|Group I race|
Engraving of the finish line at the 1881 Melbourne Cup
|Location|| Flemington Racecourse |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Inaugurated||1861 (List of Melbourne Cup winners)|
|Race type||Thoroughbred – Flat racing|
|Distance||3,200 metres (2.0 miles)|
|Qualification||Three-year-olds and up|
The Melbourne Cup is Australia's most famous annual Thoroughbred horse race. It is a 3200-metre race for three-year-olds and over, conducted by the Victoria Racing Club on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria as part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. It is the richest "two-mile" handicap in the world, and one of the richest turf races. The event starts at 3pm on the first Tuesday in November and is known locally as "the race that stops a nation".
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
The Victoria Racing Club was founded in 1864. It was formed following the disbanding of the Victoria Turf Club and the Victoria Jockey Club. A legacy passed from the Victoria Turf Club was the annual "race that stops a nation", the Melbourne Cup, which was first contested in 1861.
Flemington Racecourse is a major horse racing venue located in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is most notable for hosting the Melbourne Cup, which is the world's richest handicap and the world's richest 3200 metre horse race. The racecourse is situated on low alluvial flats, next to the Maribyrnong River. The area was first used for horse racing in March 1840.
The Melbourne Cup has a long tradition, with the first race held in 1861. It was originally over two miles (3.219 km) but was shortened to 3,200 metres (1.988 mi) in 1972 when Australia adopted the metric system. This reduced the distance by 18.688 metres (61.312 ft), and Rain Lover's 1968 race record of 3:19.1 was accordingly adjusted to 3:17.9. The present record holder is the 1990 winner Kingston Rule with a time of 3:16.3.
Metrication in Australia effectively began in 1966 with the conversion to decimal currency under the auspices of the Decimal Currency Board. The conversion of measurements—metrication—commenced subsequently in 1971, under the direction of the Metric Conversion Board and actively proceeded until the Board was disbanded in 1981.
Rain Lover (1964-1989) was a champion Australian Thoroughbred racehorse best remembered for his back-to-back wins in the 1968 and 1969 VRC Melbourne Cup.
Kingston Rule was an American-bred racehorse who raced in Australia, where he won the 1990 Melbourne Cup in a record time of 3:16:3. This time still stands as the record today.
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The race is a quality handicap for horses 3 years old and over, run over a distance of 3200 metres, on the first Tuesday in November at Flemington Racecourse. The minimum handicap weight is 50 kg. There is no maximum weight, but the top allocated weight must not be less than 57 kg. The weight allocated to each horse is declared by the VRC Handicapper in early September.
The Melbourne Cup race is a handicap contest in which the weight of the jockey and riding gear is adjusted with ballast to a nominated figure. Older horses carry more weight than younger ones, and weights are adjusted further according to the horse's previous results.
Handicapping, in sport and games, is the practice of assigning advantage through scoring compensation or other advantage given to different contestants to equalize the chances of winning. The word also applies to the various methods by which the advantage is calculated. In principle, a more experienced participant is disadvantaged, or a less experienced or capable participant is advantaged, in order to make it possible for the less experienced participant to win whilst maintaining fairness. Handicapping is used in scoring many games and competitive sports, including go, shogi, chess, croquet, golf, bowling, polo, basketball, and track and field events. Handicap races are common in clubs which encourage all levels of participants, such as swimming or in cycling clubs and sailing clubs, or which allow participants with a variety of standards of equipment. Often races, contests or tournaments where this practice is competitively employed are known as Handicaps.
A jockey is someone who rides horses in horse racing or steeplechase racing, primarily as a profession. The word also applies to camel riders in camel racing.
Weights were theoretically calculated to give each horse an equal winning chance in the past, but in recent years the rules were adjusted to a "quality handicap" formula where superior horses are given less severe weight penalties than under pure handicap rules.
After the declaration of weights for the Melbourne Cup, the winner of any handicap flat race of the advertised value of A$55,000 or over to the winner, or an internationally recognised Listed, Group, or Graded handicap flat race, shall carry such additional weight (if any), for each win, as the VRC Handicapper shall determine.
