Australia has a long sports history. One of the finest examples is without a doubt the Melbourne Cup. If you’re not familiar with it, we are discussing one of the biggest horse races in the world. While horses might not be your first association with the land down under, we’re speaking the truth. This competition has a long history and tradition, which is worth mentioning in sports circles. Yes, it might pale in comparison with events such as the Australian Open, the tennis tournament, F1 race, or any of the rugby finals, but it tops every list of the most important sports events on the continent.
Fans of horse racing always have their eyes on the Melbourne Cup during November. The race has immense tradition. It is held every first Tuesday in November. When we say that it has a long tradition, we are not kidding. This race was established back in 1861. It is still going strong. As a fan of horse racing we’re sure you can’t wait until November to witness it. That’s no surprise as this race falls into the same category as the likes of Kentucky Derby or Grand National. In this article we’ll take a look at its history and past winners.
Brief History of The Melbourne Cup
The named horse race is one of ten biggest sports events Australia has known in its history. While tennis and Formula 1 racing might be more popular today, this race holds more tradition. It was established back in 1861, and it is still going strong. In Australia it is dubbed as a sports event that stops the nation. The time of the start of this race is the first Tuesday of November, each year, at 3:00pm.
The length of the track is 3200 meters. It is well known that the race is the richest two-mile handicap in the world. To participate a horse must be a Thoroughbred and no younger than three years old. The current record holder of the fastest track on this race is Kingston Rule with an amazing time of 3:16:3. It is a record that still stands today being made back in 1900.
In its long history the Cup had a lot of different winners, and in this article we’re going to go through some of the more memorable ones. Going through the full list of winners would be dull, so we’re going to focus on some of the most recent winners, and the most memorable races this track has witnessed. Either way it is going to be fine riding material if you’re a fan of horses, and horse racing. If you’re interested in betting on the upcoming event, you can check the odds at NZ sports betting and see who fares as the closest to the trophy.
Phar Lap (1930)
Let’s start with the jackpot straight away. Phar Lap which occurred in 1930 is known as one of the greatest horse races of eternity in Australia. The mere fact that Phar Lap was competing was enough for folks to flock the stands and get super interested in the race. This horse was the black horse to win it all in 1930 from the get-go. Its handicap was 63 kg which put it in a not-so-favorable position. When you add an alleged murder attempt in the mix, you get the reasoning why this is one of the biggest events in horse racing ever. Phar Lap won with ease and made the breeder and the owner Harry Telford super proud.
This is the race that made Carbine into the legend that lives even today. The effort this horse pulled in 1890 is an amazing feat even to this day. It was one of the strongest horses to ever race on this track with 66kg on his back, which is a large number for a jockey. For comparison, the Highborn, who came in second, carried 24 kilos less. Despite this handicap, this horse created a Melbourne Cup record that day with 3 minutes 28.25 seconds time. What’s even more impressive, is that record stood for another 15 years. Truly, a story for the ages.
Makybe Diva (2005)
Now, let’s jump to a modern classic. 2005 was the year of Makybe Diva. The history this horse has is staggering. Before the 2005 Cup, he managed to win the previous two editions. Unfortunately, its appearance on the track of the 2005 Melbourne Cup was in doubt. The turf was confirmed to be too firm, and the horse was almost pulled from the race. After the promoters decided to water it and make racing conditions more favorable, Makybe Diva participated. The history was written that day as this horse one the famed treble with that effort as if back-to-back weren’t impressive enough.
Rising Fast 1954
Rising Fast is one of the selected few Melbourne Cup winners, but it is rarely mentioned among the top crop. That’s for a reason, but one could argue that this horse has a claim for one of the biggest sports achievements in this domain. During one year, Rising Fast took one race after another. He won at locations such as Cox Plate, Turnbull Stakes, and Caulfield Stakes. The history was written when the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup were one and added to the mix. This signified that we’re talking about the only racing mule to ever win a Spring Grand Slam that encompasses all of the named tournaments.
In the aftermath of WWII, Rimfire wrote history for itself. The worst part is that this horse wasn’t even scheduled to appear in the tournament. During one of the pieces of training, early preparations showed signs of lameness. The odds to win this race were set at 80/1 after a string of poor form and the issues that arose along the way. Last but not least of the issues it had the jockey in charge was only 16 years old. But, in the race of inches little of that mattered. He won!
The long history of this race doesn’t allow us to mention all the past winners. There are so many of them. So we’re going to have been excused by the likes of Gold Trip, Cross Counter, Arwon, Piping Lane, and Hi Jinx. That’s why we singled out a few of the most amazing wins in this article. Hope you’ve enjoyed them.