourne Cup Attendance. Wondering!? Yes, since Melbourne Cup is the most popular spectator event in Australia, public and media also focus on the attendance every year and also keeps the records for future reference. Also, people enjoy the fashion and horse show of Melbourne Cup that takes place on the lawn. To our surprise, at times, over 110, 000 spectators were appeared on the event. Public come in a variety of dresses like unique and expensive costumes, traditional, regional, race day wear, sportswear, just formal, or in the styles of exotic and amusing outfits. The year 2003 is been in the records for making a record of 122,736 crowd.

“Fashion on the Field”, an iconic contest at Flemington Melbourne Cup Carnival with significant prizes bestowed for the man and woman who comes in best dressing. Over last 56 years, the fashion show has been the most prestigious and largest outdoor fashion event in Australia. It draws a full media coverage and the judges would be the celebrities every time from all over the globe. Hence, the glamour and fashion of Melbourne Cup has become another important aspect of the event and truly defines this event as “the race that stops a nation”.

Melbourne Cup Fashion Sponsors

The most prestigious and amazing event, “Fashion on the Field” Competition is hosted by MYER, a biggest sponsor of racing fashion. The two major awards given in the fashion competition includes the Design Award and the Millinery Award. After a certain number of rounds, the finalists are finalized and are sent to the National Finals held on Crown Oaks Day at Flemington. Each and every competitor in the finalists list are judged by the celebrity judges on appropriateness, style, originality, and individual attention to detail. Carena West, co-founder of active wear label Clique, has been crowned the 2019 Melbourne Cup winner.

Melbourne Headwear

Headwear is another important aspect that plays defining role in Melbourne Cup Fashion at Flemington. Both the regular public and of course, the official competition contestants come in a variety of trendy and traditional types headwear in bold colors and styled designs. It has become an increasing trend in Melbourne Cup Fashion and therefore recently the organisers of the Melbourne Cup have introduced the fashion event for children’s of age 6-17 years and is referred as “Emirates Stakes Day Fashions on the Field”.

Since 1962, flowers and fashion event plays major role in the promotions of Melbourne Cup carnival. The race course at Flemington holds 12000 roses that come in 200 types of different varieties in its large expanse. All these flowers are maintained and nurtured by the team of 12 gardeners. The major days of each Melbourne Cup Spring Carnival holds an official flower such as:

  • Victoria Derby Day has the Corn Flower
  • Oaks Day highlights the Pink Rose
  • Melbourne Cup Day is for the Yellow Rose
  • Stakes Day goes to the Red Rose

Though the Melbourne Cup Day is officially declared as a public holiday, majority of the people prefer to watch the event on televisions or hear on radio. People also prefer or excited to do bets on the players or horses through direct betting or participating in workplace cup “sweeps”. In 2000, a betting agency stated that 80 percent of Australian Adult population had placed bets on the race the same year.

Melbourne Cup Spring Carnival is also one of the most famous and popular events on sporting calendar consists of four meetings that includes Melbourne Cup Day, Mackinnon Stakes Day, Victoria Derby Day, and VRC Oaks Day. Actually, Spring Racing Carnival is the Australian Thoroughbred horse racing series which is held every year during October and November months in Melbourne. A lot many people come from various states and countries only to witness the carnival and enjoy Melbourne Cup every year. But in 2007, the board committee had brought up a new rule on attendance to the race event at Flemington Racecourse and limited the race-goers number who are allowed through pre-booked tickets. In 2016, the records say that there was an enormous increase in the crowd percentage compared to past years that is there was 7.8% increase in people from out-of-state attending the spring carnival of Melbourne Cup.

  • 2003 – 122,736 (record)
  • 2004 – 98,161
  • 2005 – 106,479
  • 2006 – 106,691
  • 2007 – 102,411
  • 2008 – 107,280
  • 2009 – 102,161
  • 2010 – 110,223
  • 2011 – 105,979
  • 2012 – 106,162
  • 2013 – 104,169
  • 2014 – 100,794
  • 2015 – 101,015
  • 2016 – 97,479
  • 2017 – 90,536
  • 2018 – 83,471
  • 2019 – 81,408 (lowest crowd on Melbourne Cup Day since 1995)

Melbourne Cup Day Observances

Year Weekday Date Name Holiday Type Area
2015 Tue 03-Nov Melbourne Cup Day State Holiday Victoria
2016 Tue 01-Nov Melbourne Cup Day State Holiday Victoria
2017 Tue 07-Nov Melbourne Cup Day State Holiday Victoria
2018 Tue 06-Nov Melbourne Cup Day State Holiday Victoria
2019 Tue 05-Nov Melbourne Cup Day State Holiday Victoria
2020 Tue 03-Nov Melbourne Cup Day State Holiday Victoria
2021 Tue 02-Nov Melbourne Cup Day State Holiday Victoria
2022 Tue 01-Nov Melbourne Cup Day State Holiday Victoria
2023 Tue 07-Nov Melbourne Cup Day State Holiday Victoria
2024 Tue 05-Nov Melbourne Cup Day State Holiday Victoria
2025 Tue 04-Nov Melbourne Cup Day State Holiday Victoria

The above information is just based on our diligent research and any further changes may happen in the dates in future. Please note a caution. Please let us know if any such changes in the information and holiday dates.

The last but not the latest important trivia of Melbourne Cup is “on the morning of Tuesday, 5 April 1932, Phar Lap, the Australian race horse champion mysteriously collapsed at a farm outside San Francisco 16 days after he won the Agua Caliente handicap in Tijuana, Mexico. The whole nation mourned and shrouded in the mystery.

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