Race results & statistics
Here you'll find some general facts and statistics from the origins of the Melbourne Cup Carnival to today, to help you learn more about ‘the race that stops a nation’™.
While Melbourne is the only city in Australia that formally recognises Melbourne Cup day as a public holiday (since 1876), people all around Australia and New Zealand, and around the world, stop to watch the famous race.
At 3pm (AEDST) on the first Tuesday in November, the Cup is televised to more than 700 million people in more than 120 countries. Millions listen to the race on the radio or watch it live on the internet.
Australians celebrate the Melbourne Cup in many different ways, including fashion parades, special lunches, hat competitions, school dress-ups, live music performances, local race carnivals, pony parties, river cruises, parties and barbecues.
1840 – 1900
- 1840 : First racemeeting held at Flemington, with the winning post sited along the bank of the Maribyrnong River.
- 1861 : The first running of the Melbourne Cup won by Archer and trained by Etienne De Mestre. The Cup is initially run on a Thursday.
- 1869 : The VRC introduces a four-day Spring Racing Carnival format.
- 1870 : The Melbourne Cup is postponed one week due to rain.
- 1875 : The Cup is first run on a Tuesday.
- 1876 : The three-year-old filly Briseis created a record that is never likely to be equalled, winning the VRC Derby, Melbourne Cup and VRC Oaks in the space of six days. She was ridden by 13 year old Peter St Albans.
- 1877 : The first Tuesday in November was declared a public holiday in Victoria.
- 1880 : First Melbourne Cup to attract 100,000 attendance. Cup won by the unbeaten Grand Flaneur.
- 1882 : First year bookmakers were licensed at Flemington.
- 1888 : First gold whip presented to the winning Cup jockey (Mick O'Brien).
- 1890 : Carbine won the Melbourne Cup in record time (3.28.25), carrying a record weight (65.5 kg) in the biggest field ever assembled (39).
- 1894 : Strand starts are introduced at Flemington.
1901s – 1920s
- 1915 : Mrs Widdis becomes the first female owner to win the Melbourne Cup when Patrobas wins.
- 1916 : Rain postpones the Cup for five days.
- 1924 : The VRC builds a new Members' grandstand.
- 1925 : The ABC first provides transmission of the Melbourne Cup.
1930s – 1940s
- 1930 : Phar Lap won the Melbourne Cup as the shortest priced favourite in the history of the race at 11/8 on. He had to be hidden away at Geelong before the race after an attempt was made to shoot him and only emerged an hour before the race time of the Cup.
- 1931 : The first year the totalisator operated at the Melbourne Cup.
- 1946 : Photo-finish system is introduced to Flemington.
1950s – 1970s
- 1954 : Rising Fast wins not only the Melbourne Cup, but the Turnbull Stakes, Caulfield Stakes, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate, Mackinnon Stakes and the Fisher Plate on the final day of the Flemington Carnival.
- 1958 : First Cup start from starting stalls.
- 1961 : Introduction of the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB).
- 1962 : Fashions on the Field first held at the Carnival.
- 1965 : Light Fingers wins the Melbourne Cup to provide Bart Cummings with his first win in the race.
- 1972 : Metric system is introduced and Cup is now run over 3200m, slightly shorter than the traditional two mile distance.
- 1979 : Harry White equals Bobbie Lewis' record of four Cup victories for a jockey.
1980s – 1990s
- 1985 : First sponsored Melbourne Cup resulting in the first million dollar Cup.
- 1987 : Maree Lyndon is the first female to ride in the Cup on Argonaut Style.
- 1990 : Kingston Rule runs the fastest time to win the Cup in 3 minutes 16.3 seconds.
- 1999 : Rogan Josh wins the Melbourne Cup to give Bart Cummings his record eleventh winner in the race.
2000 – present
- 2001 : Sheila Laxon, with Ethereal, becomes the first woman to train a Melbourne Cup winner.
- 2003 : First Melbourne Cup Tour conducted around Australia. Biggest crowd recorded at Flemington: 122,736.
- 2004 : Makybe Diva becomes the fifth horse to win dual Melbourne Cups. Archer (1861 & 62), Peter Pan (1932 & 34), Rain Lover (1968 & 69) and Think Big (1974 & 75) being the other four.
- 2005 : Makybe Diva also becomes the first horse to win three Melbourne Cups (2003, 2004 & 2005). She breaks her own weight-carrying record for a mare to victory by winning with 58kg. Glen Boss becomes the first jockey to win three Cups in a row.
- 2006 : Delta Blues becomes the first Japanese horse to win the Melbourne Cup (G1).
- 2007 : Efficient becomes the first horse since Phar Lap to win the Derby and Cup in successive years.
- 2008 : Bart Cummings wins his 12th Cup, with Viewed winning by a nose over Bauer. Jockey Blake Shinn wins his first Cup.
- 2009 : First win in the Cup for Mark Kavanagh (trainer) and Corey Brown (jockey).
For more information about racing and racing history at Flemington and in Australia:
- ARB : home page of the Australian Racing Board.
- Racing Victoria Limited : the governing body of thoroughbred racing in Victoria.
- RISA : Racing Information Services Australia.
- TABCorp : the wagering arm of the Victorian racing industry.
- Sport 927 : hear live broadcasts of races throughout Australia.
- Stud Book : ensures the integrity of thoroughbred breeding in Australia.
- TVN : watch all Victorian racing live on TVN.
More historical information can also be found:
- By visiting our Flemington Heritage Centre and take a guided walking tour of the Melbourne Cup Walk of Fame.