Entries for the Melbourne Cup usually close during the first week of August. The initial entry fee is $600 per horse. Around 300 to 400 horses are nominated each year, but the final field is limited to 24 starters. Following the allocation of weights, the owner of each horse must on four occasions before the race in November, declare the horse as an acceptor and pay a fee. First acceptance is $960, second acceptance is $1,450 and third acceptance is $2,420. The final acceptance fee, on the Saturday prior to the race, is $45,375. Should a horse be balloted out of the final field, the final declaration fee is refunded.
The race directors retain the absolute discretion to exclude any horse from the race, or exempt any horse from the ballot on the race, but in order to reduce the field to the safety limit of 24, horses are balloted out based on a number of factors which include:
1000 prize money earned in the previous two years, 9 wins or placings in certain lead-up races 3 allocated handicap weight
The winner of the following races are exempt from any ballot:
The Lexus Stakes, registered as the Hotham Handicap, is a Victoria Racing Club Group 3 Thoroughbred horse race for horses three years old and older, held under quality handicap conditions, over a distance of 2500 metres, held annually at Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia on Victoria Derby Day. Total prize money for the race is A$300,000 and $1,500 trophy.
The Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes, registered as the LKS Mackinnon Stakes, is a Victoria Racing Club Group 1 Thoroughbred horse race run under Weight for Age conditions over a distance of 2000 metres at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the Saturday after the Melbourne Cup. Total prize money is A$2,000,000 and $2,500 trophy.
The Caulfield Cup is a Melbourne Racing Club Group 1 Thoroughbred horse race held under handicap conditions although the MRC is in the process to turn the race into weight for age (WFA) conditions, for horses aged three years old and older, over a distance of 2400 metres. It is held at Caulfield Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia in mid October. The prizemoney is A$5,000,000.
The limitation of 24 starters is stated explicitly to be for safety reasons. However, in the past far larger numbers were allowed - the largest field ever raced was 39 runners in 1890.
International horses (New Zealand not included) that are entered for the Melbourne Cup must undergo quarantine in an approved premises in their own country for a minimum period of 14 days before travelling to Australia. The premises must meet the Australian Government Standards. km from the Melbourne CBD.The Werribee International Horse Centre at Werribee racecourse is the Victorian quarantine station for international horses competing in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. The facility has stabling for up to 24 horses in five separate stable complexes and is located 32
A central business district (CBD) is the commercial and business center of a city. In larger cities, it is often synonymous with the city's "financial district". Geographically, it often coincides with the "city centre" or "downtown", but the two concepts are separate: many cities have a central business district located away from its commercial or cultural city centre or downtown, or even several CBDs at once. In London, for example, the "city centre" is usually regarded as encompassing the historic City of London and the mediaeval City of Westminster, whereas the City of London and the transformed Docklands area are regarded as its two CBDs. In New York City, Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the city and in the world; yet Lower Manhattan, commonly called Downtown Manhattan, represents the second largest, and second, distinct CBD in New York City and is geographically situated south of Midtown. In Chicago, the Chicago Loop is the second largest central business district in the United States and is also referred to as the core of the city's downtown. Mexico City also has a historic city centre, the colonial-era Centro Histórico, along with two CBDs: the mid-late 20th century Paseo de la Reforma – Polanco, and the new Santa Fe.
The total prize money for the 2019 race is A$8,000,000, plus trophies valued at $250,000.
Prizemoney is distributed to the connections of each horse in the ratio of 85 percent to the owner, 10 percent to the trainer and 5 percent to the jockey.
The 1985 Melbourne Cup, won by "What a Nuisance", was the first race run in Australia with prize money of $1 million.
The Cup currently has a $500,000 bonus for the owner of the winner if it has also won the group one Irish St. Leger run the previous September.
The winner of the first Melbourne Cup in 1861 received a gold watch. The first Melbourne Cup trophy was awarded in 1865 and was an elaborate silver bowl on a stand that had been manufactured in England.The first existing and un-altered Melbourne Cup is from 1866, presented to the owners of The Barb; as of 2013, it is in the National Museum of Australia. The silver trophy presented in 1867, now also in the National Museum of Australia, was also made in England but jewellers in Victoria complained to the Victorian Racing Club that the trophy should have been made locally. They believed the work of Melbournian, William Edwards, to be superior in both design and workmanship to the English made trophy. No trophy was awarded to the Melbourne Cup winner for the next eight years.
