- Date: Tuesday November 6, 2012
- Racecourse: Flemington
- Race Distance: 3,200m
- Conditions: 3yo and over Quality Handicap
- Prize Money: $6 million
2013 Melbourne Cup News
Melbourne Cup third placegetter Jakkalberry is making solid progress in his recovery from a leg injury, giving connections reason to be optimistic that he can again target Australia’s most prestigious race.
The seven-year-old was hurt when winning the the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold (2400m) in March but is expected to return to work…
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The Melbourne Cup is widely regarded as Australia’s major thoroughbred horse race. Held annually on the first Tuesday of November, the Melbourne Cup attracts some of the best horses in the world, all vying for a chance to claim some of the $6 million prize money that is offered each year. Known as ‘the race that stops a nation’, the Melbourne Cup is run over a distance of 3,200 metres and is the richest and most prestigious ‘two-mile’ handicap in the world. It is also one of the richest turf races worldwide and is the feature race of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. Held at Melbourne’s famed Flemington Racecourse, which is under the operation of the Victorian Racing Club, the cup is a handicap race open to all horses aged three-years-old and above.
The first Melbourne Cup was held in 1861 and was originally run over a distance of 3,218 metres, or two miles. After the introduction of the metric system into Australia in the 1970s, the current distance of 3,200 metres was introduced in 1972. Previous race records, such as 1968 winner Rain Lover’s record time of 3 minutes and 17.9 seconds, were readjusted to by two seconds to take into account the longer distance they travelled. The current record holder is Kingston Rule, who won the 1990 Melbourne Cup with a time of 3 minutes and 16.3 seconds.
The minimum handicap weight for a horse running in the Melbourne cup is 49 kilograms and there is no maximum weight. However, the top weight in the field must carry no less than 57 kilograms. The weight that each horse must carry is allocated two months before the race in early September each year by the Victoria racing Club Handicapper. Due to the fact that the Melbourne Cup is a handicap contest the weight given to each horse is adjusted according to a horse’s previous race history, and older horses carry more than younger horses. Weights given to each horse were used in order to attempt to give each horse an equal chance of winning on the day, however, recently rules were adjusted to a ‘quality handicap’ formula, so that better performing horses are given less harsh weight penalties.
The Melbourne Cup commands a total entrance fee of $50,805 per house, and entries often close in the first week of August. Each year approximately 300 to 400 horses are nominated while only 24 make the field as starters. Winning certain races, such as the previous year’s Melbourne Cup, the Cox Plate or the Caulfield Cup, grants a horse with automatic entry into the Melbourne Cup and that horse is exempt from the ballot.
The first ever horse to win the Melbourne Cup was named Archer. Archer also won the second running of the Melbourne Cup and was favourite to win the third before the owner failed to submit the entry form on time and Archer was not allowed to run. Other notable winners of the Melbourne Cup include Carbine in 1890, Night Watch in 1918, Phar Lap in 1930 and Light Fingers in 1965. Makybe Diva is famous for being the first and only horse to win the Melbourne Cup three years in a row from 2003 to 2005.
Melbourne Cup Field
2012 Melbourne Cup Field
The Melbourne Cup has a field that is restricted to 24 runners. These runners are decided by a ballot system. Horses are balloted on a system that takes into account factors such as the amount of prize money earned in the last two years, wins or placings in certain lead-up races and their allocated handicap weight. Horses are exempt from the ballot and gain automatic entry into the Melbourne Cup field if they win races such as the Lexus Stakes, Victoria Derby, LKS Mackinnon Stakes, Cox plate, Caulfield Cup, Doncaster Cup (UK), Irish St. Leger (IRE), Tenno Sho (JPN), Arlington Million (USA), San Juan Capistrano Handicap (USA) or Australian Stayers Challenge. International horses that qualify for the Melbourne Cup field must be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days before they can travel to Australia.
All horses in the Melbourne Cup field have to be aged three-years-old and over and must carry a weight that is allocated by the handicapper. While weights were originally handed out to try and give every horse an equal chance of winning the race, rules have now changed to quality handicap conditions, meaning the better horses are not penalised so harshly and have a better chance of winning. Weights are assigned on the basis of a horse’s previous race performances. The minimum weight a horse can carry in the Melbourne Cup is 49 kilograms, while the horse that is allocated top weight must carry no less than 57 kilograms.
