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 2020 Melbourne Cup.
Melbourne Cup 🏆: View the Field and Odds for the Melbourne Cup
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 four have saluted. Avilius, Warning and Oceanex are the 2020 runners with seven letters in the name.
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. No greys are represented in 2020.
3. 11 runners have done the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double. The last to do it was the champion kiwi mare Ethereal in 2001. Verry Elleegant 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. 3 of the 24 runners engaged are six years old.
5. In the last ten years, only two horses has come through the Caulfield Cup to win the Melbourne Cup. 10 of the 24 runners for the 2019 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. In 2020, five eight year olds will take their spot.
7. Horses with their manhood have won the nine of the last 13 Melbourne Cups. 7 of the 24 runners on Tuesday haven’t had to have the worst kind of surgery.
8. 20 of the last 30 winners have started from gate ten or wider, including Vow And Declare last year.
9. The number 20 saddlecloth hasn’t won since 1897 when Gaulus won with 48kg on his back. Etah James 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. 16 of the last 30 have had more than one word, so that keeps the dream alive for 17 runners in the field on Tuesday. However, since the inaugural running in 1861, only six horses with more than two words have won, so that dents the chances of six runners.
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. Ashrun won the Lexus impressively on Saturday and will go in as a contender.
12. Out of 159 runnings of the Melbourne Cup, the favourite has won 35 and placed in 72. Anthony Van Dyck or Tiger Moth will likely 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 2020 race to have won it previously are Danny O’Brien (Vow And Declare, 2019) and Joseph O’Brien (Rekindling, 2017).
14. Jockeys who have won the race before that are riding it on Tuesday are Glen Boss (Three Times), Michael Rodd (Efficient, 2007), Craig Williams (Vow And Declare, 2019), Kerrin McEvoy (Three 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 King Of Leogrance and Ashrun.
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 Miami Bound.
17. Over 75 international gallopers have attempted to win the Melbourne Cup at the start of their Australian campaign. Vintage Crop had been the lone victor, back in 1993, until Rekindling did the deed in 2017 and then Cross Counter last year. 4 of the 24 will be first up into the race.
18. Non-Victorian based riders have dominated the Cup in recent times, winning all but five since 2000. Numbers 1, 5, 11, 16 and 21 all have non-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 Surprise Baby!
20. Weights between 53kg-56.5kg have been prominent in recent years, with Makybe Diva the lone horse to win above that weight, winning with 58kg in 2005. Beside her, only Think Big has carried 58kg or more to win the Cup, back in 1975. Anthony Van Dyck won’t want to hear this.
21. 18 Cup winners have had black as their predominate colour. Recent winner with black in their silks was Shocking in 2009. Persan will have black in his silks in 2020.
22. Horses $31 or longer in the market have won six Cups since 1861, the last being Viewed in 2008. 13 runners in the 2020 Cup are $31 or longer in betting.
23. In 159 runnings of the race, 139 have been male winners. Sorry to Verry Elleegant, Etah James, Oceanex and Miami Bound.
24. Since 2000, Jockeys that have worn gloves in the Cup have won 13 times. Ben Melham (Master Of Reality), Glen Boss (Sir Dragonet), Jye McNeil (Twilight Payment), Mark Zahra (Verry Elleegant), Michael Rodd (Mustajeer), Jamie Kah (Prince Of Arran), Craig Williams (Surprise Baby), Luke Currie (Warning), Kerrin McEvoy (Tiger Moth) and Dean Yendall (Oceanex) are all known glove wearing riders.