For once-a-year punters, the form guide is not the essential tool in looking to find the Melbourne Cup. It’s the saddlecloth number, the name, the colours, and just about every other little detail like that which frustrates punters who actually do the form and come up with nothing while the novice collects because he/she likes the colour blue.
Well if you are one of those punters, here are the best 24 quirky facts about the Melbourne Cup:
Cup Field 🏆: View the Melbourne Cup Final Field
1. Seven letter names have won the Melbourne Cup on 32 occasions, including the 1996 Cup winner, Saintly. In the last 30 years however, only six have saluted. Six runners with seven letter names are engaged for the Cup this year, including the favourite Yucatan.
2. Only two greys have won the Melbourne Cup in the last 30 years. Efficient won in 2007 and Subzero scored a popular win in 1992. Muntahaa will represent the greys in 2018.
3. 11 runners have done the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double. The last to do it was the champion kiwi mare Ethereal in 2001. Best Solution will look to become the 12th.
4. 13 six year olds have won the race over the last 30 years, the latest being Prince Of Penzance in 2015. 6 of the 24 runners engaged are six years old.
5. In the last ten years, only one horse has come through the Caulfield Cup to win the Melbourne Cup. 8 of the 24 runners for the 2018 Cup come through the Caulfield Cup.
6. Two eight year olds have won the Melbourne Cup, but you have to go back to 1938 when Catalogue saluted. Nakeeta and Auvray are the only two eight year olds engaged.
7. Horses with their manhood have won the nine of the last 12 Melbourne Cups. 9 of the 24 runners on Tuesday haven’t had to have the worst kind of surgery.
8. 18 of the last 30 winners have started from gate ten or wider, including Almandin in 2016.
9. The number 20 saddlecloth hasn’t won since 1897 when Gaulus won with 48kg on his back. Rank outsider Zacada will carry that saddlecloth number on Tuesday.
10. Horses with more than one word in their name have a fair record in the last 30 years. 14 of the last 30 have had more than one word, so that keeps the dream alive for 13 runners in the field on Tuesday. However, since the inaugural running in 1861, only five horses with more than two words have won, so that dents the chances of Who Shot Thebarman, A Prince Of Arran and Sir Charles Road.
11. The final ditch effort to squeeze into the final field of 24 for the race comes on the Saturday prior in the Lexus Stakes (2500m). Last horse to do the Lexus/Cup double was Shocking in 2009 and before then it was Brew in 2000. A Prince Of Arran won the Lexus impressively on Saturday and will go in as a contender.
12. Out of 157 runnings of the Melbourne Cup, the favourite has won 35 and placed in 72. Yucatan will start favourite in the race on Tuesday.
13. The obvious trainer is the legend himself, James Bartholomew “Bart” Cummings, who has trained 12 Melbourne Cup winners. Other trainers in the 2018 race to have won it previously are David Hayes (Jeune, 1994), Michael Moroney (Brew, 2000), Gai Waterhouse (Fiorente, 2013) and Darren Weir (Prince Of Penzance, 2015).
14. Jockeys who have won the race before that are riding it on Tuesday are Ryan Moore (Protectionist 2014), Corey Brown (Two Times), Kerrin McEboy (Two Times) and Damien Oliver (Three Times).
15. Number 18 hasn’t been kind to the Melbourne Cup. Barrier 18 has never been a winning Melbourne Cup gate, while only two Melbourne Cup winners have carried the 18 saddlecloth. That will make it harder for Nakeeta and Who Shot Thebarman.
16. Only two four year old mares have won the Melbourne Cup in the last 30 years, with Let’s Elope winning in 1991 and Ethereal in 2001. This slightly doesn’t help the chances of leading contender Youngstar.
17. Over 60 international gallopers have attempted to win the Melbourne at the start of their Australian campaign. Vintage Crop had been the lone victor, back in 1993, until Rekindling did the deed last year. Magic Circle, Muntahaa and Marmelo will go into the race first up.
18. Non-Victorian based riders have dominated the Cup in recent times, winning all but five since 2000. Numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 23 and 24 all have Victorian based riders.
19. Since the barriers were first used in the Cup in 1924, only two horses have come from barrier seven to win- Blackwood in that year, and then 80 years later with Makybe Diva. Good luck Youngstar!
20. Weights between 53kg-56.5kg have been prominent in recent years, with Makybe Diva the lone horse to win outside that weight, winning with 58kg in 2005. Beside her, only Think Big has carried 58kg or more to win the Cup, back in 1975. Best Solution won’t want to hear this.
21. 18 Cup winners have had black as their predominate colour. Recent winners have been Rekindling last year and Shocking in 2009.
22. Horses $31 or longer in the market have won six Cups since 1861, the last being Viewed in 2008. 12 runners in the 2018 Cup are $31 or longer in betting.
23. In 154 runnings of the race, 138 have been male. Sorry Youngstar.
24. Since 2000, Jockeys that have worn gloves in the Cup have won 11 times. Steve Baster (Runaway), Craig Williams (Youngstar) and Kerrin McEvoy (Cross Counter) are all known glove wearing riders.