The first Melbourne Cup saw 4,000 people watch NSW horse, Archer, claim victory in a race that has become part of Australia’s social and sporting culture.
Archer won the hearts of all Australians when he claimed his second consecutive Melbourne Cup. The only other horses to win consecutive Cups have been Rain Lover (1968 and 1969), Think Big (1974 and 1975) and most recently, Makybe Diva (2003, 2004 and 2005). Peter Pan also won two Melbourne Cups with a year separating each victory (1932 and 1934).
Melbourne Cup Day was first declared a holiday for Victorian public servants and bank employees in 1865.
Melbourne Cup Day was declared a public holiday for all other public and private sector employees.
In 1875 the Cup was, for the first time, run on the first Tuesday in November instead of a Thursday. The four days that make up the Melbourne Cup Carnival have followed this format ever since.
The largest weight carried by a winner was Carbine in 1890, when he out-slugged 38 rivals, lugging an incredible 65.6 kilos (or 10 stone, 5lbs).
The people’s champion, Phar Lap, who won the Cup in 1930, will always remain a national sporting hero in most Australians’ minds.
The first Northern Hemisphere-trained horse to win was the Irish stayer, Vintage Crop, in 1993.
Sheila Laxon became the first woman to train a Melbourne Cup winner with Ethereal.
The VRC recorded the biggest ever attendance in 2003 when 122,736 people watched Makybe Diva win her first Melbourne Cup.
Makybe Diva, who won more than $14 million in prize money, wrote herself into racing history in November 2005 when she became the first horse to win three Melbourne Cups.
Japanese trainer Katsuhiko Sumii trained the winner, Delta Blues, and runner-up, Pop Rock.
Hall-of-Fame inductee, Bart Cummings AM, trained Viewed to win his 12th Melbourne Cup, a record that will be very difficult to beat.
The year 2010 marked the 150th running of the Melbourne Cup. The VRC celebrated the special occasion with a range of initiatives in Australia and around the world. Frenchman, Alain de Royer Dupre won the Melbourne Cup with Americain.
Frenchman Mikel Dezangles trained Dunaden to victory, giving the French their second consecutive win in the Melbourne Cup.
The VRC celebrated 50 years of Fashions on the Field where the best of international and domestic fashion trends are showcased to a broad audience.
In a true display of international dominance, German-trained stayer, Protectionist, scored a strong win under the guidance of British jockey, Ryan Moore.
Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup when she rode outsider Prince of Penzance to victory.
Almandin delivered co-owner Lloyd Williams a record fifth Melbourne Cup.
Joseph O’Brien, 24, became the youngest trainer to win the Melbourne Cup, with Rekindling securing a record sixth Cup for co-owner Lloyd Williams.
* Photo: Melbourne Cup two-time consecutive winner (1861 and 1862) winner Archer