The Melbourne Cup race record is 3: 16.3 seconds and was set by Kingston Rule in 1990.
The smallest field to run in the Melbourne Cup was seven starters, back in 1863, while the biggest field was 39 starters in 1890. The year the great Carbine won the race.
Back in 1863 (the smallest field ever) Banker won, carrying a mere 33.5kg. While Carbine outraced 38 rivals in 1890 lugging an incredible 65.6kg.
THE CUP DOUBLE
Eleven horses have won the Caulfield/Melbourne Cup Double in the same year.
- Poseidon (1906)
- The Trump (1937)
- Rivette (1939)
- Rising Fast (1954)
- Even Stevens (1962)
- Galilee (1966)
- Gurner’s Lane (1982)
- Let’s Elope (1991)
- Doriemus (1995)
- Might and Power (1997)
- Ethereal (2001)
THE MELBOURNE CUP TREBLE
Makybe Diva is the only horse to have won three Melbourne Cups (2003, 2004 and 2005) and her jockey Glen Boss is the first jockey to have won the race three years in a row.
BIGGEST WINNING MARGIN
Biggest winning margin is eight lengths by Archer in 1862 and Rain Lover in 1968.
CLOSEST WINNING MARGIN
The closest winning margin was by less than half the head in 2011 when French raider Dunaden only just stole the line from Red Cadeaux.
Since 1958 when barrier stalls were used in the Cup for the first time, more horses have won from the four inside barriers (1 to 4) than have won from the four outside barriers (21 to 24). The most successful barrier in that period has been barrier 11 which has produced seven winners. Barriers 12 and 19 have yet to produce a winner.
The most successful saddlecloth numbers in the history of the Cup are numbers 1, 2, 4 and 8, having each provided eleven wins. In 2009, Shocking made Melbourne Cup history by breaking an 86-year-drought for saddle cloth number 21. The last horse to wear this number to victory was Bitalli in 1923. Currently, the longest drought is for number 20 – it was last carried by a Cup winner in 1897 (Gaulus) – that’s a losing streak of 120 years!
WINNERS BY AGE
Statistically, it is likely that this year’s winner of the Lexus Melbourne Cup will be aged either four or five. Between them, those age groups have provided more than 50 per cent of the winners. It was 82 years since the last eight-year-old (Catalogue 1938) won the race until Twilight Payment in 2020, while the last three-year-old to win was Skipton in 1941.
AGE WINS YEAR LAST WON
- 3 - 23 - 1941
- 4 - 44 - 2017*
- 5 - 44 - 2014
- 6 - 32 - 2015
- 7 - 11 - 2016
- 8 - 3 - 2020
2 Nov 1999: Trainer Bart Cummings raises the cup as he celebrates with connections, his 11th Melbourne Cup win with horse Rogan Josh, at the 1999 Melbourne Cup, held at Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia. Credit: Mark Dadswell/ALLSPORT
THE CUP TRAINERS
Hall-of-Fame inductee Bart Cummings trained an incredible 12 Melbourne Cup winners – the most recent being Viewed in 2008 and Rogan Josh in 1999. Perhaps even more impressively, he supplied the Cup quinella five times. In 2001, Sheila Laxon, with Ethereal, became the first woman to train a Melbourne Cup winner.
Irishman Dermot Weld became the first international trainer to have conquered the Cup with Vintage Crop (1993) and Media Puzzle (2002). In 2006 Japanese trainer Katsuhiko Sumii trained the winner, Delta Blues, and runner-up, Pop Rock. In 2010 Frenchman Alain de Royer Dupre became the 150th winner of the Melbourne Cup with Americain. Compatriot Mikel Dezangles followed in 2011 with Dunaden, giving the French their second consecutive win. The 2014 Melbourne Cup was a true display of international dominance with the German-trained stayer, Protectionist, scoring a strong win under the guidance of British jockey, Ryan Moore. In 2017, Ireland’s Joseph O’Brien became the youngest Melbourne Cup-winning trainer (Rekindling) at 24 years of age.
THE CUP JOCKEYS
Two jockeys – Bobby Lewis and Harry White share the riding record in the Cup. Both rode four winners of the race. Lewis won on The Victory (1902), Patrobas (1915), Artilleryman (1919) and Trivalve (1927).
White’s winners were Think Big (1974-75), Arwon (1978) and Hyperno (1979). Remarkably, White rode his four winners within a five-year period, while there were 25-years between Lewis’s first winner and his last. Present day jockeys Glen Boss, thanks to his three consecutive victories on Makybe Diva (2003, 2004 & 2005), and Damien Oliver, with wins in 1995, 2002 and 2013, are hot on their heels.
FIRST FEMALE JOCKEY TO WIN THE MELBOURNE CUP
Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup when she rode outside chance Prince of Penzance to victory in 2015. She was the fourth woman to ride in the race.
THE CUP OWNERS
In 2016, Lloyd Williams became the most successful owner of Melbourne Cup horses after Almandin delivered him a record fifth Melbourne Cup win. He was again successful in 2017 with Rekindling securing him his sixth Cup. He also won with Just A Dash (1981), What a Nuisance (1985), Efficient (2007), and Green Moon (2012).
*Now known as Lexus Melbourne Cup Day *Rekindling recognised as a 4-year-old in Australia