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.
1. Seven letter names have won the Melbourne Cup on 32 occasions, with the most famous being Pharlap in 1930. In the last 30 years however, only six have saluted. No horses with seven letter names are engaged for the Cup this year.
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. The greys will not be represented again.
3. 11 runners have done the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double. The last to do it was the champion kiwi mare Ethereal in 2001. Mongolian Khan was attempting to do the double before being scratched late last week.
4. 12 six year olds have won the race over the last 30 years, the latest being Fiorente in 2013. 10 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 2015 Cup come through the Caulfield Cup, including the favourite Fame Game.
6. Two eight year olds have won the Melbourne Cup, but you have to go back to 1938 when Catalogue saluted. Hokko Brave and Sertorious are the only two eight year olds engaged.
7. Horses with their manhood have won the last seven Melbourne Cups. 11 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 Protectionist in 2014.
9. The number 20 saddlecloth hasn’t won since 1897 when Gaulus won with 48kg on his back. Bondi Beach 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 12 runners in the field on Tuesday. However, since the inaugural running in 1861, only four horses with more than two words have won, so that dents the chances of Trip To Paris, Who Shot Thebarman, Quest For More, Prince Of Penzance, The United States and Gust Of Wind.
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. Excess Knowledge won the Lexus impressively on Saturday and will go in as a contender.
12. Out of 153 runnings of the Melbourne Cup, the favourite has won 35 and placed in 72. Fame Game 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 2015 race to have won it previously are Davd Hayes (Jeune, 1994), Lee Freedman (5 times), Gai Waterhouse (Fiorente 2013) and Robert Hickmott (Green Moon 2013).
14. Jockeys who have won the race before that are riding it on Tuesday are Ryan Moore (Protectionist 2014), Gerald Mosse (Americain 2010), Blake Shinn (Viewed 2008), Damien Oliver (Three Times) Jim Cassidy (Two Times) and Brett Prebble (Green Moon 2013).
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 Kingfisher and Bondi Beach, both trained by Aidan O’Brien.
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 Gust Of Wind.
17. Over 60 international gallopers have attempted to win the Melbourne at the start of their Australian campaign. Vintage Crop has been the lone victor, back in 1993. That nearly puts the pen through Big Orange, Max Dynamite, Sky Hunter, Kingfisher and Bondi Beach.
18. Non-Victorian based riders have dominated the Cup in recent times, winning eight of the last editions of the great race. Numbers 2, 4, 7, 13, 16, 17, 19 and 21 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 Sky Hunter!
20. Weights between 53kg-56.5kg have won nine of the past ten Cups, 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. Snow Sky, Criterion and Fame Game won’t want to hear this.
21. 18 Cup winners have had black as their predominate colour. Recent winners have been Fiorente 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 2015 Cup are $31 or longer in betting.
23. In 154 runnings of the race, 138 have been male. Sorry Gust Of Wind.
24. Since 2000, Jockeys that have worn gloves in the Cup have won nine times. Craig Williams (Hokko Brave), Gerald Mosse (Red Cadeaux), Jim Cassidy (Grand Marshal), Michelle Payne (Prince Of Penzance), Brett Prebble (Bondi Beach), Craig Newitt (Sertorius) and Joao Moreira (The United States) are all known glove wearing riders.