The Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) is held at Flemington Racecourse on the first Tuesday of November each year and we provide expert tips for the Race That Stops A Nation.
The most most famous race on the Australian racing calendar looks set to be another memorable edition in 2016.
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 Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Japan.
The field size is capped at 24 with balloting conditions determining the final field, which will be revealed on Saturday after the completion of Derby Day at Flemington.
First held in 1861, the Melbourne Cup was won by Archer in front of approximately 4,000 Flemington racegoers.
Since then, the race has grown in both status and popularity to become a significant part of Australia’s social and sporting culture and is affectionately known as ‘the race that stops a nation.’
Legend has it that the inaugural winner, Archer, walked all the way to Flemington from his stable in Nowra, New South Wales (approximately 800km) before winning the first Melbourne Cup.
Archer returned to claim back-to-back victories in 1862 for his trainer Etienne de Mestre who would go on to train five Melbourne Cup winners – an effort surpassed only by master trainer Bart Cummings, who died earlier this year.
Cummings has tasted more Cups success than any other trainer, jockey or owner, winning an unparalleled 12 Melbourne Cups; a feat that will more than likely stand the test of time.
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.
Other greats of the turf to have won the prestigious race include Chester (1877), Carbine (1890), Poseidon (1906), Phar Lap (1930), Peter Pan (1932 & 1934), Galilee (1966), Rain Lover (1968-1969), Think Big (1974-1975), Kiwi (1983), Let’s Elope (1991), Saintly (1996) and Might And Power (1997).
Jockey Michelle Payne created history in 2015 when becoming the first female rider to win the Melbourne Cup when she rode Prince of Penzance to victory.