In 1876 Edward Fischer, an immigrant from Austria, produced the first Australian-made trophy. It was an Etruscan shape with two handles. One side depicted a horse race with the grandstand and hill of Flemington in the background. The opposite side had the words "Melbourne Cup, 1876" and the name of the winning horse. 15-inch-high (380 mm), 24-inch-long (610 mm) trophy showing a Victory figure offering an olive wreath to a jockey. From 1899 the trophy was in the form of silver galloping horse embossed on a 3-foot-long (0.91 m) plaque, although it was said to look like a greyhound by some people.A silver-plated base sporting three silver horses was added in 1888, but in 1891 the prize changed to being a
The last Melbourne Cup trophy manufactured in England was made for the 1914 event. It was a chalice centred on a long base which had a horse at each end. The trophy awarded in 1916,the first gold trophy, was a three-legged, three-armed rose bowl. The three-handled loving cup design was first awarded in 1919. In that year the Victorian Racing Club had commissioned James Steeth to design a trophy that would be in keeping with the prestige of the race, little realising that it would become the iconic Melbourne Cup still presented today. In the Second World War years (1942, 1943 and 1944) the winning owner received war bonds valued at 200 pounds.
A new trophy is struck each year and becomes the property of the winning owner. In the event of a dead heat a second cup is on hand. The present trophy is hand spun from 1.65 kg of 18-carat gold. The winning trainer and jockey also receive a miniature replica of the cup (since 1973) and the strapper is awarded the Tommy Woodcock Trophy, named after the strapper of Phar Lap.
In 2003 an annual tour of the Melbourne Cup trophy was initiated to provide communities across Australia and New Zealand with an opportunity to view the Cup trophy and highlight the contribution the Melbourne Cup has made to the Australia's social, sporting and racing culture. Each year, communities in Australia and New Zealand apply for the cup to tour to their community and the tour also takes in cities around the world as part of the Victoria Racing Club's strategy to promote the Melbourne Cup and the Melbourne Cup Carnival internationally.
The Tour has visited schools and aged-care and hospital facilities, and participated in community events and celebrations including race days across Australia and New Zealand.
Frederick Standish, member of the Victorian Turf Club and steward on the day of the first Cup,was credited with forming the idea to hold a horse race and calling it the "Melbourne Cup".
Seventeen horses contested the first Melbourne Cup on Thursday 7 November 1861, racing for the modest prize of 710 gold sovereigns (£710) cash and a hand-beaten gold watch, winner takes all.The prize was not, as some have suggested, the largest purse up to that time. A large crowd of 4,000 men and women watched the race, although it has been suggested this was less than expected because of news reaching Melbourne of the death of explorers Burke and Wills five days earlier on 2 November. Nevertheless, the attendance was the largest at Flemington on any day for the past two years, with the exception of the recently run Two Thousand Guinea Stakes.
The winner of this first Melbourne Cup race was a 16.3 hand bay stallion by the name of Archer in a time of 3.52.00, ridden by John Cutts, trained by Etienne de Mestre, and leased (and consequently raced in his own name) by de Mestre. As a lessee de Mestre "owned" and was fully responsible for Archer during the lease. Archer was leased from the "Exeter Farm" of Jembaicumbene near Braidwood, New South Wales. His owners were Thomas John "Tom" Roberts (a good school-friend of de Mestre's), Rowland H. Hassall (Roberts' brother-in-law), and Edmund Molyneux Royds and William Edward Royds (Roberts' nephews).
The inaugural Melbourne Cup of 1861 was an eventful affair when one horse bolted before the start, and three of the seventeen starters fell during the race, two of which died. Archer, a Sydney "outsider" who drew scant favour in the betting, spread-eagled the field and defeated the favourite, and Victorian champion, Mormon by six lengths. Dismissed by the bookies, Archer took a lot of money away from Melbourne, 'refuelling interstate rivalry' and adding to the excitement of the Cup.The next day, Archer was raced in and won another 2 mile long distance race, the Melbourne Town Plate.
