Melbourne Cup Trivia
Interesting trivia not so well known about the Melbourne Cup...
1. Lucky numbers
The saddlecloth numbers 4 and 12 have won the Cup a record 11 times each.
So, if you're struggling to find a horse to back, go 4 or 12.
2. Young at heart
Peter St Albans was the youngest jockey to win the Cup - he was only 12 years, 357 days old, riding Briseis, in 1876.
3. Quickest Cup
The fastest winning Melbourne Cup time was run in 3 minutes, 16.3 seconds by Kingston Rule in 1990.
4. In the black
17 cup-winning jockeys have worn black as their main colour, the last being George Podmore on Evening Peal in 1956. Navy blue and royal blue come second with 14 wins.
5. Third time lucky
Until 2005, 4 horses had won the Cup twice: Archer (1861, 1862), Peter Pan (1932, 1934), Rain Lover (1968, 1969) and Think Big (1974, 1975).
Makybe Diva was the first horse to win the Cup three times (2003, 2004, 2005).
6. Ticking trophy
The original Melbourne Cup trophy was a gold watch won by Archer in 1861.
Nearly 55,000 hats and fascinators were bought for the 2011 Cup.
8. First lady
Maree Linden was the first female jockey to ride in the cup on Argonaut Style in 1987, she ran second last in the 21 horse field.
9. Scale of economy
Prize money in 1861 was 1,420. In 2010 it was $6,000,000.
10. Bays to watch
By far 'bay' (reddish-brown) coloured horses have proven winners with 66 Melbourne Cup victories. Brown horses make up for 35 wins and chestnuts count for 34 wins, with 6 greys, 3 blacks and 7 brown/bay/black winners making up the difference.
The cup (trophy) is made by ABC Bullion, is delivered to the VRC approximately one year before the race is run.
The cup is valued at AU$175,000+ - although with gold prices soaring since it was made twelve months ago, this value is seen as quite conservative.
The race is now run on the first Tuesday in November, but originally it was run on a Thursday, until 1875.
At $6.2 million in prize money, the Melbourne Cup is the richest "handicap race"conducted anywhere in the world.
Barrier 18 is the only barrier yet to have a Melbourne Cup winner.
There are more than 16,000 rose bushes at Flemington. The roses are pruned and tied during the winter months, which totals 1,568 hours of labour.
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