The 2017 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) will be held at Flemington Racecourse in its traditional spot on the first Tuesday of November and will take place on November 7.
Deposit $50, Get $150 in bonuses when joining Sportsbet*
Dating all the way back to 1861 when held for the very first time, 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.
It was most recently won by the Robert Hickmott-trained seven-year-old gelding Almandin who was ridden by jockey Kerrin McEvoy. It was the second Melbourne Cup success for both Hickmott and McEvoy with Hickmott preparing 2012 winner Green Moon while McEvoy rode the Mike Moroney-trained Brew to win in 2000.
The victory by Almandin was historical with prolific owner Lloyd Williams winning his fifth Melbourne Cup.
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).
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 which makes it a difficult, but exciting form puzzle to solve.
The most common lead-up races in Australia are the Cox Plate (2040m), Geelong Cup (2400m), Lexus Stakes (2500m) and the Caulfield Cup (2400m).
*State exclusions apply to some offers. NSW Residents are excluded from bonuses and offers. Please read the T&Cs of each offer with each bookmaker.