The 2016 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) will be held at Flemington Racecourse on November 1.
The Melbourne Cup is run in its traditional timeslot on the first Tuesday of November.
First held in 1861, the Melbourne Cup is Australia’s most famous horse racing contest and is the highlight of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and the week-long Melbourne Cup Carnival held at Flemington.
With prizemoney in excess of $6 million, the Melbourne Cup is the richest two-mile handicap race on the planet and attracts the finest stayers from New Zealand, Europe and Japan.
The gruelling staying test is run over 3200m and carries more than just Group 1 status. Horses that claim victory in the race will be forever etched into Australian racing folklore and be celebrated for generations to come.
In 2015, Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup when piloting the Darren Weir-trained six-year-old gelding Prince Of Penzance to success at odds of $101.
The victory was Weir’s first triumph in ‘the race that stops a nation.’
To make the victory even more spectacular, Payne’s brother Stevie Payne was the strapper for Prince Of Penzance’s win and the feel-good story was told by many.
Past winners of the Melbourne Cup have gone on to become household names with the immortal Makybe Diva topping the list with her unrivalled three consecutive Cup wins from 2003-2005 with Hall of Fame jockey Glen Boss in the saddle.
Other greats of the turf to have won the prestigious race include Poseidon (1906), Phar Lap (1930), Peter Pan (1932 & 1934), Comic Court (1950), Rising Fast (1954), Rain Lover (1968-69), Think Big (1974-75), Kiwi (1983), Let’s Elope (1991), Saintly (1996) and Might And Power (1997).
In 2014, German galloper Protectionist sprinted to the lead to claim an emphatic victory from three-time runner-up Red Cadeaux and Who Shot Thebarman.
Protectionist brought up a race-to-race double for his sire Monsun who had also sired 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente.
It is hard to pin-point a lead-up race as the most important when assessing the form as some of the international runners enter the event first-up and formlines come through many races.
The most common lead-up races in Australia are the Cox Plate (2040m), Geelong Cup (2400m), Lexus Stakes (2500m), Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) and the Caulfield Cup (2400m).
*State exclusions apply to some offers. Please check T&Cs of each offer with the bookmaker.