It has become legend that Archer walked over 800 km (over 500 miles) to Flemington from de Mestre's stable at "Terara" near Nowra, New South Wales. However, newspaper archives of the day reveal that he had travelled south from Sydney to Melbourne on the steamboat City Of Melbourne, together with de Mestre, and two of de Mestre's other horses Exeter and Inheritor. Before being winched aboard the steamboat for the trip to Melbourne, the horses had arrived in Sydney in September 1861.
Archer travelled to Melbourne by steamboat again the following year (1862) to run in the second Melbourne Cup. This time he won 810 gold sovereigns (£810) cash and a gold watch before a crowd of 7,000, nearly twice the size of the previous years large crowdin a time of 3.47.00, taking to two the number of Melbourne Cup wins by this horse. Archer had already won the 1862 AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Randwick, Sydney, and returned to win his second Melbourne Cup carrying 10 stone 2 pounds. He defeated a field of twenty starters by eight lengths, a record that has never been beaten, and that was not matched for over 100 years. Mormon again running second. Winning the Melbourne Cup twice was a feat not repeated until more than seventy years later when Peter Pan won the race in 1932 and 1934, and winning the Melbourne Cup two years in a row was a feat not repeated until more than 30 years later when Rain Lover won in 1968 and 1969.
Archer travelled to Melbourne by steamboat yet again the next year (1863). Despite his weight of 11 stone 4 pounds, Archer would have contested the third cup in 1863, but due to a Victorian public holiday trainer Etienne de Mestre's telegraphed acceptance form arrived late, and Archer was scratched on a technicality. In protest of this decision and in a show of solidarity, many of de Mestre's owners boycotted the third race and scratched their horses in sympathy.As a result, the Melbourne Cup of that year ran with only 7 starters, the smallest number in the history of the Cup.
In 1865, Adam Lindsay Gordon wrote a verse in which the Melbourne Cup winner was called Tim Whiffler. Two years later in 1867 two horses with the name Tim Whiffler ran in the Melbourne Cup. (The year before in 1866 two horses with the same name, Falcon, also ran in the Melbourne Cup.) To distinguish between the two Tim Whifflers they were called "Sydney" Tim Whiffler and "Melbourne" Tim Whiffler. "Sydney" Tim Whiffler actually won the Cup.He was trained by Etienne de Mestre, and like Archer before him raced in de Mestre's name but was leased from the "Exeter Farm".
As early as 1865, Cup day was a half-holiday in Melbourne for public servants and bank officials. Various businesses also closed at lunchtime.
It took some years before the purpose of the declared holiday was acknowledged in the Victoria Government Gazette. The Gazette of 31 October 1873 announced that the following Thursday (Cup Day) be observed as a bank and civil (public) service holiday.
The Melbourne Cup was first run on a Tuesday in 1875, the first Tuesday in that month.
On 7 November 1876, the three-year-old filly, Briseis, owned and trained by James Wilson Snr., won in a time of 3.36.25. Briseis then went on to create a record that is never likely to be equalled, winning the VRC Derby, the Melbourne Cup and the VRC Oaks in the space of six days. She was ridden in the Melbourne Cup by the tiny featherweight figure of jockey Peter St. Albans. In 1876 at the recorded age thirteen (he was actually twelve, being 8 days short of his thirteenth birthday),Peter St. Albans is also the youngest person ever to win a Melbourne Cup. Before 75,000 at Flemington Briseis, with St Albans in the saddle, comfortably won by 1 length in the biggest field of all time. "At 4 o'clock the starter released the 33 runners and they swept down the long Flemington straight in a thundering rush. Briseis, ridden by what one writer termed a mere child, (in the Cup) captured a rare double, the Victoria Race Club Derby and the Melbourne Cup. Shouts and hurrahs were heard, hats were thrown in the air and one excited individual fell on his back in the attempt to do a somersault. The boy who rode the winner was carried around the pack and is the hero of the day," reported the "Australasian Sketcher" in 1876. Both Peter St. Albans and Briseis have now become racing legends, and Briseis is regarded as one of the greatest mares foaled in Australia.
