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The 10 best Melbourne Cup winners of the last 50 years - We rank the best since 1965

  • Who are the best 10 horses to have won the Melbourne Cup in the last 50 years?
Makybe Diva after winning her third Melbourne Cup

It is the race that stops the nation and the Melbourne Cup (3200m) has provided more than its fair share of champions to win the race. 

We take a look back at the last 50 years and have ranked the top 10 horses to win the Melbourne Cup in that time period. 

1. Makybe Diva (2003, 2004, 2005)

It is hard to go past Makybe Diva as the best horse to win the Melbourne Cup in the last 50 years. The Diva won an unprecedented three in a row, a feat that may never be repeated. Her first came in 2003 as a five-year-old and she backed up a year later to defeat one of the worlds best in Vinnie Roe. Her third came with the hefty impost of 58kg and after that performance, the champion, who became a legend, was retired.  

2. Might And Power (1997)

The performance of Might And Power to win the Melbourne Cup in 1997 was as good as you will see. The free rolling front runner was taken on time and time again in the 1997 Cup but kept on kicking and held on by a whisker from Doriemus. He was the champion galloper of his time, earlier winning the Caulfield Cup by seven lengths before backing up in 1998 to win the Cox Plate (2040m)

3. Saintly (1996)

Saintly was one of a vintage crop of three-year-olds in the autumn of 1996 and stood up when it mattered most in the spring as a four-year-old, taking out the Cox Plate- Melbourne Cup double. Sadly, the cup was his second last start after injury took its toll the following year. 

4. Rain Lover (1968/1969)

One of just five horses to win the Melbourne Cup on two or more occasions, Rain Lover took out the 1968 Melbourne Cup by eight lengths and in then record time. He came back the following season under the big weight to make it back-to-back wins. 

5. Think Big (1974,1975)

The two-time winner loved the Flemington two mile race and claimed the 1974 Melbourne Cup. He returned for another tilt at the race the next season, but after a poor performance in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) he was sent out a 33/1 outsider. However, he defied those odds to make it two from two, carrying 58kg to victory in the process. 

6. Light Fingers (1965)

The first winner for Bart Cummings in the race that stops the nation was Light Fingers in 1965, who then went on to run second to her stablemate, Galilee, the following year. The super mare claimed a number of other quality races and was also the gun three-year-old of her time, taking out the VRC Oaks (2500m)/ AJC Oaks (2400m) double. 

7. Vintage Crop (1993)

The first of the international visitors to win the Melbourne Cup, Vintage Crop came and conquered in 1993 and also ran well in subsequent years, with a 3rd placing behind Doriemus in 1995. Vintage Crop also won some top races in his homeland including the Irish St Leger on two occasions. 

8. Galilee (1966)

The second of Bart Cummings 12 winners following Light Fingers in 1965, Galilee was the first, and still is the only horse to win the Sydney Cup (3200m), Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Melbourne Cup in the same year. 

9. Kiwi (1983)

One of the most amazing performances came in the 1983 Melbourne Cup, when the aptly named New Zealander came out of the blue to claim the great race. Kiwi was in last position in the 24-horse field at the 400m mark but flew home to claim the major prize with Jim Cassidy on board. 

10. Media Puzzle (2002) & Doriemus (1995)

He may not have been the best to win the Melbourne Cup in the last 50 years but Media Puzzle helped produce what was possibly the most memorable edition ever of the race. The Irish horse won with Damien Oliver on board, whose brother, Jason Oliver, had died just a week earlier. Oliver had seven years earlier taken out the Cup with the Lee Freedman-trained Doriemus, who also took out the Caulfield Cup that year. Doriemus then went within a whisker of making it two Melbourne Cup wins when just failing to run down Might And Power in the 1997 edition of the great race. 

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The 10 best Melbourne Cup winners of the last 50 years - We rank the best since 1965

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