Melbourne Cup History
The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861 in front of about 4,000 spectators, a far cry from the attendances of today where over 120,000 people cram in to Flemington Racecourse. The race was the brainchild of former Victoria Turf Club Chairman Frederick Standish who wanted to put on a 'good' handicap to rival its counterpart, the Victoria Jockey Club.
The first winner of the Melbourne Cup was Archer who went on to win again trained by five time winner Etienne De Mestre. From the early days the Melbourne Cup was the place to be see in social circles and this tradition continues today with as much media coverage given to what Melbourne Cup fashions are being worn.
Although the race was first run on a Thursday it is now always run on the first Tuesday of November. The first Melbourne Cup that was raced on a Tuesday was in 1875 when Wollomai was the winner. The Melbourne Cup now features as the pinnacle of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Melbourne Cup Betting
In terms of Melbourne Cup betting, the first bookmakers to be licensed at Flemington were in 1882 and the first year the totalisator operated was in 1931, thirty years before the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) was introduced in 1961.
The shortest ever winning price was Phar Lap at 8/11 with 35 favourites having won in the races history. The biggest ever priced winner went in at 100/1.
Makybe Diva is the most successful horse in the races history having won three times on the trot from 2003. We've compiled a list of Melbourne Cup results from this period along with a list of the Melbourne Cup winners dating back twenty years.
The Melbourne Cup is now recognised as one of the richest handicaps in world racing and with over 100,000 spectators watching and the country declaring the day a national holiday it really is the 'race that stops a nation'.