The Melbourne Cup was first conducted by the Victoria Turf Club on Thursday, November 7, 1861. Run at Flemington over 2 miles as a Handicap, total prizemoney for the race amounted to 730 pounds.
The first Cup winner was a 5yo stallion from Sydney named Archer, owned and trained by Etienne de Mestre. Much of the credit though should go to a young Thomas Lamond, who acted as strapper to Archer and rider/foreman for de Mestre. Winning rider was John Cutts (born John Dillon).
De Mestre, Cutts and Archer combined again in 1862 to land the second Melbourne Cup, de Mestre going on to prepare a further 3 Cup winners. Archer was the only consecutive Cup winner until Rain Lover equalled his feat in 1968/1969, while de Mestre’s 5 Cup winners stood as the training record until 1977 when Gold and Black gave Bart Cummings his sixth Cup success.
The formation of the Victoria Racing Club in 1864 and the Cup first being run on a Tuesday (1875) are two milestone years in the history of the race. The 1870 and 1916 Cups were postponed due to rain, while from 1942 to 1944 (due to the War), the Cup was conducted on a Saturday.
Famous Cup winners include Phar Lap, Carbine, Rising Fast, Poseidon, Galilee, Might and Power, Malua, The Barb & Comic Court. Triple winner Makybe Diva & dual winners Archer, Peter Pan, Rain Lover & Think Big have preserved their names in the history of the race.
|2019||S5-3M||VOW AND DECLARE||D O'BRIEN||C WILLIAMS||4G||102|
|2018||S6-2M||CROSS COUNTER||C APPLEBY||K MCEVOY||4G||109|
|2017||G3-TRUE||REKINDLING||J O'BRIEN||C BROWN||4H||110|
|2016||G4-TRUE||ALMANDIN||R HICKMOTT||K MCEVOY||7G||101|
|2015||G3-2M||PRINCE OF PENZANCE||D WEIR||MS M PAYNE||6G||105|
|2014||G3-TRUE||PROTECTIONIST||A WOHLER||R MOORE||5H||110|
|2013||G3-TRUE||FIORENTE||MS G WATERHOUSE||D OLIVER||6H||111|
|2012||G3-2M||GREEN MOON||R HICKMOTT||B PREBBLE||6H||108|
|2011||G3-3M||DUNADEN||M DELZANGLES||C LEMAIRE||6H||111|
|2010||S6-3M||AMERICAIN||A D-R DUPRE||G MOSSE||6H||112|
Rail is out to the 2m spot after True on Derby Day. The G3-2M combo (2012 & 2015) resulted in the successful barriers being 5 and 1 respectively.
Danny O’Brien, Joseph O’Brien & Andreas Wohler (1 each) are the only trainers with prior success who have runners in 2020. Aidan O’Brien (15 starters) & Chris Waller (19 starters) are overdue to break through.
Overall, 11 mares have saluted for 13 wins (Makybe Diva x3). Only two 8yos have won, Catalogue (1938) and Toryboy (1865).
Rating applies to weight carried, thus no winners rated under 101. 8 of the past 10 winners weighted from 51kg to 55kg (inclusive)
|2019||VOW AND DECLARE||21||24||$11||FINCHE||$8.50F||7TH|
|2015||PRINCE OF PENZANCE||1||24||$101||FAME GAME||$5F||13TH|
|2010||AMERICAIN||11||23||$13.00||SO YOU THINK||$3F||3RD|
Quite a bit of mythology of what is a poor draw. Overall, statistics do not lean in favour of low or high, the past 10 runnings reflecting this fact.
Just 1 winning favourite in the past decade and just 2 (Makybe Diva x2) in the prior decade. Invariably, each-way odds the field, 2020 no different. Overall, the favourite or co-favourite has lobbed at 20.1% SR (32 wins).
There have been 4 major blowouts – all at 100/1 (or $101) – Prince of Penzance (2015), Old Rowley (1940), Wotan (1936) & The Pearl (1871).
The legendary Phar Lap stands alone as the only horse to score at odds-on (8/11f) in 1930. 1901 winner Revenue landed huge bets when scoring as 7/4 favourite.
|YEAR||WINNER||A/S||OR||LAST START||L3||NEXT RACE|
|2019||VOW AND DECLARE||4G||102||2nd Caul Cup||4-2.||SPELL|
|2018||CROSS COUNTER||4G||109||2nd GB Voltigeur||1-1-2.||SPELL|
|2017||REKINDLING||4H||110||4th GB St Leger||1-2-4.||SPELL|
|2015||PRINCE OF PENZANCE||6G||105||2nd MV Cup||5-8-2.||SPELL|
|2014||PROTECTIONIST||5H||110||4th Herb Power||1-1-4.||SPELL|
|2013||FIORENTE||6H||111||3rd Cox Plate||1-4-3.||SPELL|
|2012||GREEN MOON||6H||108||7th Cox Plate||2-1-7.||SPELL|
|2011||DUNADEN||6H||111||1st Geel Cup||2-9-1.||1st HK Vase|
|2010||AMERICAIN||6H||112||1st Geel Cup||1-1-1.||3rd HK Vase|
This data-panel clearly illustrates the need to bring strong recent form to the Cup. A win or a second in your past 3 starts is an absolute must.
Not surprisingly, the Spring ends unless you wish to conquer Hong Kong.
A last start winner invariably attracts support in the Cup. For example, Ashrun off his Hotham Hcp win, in from $51 to $21. An international visitor has won the Hotham 4 times with Prince of Arran (third-2018) the only one to land a blow.
Similarly, the Geelong Cup is touted as a great guide – but only as far as being a visitor is concerned. Only 3 horses have done the Geelong-Melbourne Cup double and all 3 were Internationals; Media Puzzle, Americain & Dunaden. Steel Prince has an uphill battle.
A visitor winning on landing here would logically appear a strong reference going into the Cup, but coincidentally, only the 3 Geelong Cup winners mentioned above were able to translate that success into Melbourne Cup victory.
A further 15 horses won in their ultimate lead-up to the Cup with only Bauer (Geelong Cup) & Prince of Arran (Hotham Hcp, Geelong Cup) filling a Cup placing. All of these wins were handicaps at G3 level, suggesting Sir Dragonet via a G1 Cox Plate victory represents caution.
Dejavu is forecast, the 2020 Cup revolving around 2019 runner-up Prince of Arran, Ballydoyle’s NH 3yo Tiger Moth & 2019 fourth placed (relegated from second) Master of Reality.
Ballydoyle NH 3yo Il Paradiso (a very unlucky third last year) carried the same weight as Tiger Moth does in 2020. However, there’s little question that Tiger Moth has more speed and class than Il Paradiso, albeit less experience with just 4 starts on the board.
Prince of Arran would be a worthy winner, placed 2018 (third) and 2019 (third, promoted to second). Five horses have previously won the Cup at their third attempt and his superb fourth in the Caulfield Cup (when ridden contrary to his style) demonstrates he’s no inferior to previous years.
Master of Reality went for home early last year and zig-zagged his way home in a mad scramble to the line that inevitably cost him the race and then lost second place due to an upheld protest via Il Paradiso (fourth). An Ascot Gold Cup place-getter, he’s a high-grade two miler.
Anthony Van Dyck will obtain a glorious run from gate 3 after an enormous Caulfield Cup second in unsuitable ground and for value in multiples, Twilight Payment (eleventh last year) is a much improved on-pace stayer in 2020.