Known simply as "the race that stops a nation," the Melbourne Cup is a cultural and historical phenomenon in Australia. Run since 1861, the Melbourne Cup is a two-mile handicap race, and one of the richest turf races anywhere in the world. The Melbourne Cup is held annually in November at Flemington Racecourse in Victoria, Australia and was offered for a purse of $6.2 million in 2016.
Melbourne Cup Entries
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The course at Flemington is pear-shaped with a circumference of 2,312 meters and a straight of 450 meters for all races longer than 1200 meters. The races are run in a counter-clockwise direction and finish in front of a grandstand that will hold up to 120,000 spectators. In the Melbourne Cup, a race featuring large fields, the horses start in front of the grandstand and engage in lengthy run into the first turn, which is a gradual and sweeping lefthand. Around the 1200 meter mark, the horses encounter another bend before a 400 meter straight shot leads them home. The spectacle of the Melbourne Cup provides a compelling visual as the horses sprint for the finish.
Melbourne Cup Betting Tips
As is the case with the Kentucky Derby, the Melbourne Cup features overly bulky fields with 20-plus horses often making the starting gate. Because of the sheer size of the field, bettors must determine which runners are likely to receive a clean trip. Jockeys familiar with the Flemington course may hold an advantage over riders less versed in its nuances. Similarly, horses shipping in from other countries are generally inexperienced over the Flemington course, making horses who have demonstrated previous good form over the local course ones to consider.
Melbourne Cup Results
In 2005, the great Makybe Diva etched her name into the record books by becoming the first horse to win the Melbourne Cup three times. At retirement, the champion mare was also the richest Australlian thoroughbred of all-time with earnings of over $14 million and one of just 14 fillies to win the Melbourne Cup in the race's illustrious history. While there are many greats among past Melbourne Cup winners, Makybe Diva is a true standout for her unparalleled accomplishments.