Briseis wasn't the only sensation surrounding the 1876 Melbourne Cup. Two months before the event, on Saturday 9 September, the City of Melbourne sailed for Melbourne from Sydney with a cargo including 13 racehorses, many of whom were considered serious contenders for the Melbourne Cup. The following day the ship ran into a savage storm and was hit by several rogue waves, with Nemesis (the winner of the 1876 AJC Metropolitan Handicap in Randwick, Sydney and favourite for the Cup, owned by John Moffat) and Robin Hood (another favourite, owned by Etienne de Mestre) being among the 11 horses that were killed.Betting on the big race was paralysed. To the dismay and anger of the public, bookmakers, showing no feeling, presented a purse (loaded with coins) to the captain as token of their appreciation for his part in saving them many thousands of pounds in bets already laid on the favourites who had perished. Perhaps they should have kept their money, however. The outsider Briseis comfortably won by 1 length in the biggest field of all time, and in an extremely good time, so it is unlikely that the horses who perished could have beaten her.
1877 is also the year that the trainer Etienne de Mestre won his fourth Melbourne Cup with Chester owned by Hon. James White. In 1878, as in previous years De Mestre fielded more than one horse. He entered the favourite Firebell (owned by W.S. Cox) who finished last, Chester (owned by Hon. James White) the previous year's winner who fell, and Calamia (owned by de Mestre) who, though less fancied, won easilyby two lengths. First prize was £1,790, the crowd was 80,000 and there were 30 starters. De Mestre's 1878 win with Calamia brought to 5 the number of Melbourne Cups he had won. This record was not to be matched for nearly 100 years when the trainer Bart Cummings won his fifth Melbourne Cup in 1975. Bart Cummings, regarded as the best Australian horse trainer of all time, went on to win 12 Melbourne Cups to 2008.
In 1883, the hardy New Zealand bred, Martini-Henry won the VRC Derby, the Melbourne Cup and on the following Monday retained his undefeated record by winning Mares' Produce Stakes.
Phar Lap, the most famous horse in the world of his day,won the 1930 Melbourne Cup at 11/8 odds on, the shortest priced favourite in the history of the race. He had to be hidden away at Geelong before the race after an attempt was made to shoot him and only emerged an hour before the race time of the Cup. Phar Lap also competed in 1929 and 1931, but came 3rd and 8th respectively, despite heavy favouritism in both years.
There are a few legends of the first Aboriginal jockey to ride a Melbourne Cup. It was believed to be John Cutts who won the first and second cups in 1861 and 1862 riding Archer. He was reputedly an Aboriginal stockman born in the area where Archer was trained, but was actually John 'Cutts' Dillon, the son of a Sydney clerk, a jockey who rode for many trainers in his long career, and who was one of the best known, best liked and most respected jockeys in New South Wales.It is thought that Peter St. Albans was the first Aboriginal jockey to win the cup, on Briseis in 1876. Because St. Albans was not quite 13 years old, the jockey was too young to ride in the cup. Thus, to allow him to race Briseis in the Cup, it was argued his birthdate and parents were unknown, and from this the legend of him being Aboriginal grew. Both these legends, however, can definitely be disproved, and history had to wait nearly another 100 years. The first jockey of Indigenous heritage to ride a Melbourne Cup winner was Frank Reys in 1973 on Gala Supreme, who had a Filipino father and a half-Aboriginal mother.
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The race has undergone several alterations in recent years, the most visible being the entry of many foreign-trained horses. Most have failed to cope with the conditions; the three successful "foreign raids" include two by Irish trainer Dermot K. Weld successful in 1993 and 2002,and one in 2006 by Katsumi Yoshida of Japan's renowned Yoshida racing and breeding family. The attraction for foreigners to compete was, primarily, the low-profile change to the new "quality handicap" weighting system.
