The race that stops a nation! Today the Melbourne Cup is running and as a nation we are excited to see who takes home horse racings most coveted trophy. With such a rich history we decided to dig up some interesting facts about the race and share them with you so you can sound like an expert at the race course.
So here we go, top facts about the Melbourne Cup:
- Nearly all sporting events came to a halt during World War 1 and World War 2, however, the Melbourne Cup has continued to run each year since 1861.
- The race itself is recognised as the richest two-mile event nationally and internationally.
- There were 39 horses in the Melbourne Cup in 1890! There’s never been a bigger pack since.
- Australians are estimated to bet close to $1.5 Billion over the course of the Spring Carnival, which includes the Melbourne Cup.
- When the race first started there were approximately 4,000 spectators. This has grown to well over 100,000 at Flemington Race Course in recent years. 2003 holds the record for 122,736 spectators!
- It is estimated that more than 90% of Australians over the age of 14 will tune in to watch the race.
- Australians like to drink. And this is no different come Melbourne Cup day. Us Aussies will consume the equivalent of 25 million swimming pools of alcoholic beverages between breakfast and dinner on this day.
- The youngest winning jockey of the Melbourne cup is Peter St Albans. He was 13 years old and the year was 1876.
- Only one horse has won the Melbourne Cup three times. Makybe Diva took home the cup consecutively in 2003, 2004 and 2005. There are only four horses that have come close with two wins each. Archer (1861 & 1862), Peter Pan (1932 & 1934), Rain Lover (1968 & 1969) and Think Big (1974 & 1975).
- Michelle Payne was the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup. The year was 2015 and Michelle rode the horse Prince of Penzance.
- The first horse to win the Melbourne Cup in 1861 was Archer, and he walked all the way to the race from Sydney to Melbourne.
- One of the greatest horses of all time and Melbourne Cup winner in 1930, Phar Lap, was found to have a 6.2kg heart after he died in 1932.
So how did you go? How many of these facts did you know?