The Melbourne Cup is the most popular horse race in Australia, with a prize pool of $6.2 million up for grabs every year. “The race that stops a nation” has been won by many of the biggest names in Australian thoroughbred racing, including household names like Phar Lap and Makybe Diva. In fact, over the years since the inaugural race of 1861, the winners list for this great event reads like a who’s who of Australian horse racing.
Held each year at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, the Melbourne Cup has been won by champion horses from around the world. Since 1882, New Zealand bred horses have won 40 Melbourne Cup, British bred horses have won 5 Cups, United States bred horses have won 4 Cups, Irish horses have won 2 Cups, and a single Japanese horse won in 2006. While the majority of winners are from Australia, as you can see, this is a truly international competition.
The most notable names to win the Melbourne Cup include Carbine in 1890, Peter Pan in 1932 and 1934, Comic Court in 1950, Rising Fast in 1954, Rain Lover in 1968 and 1969, Kiwi in 1983, Vintage Crop in 1993, Might and Power in 1997, and Makybe Diva in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In the last few years, winners include Viewed in 2008, Shocking in 2009, Americain in 2010, Dunaden in 2011, and Green Moon in 2012.
The most outstanding Melbourne Cup champion would have to be Makybe Diva, as the only horse to win this race on three seperate occasions between 2003 and 2005. This record will long live on as one of the most outstanding performances in Australian sporting history. Four horses have managed to win the Cup twice over its long history, with other notable winners combining victory in the Melbourne Cup with a Caulfield Cup win in the same season.
Archer 1861 – 1862
Peter Pan 1932 – 1934
Rain Lover 1968 – 1969
Think Big 1974 – 1975
Makybe Diva 2003- 2005
Winners of the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup Double:
The Trump 1937
Rising Fast 1954
Even Stevens 1962
Gurner’s Lane 1982
Might and Power 1997