For those who are superstitious and believe that there is more to horse racing than the horse’s form and the track conditions, you may want to wager on the horse with the best saddle cloth number or the horse with the best first initial. The choices for superstitious bets are endless!
Since racing officials began recording saddlecloth numbers in 1877 even numbers have had the edge over odd numbers with 69 even numbered cloths winning over 63 odds cloth numbers. The numbers 1 -12 have won 83 Cups compared to only 49 wins for saddlecloth numbers from 13 – 24.
The most successful numbers have been 4 (Master O’Reilly) and 12 (Harris Tweed) with 11 wins to each number. Number one, which was carried by last year’s winner Viewed has won ten times. More recently, number 6 (Roman Emperor) has won six races in the past 50 years. Number 2 (C’est La Guerre) has won five out of its seven cups in the last half decade.
The more unfortunate numbers start with number 20 (Daffodil), which hasn’t won since 1897 and number 21 (Shocking) which was only won once by Bitalli in 1923. Number 18 (Basaltico) is also a miss with only one win in 1932 by Peter Pan.
Since 1924, gates 11 (Crime Scene) and 14 (Mourilyan) have been the most successful with seven and six wins respectively. Alcopop and Roman Emperor would be the first winners from barriers 12 and 15 since 1958. Unfortunately for Newport, barrier 18 is yet to produce a winner of the Melbourne Cup.
The first initial of a horse’s name is regarded as a key indicator to a horse’s chances at winning. Strangely enough, there are no horses this year that have the most popular first initial “T” which has won 16 times. The letter “M” has won 12 times and this year Master O’Reilly, Mourilyan and Munsef stand a good chance at success.
The initial “P” has had twelve Melbourne Cup wins however will not be represented in this year’s Cup. The initials “B” and “S” (Basaltico, Shocking, Spin Around) are the next best with eleven wins each while “R” (Roman Emperor) has won ten times. If Ista Kareem wins the Melbourne Cup, he will be the first horse to win with the initial “I”.
Horses with only one-word names have won the Cup 82 times and double names have won 61 times. Triple named horses (C’est La Guerre) have only won the race five times.
- Four year olds – Have won the Melbourne Cup 42 times
- Five year olds – Viewed’s success in last year’s Melbourne Cup brings the total to 43 wins.
- Six year olds – 28 winners.
- Seven year olds – Makybe Diva is the last of 10 winners.
- Eight year olds – Munsef would be the third winner after Toryboy (1865) and Catalogue (1938).
- Nine year olds – Ista Kareem and Spin Around would be oldest winners to win the Melbourne Cup.
Males have won the race 132 times with stallions taking 64 victories and geldings with 49.
Females have won the event sixteen times with mares taking home the Cup seven times since 1988.
Bay horses have the best record of 61 wins and there are 19 bay horses in this year’s race. Although there are no brown horses this year, they have won 37 previous Melbourne Cup. Chestnuts have taken home 34 wins (Ista Kareem, Spin Around, and Leica Ding). Greys have won 5 Melbourne Cup (Newport).
The best weight of 52.5kg (8 wins) is carried by Alcopop, Harris Tweed, Kibbutz, Newport and Warringah this year. 53kg has also had eight wins and will be carried by Crime Scene, Munsef and Zavite. 54.5kg has had six wins (Mourilyan) while 58kg has five wins (Viewed).
Plain bodied silks have the best success rate of 56 wins (C’est La Guerre, Crime Scene) while jockey’s with a red cap have won the event 30 times (Zavite).