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.
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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. Latrobe will is the only runner in 2019 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. Rank outsider Neufbosc will represent the greys in 2019.
3. 11 runners have done the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double. The last to do it was the champion kiwi mare Ethereal in 2001. Mer De Glace 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 one horse has come through the Caulfield Cup to win the Melbourne Cup. 9 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 2019, no eight year olds will take their spot.
7. Horses with their manhood have won the nine of the last 12 Melbourne Cups. 11 of the 24 runners on Tuesday haven’t had to have the worst kind of surgery.
8. 19 of the last 30 winners have started from gate ten or wider, including Cross Counter last year.
9. The number 20 saddlecloth hasn’t won since 1897 when Gaulus won with 48kg on his back. Il Paradiso 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. 15 of the last 30 have had more than one word, so that keeps the dream alive for 15 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 Mer De Glace, Master Of Reality, Prince Of Arran, The Chosen One along with Vow And Declare.
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. Downdraft won the Lexus impressively on Saturday and will go in as a contender.
12. Out of 158 runnings of the Melbourne Cup, the favourite has won 35 and placed in 72. Mer De Glace or Constantinople 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 2019 race to have won it previously are Charlie Appleby (Cross Counter, 2018), Joseph O’Brien (Rekindling, 2017), David Hayes (Jeune, 1994) and Michael Moroney (Brew, 2000).
14. Jockeys who have won the race before that are riding it on Tuesday are Ryan Moore (Protectionist 2014), Kerrin McEvoy (Three Times), Brett Prebble (Green Moon 2013) 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 Surprise Baby and The Chosen One.
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 Magic Wand and Youngstar.
17. Over 70 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 in 2017 and then Cross Counter last year. 7 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 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21 and 23 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 Constantinople!
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. Cross Counter 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. Constantinople and The Chosen One will have black in their silks in 2019.
22. Horses $31 or longer in the market have won six Cups since 1861, the last being Viewed in 2008. 9 runners in the 2019 Cup are $31 or longer in betting.
23. In 154 runnings of the race, 138 have been male. Sorry Magic Wand Youngstar.
24. Since 2000, Jockeys that have worn gloves in the Cup have won 12 times. Kerrin McEvoy (Finche), Joao Moreira (Constantinople) and Craig Williams (Vow And Declare) are all known glove wearing riders.