The 1910 Melbourne Cup was won by Comedy King, the first foreign bred horse to do so. Subsequent foreign bred horses to win Cup were Backwood 1924; Phar Lap 1930; Wotan 1936 Belldale Ball 1980; At Talaq 1986; Kingston Rule 1990; Vintage Crop 1993; Jeune 1994; Media Puzzle 2002; Makybe Diva 2003, 2004, 2005; Americain 2010 and Dunaden 2011.
The 1938 Melbourne Cup was won by trainer Mrs. Allan McDonald, who conditioned Catalogue. Mrs McDonald was a successful trainer in New Zealand,however, at the time women were not allowed to compete as trainers in Australia so her husband's name was officially recorded as the winning trainer. The 2001 edition was won by New Zealand mare Ethereal, trained by Sheila Laxon, the first woman to formally train a Melbourne Cup winner. She also won the Caulfield Cup, a 2,400 metre race also held in Melbourne, and therefore has won the "Cups Double".
Maree Lyndon became the first female to ride in the Melbourne Cup, when she partnered Argonaut Style in 1987, in which she ran second last in the 21 horse field.
In 2004, Makybe Divabecame the first mare to win two cups, and also the first horse to win with different trainers, after David Hall moved to Hong Kong and transferred her to the Lee Freedman stables.
The 2005 Melbourne Cup was held before a crowd of 106,479. Makybe Diva made history by becoming the only horse to win the race three times. Trainer Lee Freedman said after the race, "Go and find the youngest child on the course, because that's the only person here who will have a chance of seeing this happen again in their lifetime."
Due to the 2007 Australian equine influenza outbreak, believed to have been started by a horse brought into Australia from Japan, neither Delta Blues nor Pop Rock participated in the 2007 Melbourne Cup. Both horses had been stabled in Japan. Corowa, NSW trained "Leica Falcon" also was not be permitted to race in Victoria, despite Corowa being close to the Victorian border. Leica Falcon was ordained as the new staying star of Australian racing in 2005 when he ran fourth in both the Caulfield Cup and in Makybe Diva's famous third Melbourne Cup victory. But serious leg injuries saw the horse not race for another 20 months.Efficient, the previous year's VRC Derby winner, won the race.
In 2013, Damien Oliver returned from an eight-month ban, after betting against his own mount at a previous race meet, to win his 3rd Melbourne cup.
Melbourne Cup day is a public holiday for all working within metropolitan Melbourne and some parts of regional Victoria, but not for some country Victorian cities and towns which hold their own spring carnivals. For federal public servants it is also observed as a holiday in the entire state of Victoria, and from 2007 to 2009 also in the Australian Capital Territory known as Family and Community Day replacing Picnic Day.The Melbourne cup captures the public's imagination to the extent that people, whether at work, home, school, or out and about, usually stop to watch or listen to the race. Many people from outside of Melbourne take a half or full day off work to celebrate the occasion. Many people feel that the day should be a national public holiday as sick leave is said to increase on the day and productivity wanes.
As early as 1865, Cup Day was a half-holiday in Melbourne for public servants and bank officials. Various businesses also closed at lunchtime.
It took some years before the purpose of the declared holiday was acknowledged in the Victoria Government Gazette. The Gazette of 31 October 1873announced that the following Thursday (Cup Day) be observed as a bank and civil (public) service holiday.
The event is one of the most popular spectator events in Australia, with sometimes over 110,000 people, some dressed in traditional formal raceday wear and others in all manner of exotic and amusing costumes, attending the race. The record crowd was 122,736 in 2003. The 1926 running of the Cup was the first time the 100,000 mark had been passed. Today the record at Flemington is held by the 2006 Victoria Derby when almost 130,000 attended.
In 2007, a limit was placed on the Spring Carnival attendance at Flemington Racecourse and race-goers are now required to pre-purchase tickets.Every year more and more people travel to Flemington Racecourse, in 2016 there was A 7.8 per cent increase in the number of out-of-state individuals (80,472) attending the Melbourne Cup Carnival;
'Fashions On The Field' is a major focus of the day, with substantial prizes awarded for the best-dressed man and woman. The requirement for elegant hats, and more recently the alternative of a fascinator, almost single-handedly keeps Melbourne's milliners in business.[ citation needed ] Raceday fashion has occasionally drawn almost as much attention as the race itself, The miniskirt received worldwide publicity when model Jean Shrimpton wore a white shift version of one on Derby Day during Melbourne Cup week in 1965.