Melbourne Cup Horses
Each year the Melbourne Cup is made up of 24 horses who have passed all the necessary criteria to run in the race. This criteria includes things such as winning a Listed race, or placing in a Group race, that is 2,300 metres or further in distance. Once a horse has qualified for the Melbourne Cup, they must then ensure they are allocated a high enough ballot number to run in the race.
The Melbourne Cup horses are thoroughbred racehorses that are known as “stayers” who are able to handle the 3,200 metre distance of the race. These conditions are often suited to European horses, who come from a continent where the classic staying races are more prominent than in Australia, which is best known for its sprinting champions. However, some of the most famous Melbourne Cup horses have been Australian-trained, including Carbine (1890), Phar Lap (1930) and Makybe Diva (2003-2005).
Melbourne Cup Form Guide
People often use many of the early spring carnival feature races as a form guide to the Melbourne Cup each year. Horses that exhibit superior form in races such as the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate are often favoured as Melbourne Cup chances when the race takes place on the first Tuesday of November. There are also some races run at the very beginning of the spring carnival in Sydney that are a good form guide as to what horses will run well in the Melbourne Cup. The Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes and Group 3 Naturalism Stakes are both avenues that hopeful Melbourne Cup runners may choose to take.
Despite there being a large number of lead-up runs on offer to prospective Melbourne Cup starters, the traditional final race is the Group 1 Victoria Derby. Despite the fact this race is run only two days prior to the Melbourne Cup, it is a good chance for horses to loosen up before the big race.
Over the 150 years the Melbourne Cup has been run, 34 favourites (24 per cent) have won. Therefore, researching which horse is the betting favourite can also be a good form guide as to what horse will perform well in the Melbourne Cup.
Melbourne Cup Betting
There are always a large number of Melbourne Cup betting options available to punters each year. The spring carnival is full of thrilling races and the most popular bets at this time of year are often betting doubles. Many people choose to place wagers on the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double, Cox Plate/Melbourne Cup double, Victoria Derby/Melbourne Cup double, Melbourne Cup/Crown Oaks double or Melbourne Cup/Emirates Stakes double.
While the betting doubles are popular, one of the most common bets to be laid on the Melbourne Cup is the trifecta. Many recreational punters choose to place a mystery trifecta on the race, meaning that three horses are chosen at random. Due to the fact that the Melbourne Cup is full of great horses, and any horse is capable of winning, this kind of bet is the perfect way for people to try and make money without having to know much about the race field.
People can also choose to place basic win or place bets on the race if they have a feeling about a certain horse. Due to the fact that there is so much talent in the one race, most horses often very high odds. Therefore, people who are confident that a particular horse can win have the opportunity to get better dividends on the Melbourne Cup than in most other races.
Melbourne Cup Odds
Melbourne Cup odds are usually released in the weeks approaching the race. Future odds may be released many months before. These allows you to receive much larger odds on some of the early favourite; however, if they do not run, or do not make the final field, you will lose your initial stakes. Final odds will be released when the final field and barrier draw is announced in the week before the Melbourne Cup.
As previously mentioned, the Melbourne Cup is notorious for having high odds offered on many of the runners, due to the fact that there is such a large amount of talented horses in the field. During the long history of the Melbourne Cup, the horse who won at the shortest odds was Phar Lap in 1930, while three horses have won paying odds of 100-1 including The Pearl (1871), Wotan (1936) and Old Rowley (1940).
The Melbourne Cup odds will be affected by each runner’s performance in races such as the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Victoria Derby earlier in the Melbourne spring racing carnival.
Melbourne Cup Tips
People assess a number of different factors to develop their own Melbourne Cup tips. Many people look at the state of the track, the direction of the track and the distance of the race. Many horses come into the Melbourne Cup without having been tried over the 3,200 metre distance; therefore any horse that is proven over this distance is often tipped to do well. The barrier that each runner is assigned is also a great way to tip a horse. Because the Melbourne Cup field is so large compared to other races (24 runners) it is easy for a horse in a wide barrier to become caught out at the back of the field. Also any horses that are caught wide will be disadvantaged due to the fact that the race is so long, meaning that any outside runners will be competing over a much longer distance than those on the inside.
