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Top 10 Melbourne Cup Facts


Once again, Australia celebrates “The Race that Stops The Nation” in November. Held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, this will be an event of glamour, excitement and fashion. As you enjoy the day, here are some fun facts that will colour your race:

  1. Although most sporting events came to a halt during WW1 and WW2, the Melbourne Cup kept running each year since 1861.
  2. The Melbourne Cup is the richest two-mile race in the world and definitely the richest race in Australia.
  3. Every year, the race is held on Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne on the first Tuesday of November at 3pm. Before Australia embraced the metric system, it was known as the 2 mile race.
  4. In 1880, over a third of Melbourne’s population flocked to the grounds (i.e. 100,000 people out of a population of 290,000).
  5. When Phar Lap (who was the winner of the Cup in 1930) died in 1932, it was discovered that he had a heart that weighed 6.2kg.
  6. Peter St Albans was the youngest winning jockey at the age of 13 (Year 1876).
  7. Today, around $500 million is bet on the race through TAB agencies, corporate and on-track bookmakers.
  8. The 2017 carnival will be the 157th anniversary, taking place on Tuesday, 7th November.
  9. Over the last 150 years, only 5 horses have won the cup more than once: Makybe Diva, Peter Pan, Archer, Rain Lover and Think Big.
  10. Archer, the first winning horse in the Melbourne Cup 1861, actually walked all the way, from Sydney to Melbourne for the race.

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