Flowers, especially roses are an important component of the week's racing at Flemington. The racecourse has around 12,000 roses within its large expanse. Over 200 varieties of the fragrant flower are nurtured by a team of up to 12 gardeners. Each of the major racedays at Flemington has an official flower. Victoria Derby Day has the Corn Flower, Melbourne Cup Day is for the Yellow Rose, Oaks Day highlights the Pink Rose and Stakes Day goes to the Red Rose.
In the Melbourne metropolitan area, the race day has been a gazetted public holiday since 1877, but around both Australia and New Zealand a majority of people watch the race on television and gamble, either through direct betting or participating in workplace cup "sweeps". In 2000, a betting agency claimed that 80 percent of the adult Australian population placed a bet on the race that year.In 2010 it was predicted that $183 million would be spent by 83,000 tourists during the Spring Racing Carnival. In New Zealand, the Melbourne Cup is the country's single biggest betting event, with carnival race-days held at several of the country's top tracks showing the cup live on big screens.
It is commonly billed as The race that stops a nation, but it is more accurately The race that stops two nations,as many people in New Zealand, as well as Australia, pause to watch the race.
... Viewed, who is poised to make it back-to-back wins in the race that stops two nations, scheduled for 5pm (NZ time)
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Thoroughbred horse racing is a sport and industry involving the racing and hound racing of Thoroughbred horses. It is governed by different national bodies. There are two forms of the sport: flat racing and jump racing, called National Hunt racing in the UK and steeplechasing in the US. Jump racing can be further divided into hurdling and steeplechasing.
Thoroughbred horse racing is an important spectator sport in Australia, and gambling on horse races is a very popular pastime with A$14.3 billion wagered in 2009/10 with bookmakers and the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB). The two forms of Thoroughbred horseracing in Australia are flat racing, and races over fences or hurdles in Victoria and South Australia. Thoroughbred racing is the third most attended spectator sport in Australia, behind Australian rules football and rugby league, with almost two million admissions to 360 registered racecourses throughout Australia in 2009/10. Horseracing commenced soon after European settlement, and is now well-appointed with automatic totalizators, starting gates and photo finish cameras on nearly all Australian racecourses.
The Spring Racing Carnival is the name of an Australian Thoroughbred horse racing series held annually in Melbourne during October and November.
James Bartholomew Cummings, also known by his initials J. B. Cummings, was one of the most successful Australian racehorse trainers. He was known as the Cups King, referring to the Melbourne Cup, as he won 'the race that stops a nation' a record twelve times. During his lifetime Cummings was considered an Australian cultural icon and an Australian National Living Treasure. As a racing icon he was generally considered in the 20th century, equivalent as what Etienne L. de Mestre had been in the 19th century.
Archer (1856–1872) was an Australian Thoroughbred racehorse who won the first and the second Melbourne Cups in 1861 and 1862. He won both Cups easily, and is one of only five horses to win the Melbourne Cup twice or more; he is one of only four horses to win two successive Cups. In 2017 Archer was inducted to the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.
David Lee Freedman is an Australian thoroughbred racehorse trainer. and Hall of Fame inductee. In partnership with brothers Anthony, Michael, and Richard, he has been a prolific winner of Australia's major races in past 20 years, with four Golden Slippers, four Caulfield Cups, two Cox Plates, and five Melbourne Cups, including two of the three won by Makybe Diva. On 19 June 2007 he won the prestigious King's Stand Stakes at the United Kingdom's Royal Ascot racecourse with his champion mare, Miss Andretti.
Super Impose was a New Zealand-bred Thoroughbred racehorse who was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. In a career spanning 74 starts, he won eight Group One races and a then Australasian record $5.6 million in prize money. Trained throughout his career by Lee Freedman and ridden in his Group One wins by Bruce Compton (once), Darren Gauci (once), Darren Beadman, and Greg Hall (once), Super Impose won the AJC Epsom and Doncaster Handicaps two years in a row, in 1990 and 1991, and won the Cox Plate at his penultimate start as an eight-year-old in 1992.