The results of races such as the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and the Victoria Derby are often studied in order for people to develop their Melbourne Cup tips. There is also a tendency for people to tip foreign horses, with European horses being known for their staying ability.
Tips will also change on the day depending on the state of the track. Some horses are best on wet tracks, while others favour the dry. Therefore if there is a stand out wet track runner on a rainy day, then chances are they will feature heavily in the race tips.
Melbourne Cup Day
Melbourne Cup Day is always held on the first Tuesday of November each year. It is the second race meeting in the four day long Melbourne Cup Carnival which also included Victoria Derby Day, Crown Oaks Day and Emirates Stakes Day. Melbourne Cup Day has been a state public holiday in Victoria since 1877, where it is held, meaning that everybody has the opportunity to attend the races instead of going to work.
For this reason Melbourne Cup Day always experiences large crowd numbers. In the past few years, crowd numbers have reached well over 100,000 people. The record high was in 2003 when a total of 122,736 people attended Melbourne Cup Day alone.
While there are usually two or three Listed races held on Melbourne Cup Day, the Melbourne Cup is the only Group race to take place on the day. The Melbourne Cup is always Race 7 on Melbourne Cup Day and takes place at 3pm (AEST).
Each day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival is assigned a different flower, with Melbourne Cup Day being symbolised by the yellow rose.
Melbourne Cup Day is one of the largest prize money-offering meets in the world, with the Melbourne Cup alone being worth more than $6 million.
Melbourne Cup Results
Over the years a number of horse racing’s greatest champions have won the sought-after Melbourne Cup title. One of the most famous of these runners is Phar Lap, who won the Melbourne Cup in 1930. He was also the shortest priced favourite to win the race, offering odds of 8/11. Other household names to have won the race include Carbine (1890), Galilee (1966) and Might And Power (1997). Makybe Diva made history when she won the Melbourne Cup three years in a row from 2003-2005, becoming the first horse ever to do so. Four horses have won the Melbourne Cup on two occasions, including Archer (1861-62) Peter Pan (1932, 34), Rain Lover (1968-69) and Think Big (1974-75).
Jockeys Bobby Lewis and Harry White have ridden four horses to win the Melbourne Cup, which is the most by any jockey in the race’s history. Legendary trainer Bart Cummings has the most win by any one trainer, with 12 wins.
The fastest winning Melbourne Cup time was posted by Kingston Rule, who won the race in 3 minutes and 16.3 seconds in 1990. The biggest winning margin in a Melbourne Cup was eight lengths and was achieved by both Archer (1862) and Rain Lover (1968). Carbine holds the record for winning the Melbourne Cup with the most weight on his back (65.5 kilograms), while Makybe Diva carried the heaviest weight of any mare (58 kilograms) to win her third Melbourne Cup in 2005.
Melbourne Cup Winners
Below you will find the Melbourne Cup winners since 2000, for a full list of winning horses see Melbourne Cup Winners.
|2011||Dunaden||Christophe Lemaire||Mikel Delzangles||3.20.84|
|2010||Americain||Gérald Mossé||Alain de Royer Dupre||3.26.87|
|2009||Shocking||Corey Brown||Mark Kavanagh||3.23.87|
|2008||Viewed||Blake Shinn||Bart Cummings||3.20.40|
|2007||Efficient||Michael Rodd||Graeme Rogerson||3.23.34|
|2006||Delta Blues||Yasunari Iwata||Katsuhiko Sumii||3.21.47|
|2005||Makybe Diva||Glen Boss||Lee Freedman||3.19.17|
|2004||Makybe Diva||Glen Boss||Lee Freedman||3.28.55|
|2003||Makybe Diva||Glen Boss||David Hall||3.19.90|
|2002||Media Puzzle||Damien Oliver||Dermot K. Weld||3.16.97|
|2001||Ethereal||Scott Seamer||Sheila Laxon||3.21.08|
|2000||Brew||Kerrin McEvoy||Mike Moroney||3.18.68|
Melbourne Cup Resources
- Melbourne Cup 2012 – Races.com.au offers comprehensive coverage and information about the Melbourne Cup.