The Melbourne Cup truly is “the race that stops a nation”, as 24 of the world’s best horses battle it out over 3200 metres at Flemington Racecourse. While there are a number of other high profile Group 1 events hosted in Melbourne during the Spring, nothing gets the same level of attention or undergoes the same level of analysis as the Melbourne Cup.
The Melbourne Cup has always been associated with statistics and trivia, with this one race getting more than its fair share of attention from the wider Australian public. Along with results and other popular statistics, there is also a lot of fun trivia published about this great Australian horse race.
Saddlecloth numbers 4 and 12 have won the Melbourne Cup a record 11 times each, which is well above the statistical average. In terms of barriers, 5, 10, 11 and 14 are the luckiest with 7 wins each, followed by barriers 6, 8, and 19 with 5 wins.
While the Melbourne Cup is now worth $6.2 million, when it started back in 1861 it was worth 1,420 pounds. Crowd numbers have grown almost as much as the value of the Cup, with 4000 people at the inaugural race and about 100,000 today.
17 winning jockeys have worn black as the main colour, followed by 14 wearing navy blue and royal blue. Reddish-brown or ‘bay’ horses account for the most winners with 66 victories, with brown horses winning 35 times, chestnuts 34 times, greys 6 times, blacks 3 times, and brown/bay/black mixes 7 times.
The Race Must Go On
While World War I and World War II stopped almost every major and minor sporting event in Australia, the Melbourne Cup was raced each and every year.