Sebastian Murphy is an apprentice Thoroughbred horse racing jockey.
Etienne Livingston de Mestre, was a 19th-century Australian breeder and jockey of Thoroughbred racehorses, was Australia's first outstanding racehorse trainer. In his 30-year career he experienced all the highs and the lows of the turf in a career which ended with him dependent on donations from racing friends.
John Cutts was the jockey who at the age of 32 rode Archer, the winner of the first Melbourne Cup in 1861. The next day John rode Archer to win another long distance race, the Melbourne Town Plate. In May 1862 he rode Archer to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (ATC), and returned to Melbourne later that year to win his second Melbourne Cup. Due to a technical error which stopped Archer from being entered in the third (1863) Melbourne Cup, Cutt's was not able to attempt to win the hat-trick.
Peter St Albans (1864-1898) is the youngest jockey ever to win the Melbourne Cup. He won in 1876 riding Briseis at the recorded age of thirteen. His record is unlikely to be beaten as he rode in the Melbourne Cup when he was under the stated minimum age of thirteen. He secured the mount for the three-year-old Briseis after the regular stable jockey could not make the featherweight of 6 stone and 4 pounds. Before 75,000 at Flemington Briseis, with St Albans in the saddle, comfortably won by one length in the biggest field of all time. "At 4 o'clock the starter released the 33 runners and they swept down the long Flemington straight in a thundering rush. Briseis, ridden by what one writer termed a mere child, captured a rare double, the Victoria Race Club Derby and the Melbourne Cup. Shouts and hurrahs were heard, hats were thrown in the air and one excited individual fell on his back in the attempt to do a somersault. The boy who rode the winner was carried around the pack and is the hero of the day," reported the Australasian Sketcher in 1876. Both Peter St Albans and Briseis have now become racing legends, and Briseis is regarded as one of the greatest mares foaled in Australia.
Frank Reys (c.1931–1984) was the first, and to date, only Australian Aboriginal jockey to win the prestigious Melbourne Cup when, in 1973, he rode to victory on Gala Supreme.
Briseis foaled in 1873, was a brown Australian Thoroughbred filly that is regarded as one of the greatest mares ever foaled in Australia. As a two-year-old she won the AJC Doncaster Handicap and the weight for age (w.f.a.) AJC All Aged Stakes. Then as a three-year-old she won the VRC Victoria Derby, the Melbourne Cup and the VRC Oaks, all within six days.
Michelle J. Payne is an Australian jockey. She won the 2015 Melbourne Cup, riding Prince of Penzance, and was the first female jockey to win the event.
The 2014 Emirates Melbourne Cup was the 154th running of the Melbourne Cup, Australia's most prestigious Thoroughbred horse race. The race, run over 3,200 metres, was held on 4 November 2014, at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Protectionist, ridden by Ryan Moore and trained by German Andreas Wöhler, won the race by four lengths, becoming the first German-trained winner of the Melbourne Cup. Red Cadeaux placed second and Who Shot Thebarman third, with Red Cadeaux the first horse to place second on three occasions.
The 2015 Emirates Melbourne Cup was the 155th running of the Melbourne Cup, a prestigious Australian Thoroughbred horse race. The race, run over 3,200 metres (1.988 mi), was held on 3 November 2015 at Melbourne's Flemington Racecourse. The date is a public holiday in the state of Victoria. The final field for the race was declared on 31 October. The total prize money for the race was A$6.2 million, the same as the previous year.
James "Old Jim" Wilson was a racehorse trainer in Victoria, Australia, founder of the historic St Albans Stud in Geelong, and trainer of the 1873 Melbourne Cup winner Don Juan and 1876 winner Briseis. His older son James Wilson, Jr. captained the Geelong Football Club and as "Young Jim Wilson" trained 1899 Cup winner Merriwee, and younger son William Wilson was the jockey who rode Don Juan to victory in the 1873 Cup.