There have been some incredible Melbourne Cup horses over the years. The Melbourne Cup is one of the most challenging races in Australia, and this is largely due to the superior runners who contend for the Cup. A legendary race has its fair share of legendary horses, and the following are the best of the best to ever win the Melbourne Cup.
Every list of great Melbourne Cup horses has to start with Phar Lap. Legendarily shot at before taking to the field to win the 1930 Melbourne Cup, Phar Lap had the shortest odds ever for a Melbourne Cup winner. He won 37 of the 51 races he entered, and he may have managed a second Melbourne Cup win if he hadn’t been given an astronomically high 10st and 10lb to carry (about 68kg).
Winner of the 2003, 2004 and 2005 Melbourne Cups, Makybe Diva is one of the greatest Melbourne Cup horses to ever contend the race. Despite being a mare, Makybe Diva dominated the Melbourne Cup field during her reign and broke the record for most Cup wins and setting a very high benchmark for consecutive wins. In addition, she broke her own weight record for a mare in 2005 by winning the Cup carrying a massive 58kg.
Archer was the first Melbourne Cup winner, beating a field of 17 horses in the inaugural race held in 1861. He returned to Victoria for a second Melbourne Cup race in 1862 and romped past the post to win his second consecutive race by eight lengths in a field of 20 runners. Archer is one of only three horses to win the Melbourne Cup carrying 10 stone or more, though obviously the early runs of the event were less challenging than those of today.
In 1954, Rising Fast won the Melbourne Cup, W.S. Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup, Caulfield Stakes, Mackinnon Stakes and the Fisher Plate. These were some of the most challenging races at the time, making Rising Fast more than just a Melbourne Cup champion – he was essentially the champion of all Australian horse racing.
Kingston Rule has one over all the other legendary Melbourne Cup horses by being the fastest runner of the lot. Finishing the race in just 3:16.3 during the 1990 Melbourne Cup, Kingston Rule’s record has stood for more than two decades despite a close attempt by Media Puzzle in 2002.