1871 to 1880 Melbourne Cup Winners

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Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place The Pearl, 2nd Place Romula, 3rd Place Irish King

Jockeys: J. Cavanagh, J. Wilson jun., Haughey

Trainer: John Tait

Winner’s Time: 3:39.0

Weight: 45.81kg

Odds: 100/1

Prize money: £1,110


John Tait had two runners in the 1871 Melbourne Cup, The Pearl and Pyrrhus. Although Tait had betted on Pyrrhus to win based on his good form prior to the race, The Pearl succeeded in winning after avoiding a scrimmage half way through the race, giving him the opportunity to move up and win by two lengths. The Pearl was the longest priced Melbourne Cup winner ever with the odds at 100/1.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place The Quack, 2nd Place The Ace, 3rd Place Dagworth

Jockeys: W. Enderson, T. Hales, Donnelly

Trainer: John Tait

Winner’s Time: 3:39.0

Weight: 48.99kg

Odds: 11/2

Prize money: £1,160


Winner number four for trainer John Tait was The Quack in the 1872 Melbourne Cup. Dagworth was deemed the favourite for the Cup due to his victory over The Quack in The Metropolitan at Randwick, however in the Melbourne Cup Dagworth finished third. The Quack was the half brother of Nimblefoot.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Don Juan, 2nd Place Dagworth, 3rd Place Horatio

Jockeys: W. Wilson, Donnelly, M. Thompson

Trainer: James Wilson

Winner’s Time: 3:36.0

Weight: 43.54kg

Odds: 3/1 favourite

Prize money: £1,430


After the race, the Sydney Mail posted an article on November 22, 1873, explaining that protesters had made allegations against Don Juan and his win in the Melbourne Cup. The article states that Don Juan was entered into Melbourne Cup as a four year old however was apparently over the age of four. The Victoria Racing Club found the allegations to be untrue and Don Juan continued to remain a great favourite with the public on account of his performance in the Cup.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Haricot, 2nd Place Protos, 3rd Place The Diver

Jockeys: P. Piggott, G. Arthur, Greville

Trainer: S. Harding

Winner’s Time: 3:37.50

Weight: 41.28kg

Odds: 16/1

Prize money: £1,210


Despite being described as a horse with a big head and a weak neck, Haricot was unmatched in the 1874 Melbourne Cup with his two stone under weight-for-age. It was an easy win for Haricot who took the lead almost immediately, winning by four lengths.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Wollomai, 2nd Place Richmond, 3rd Place Goldsbrough

Jockeys: R. Batty, C. Williams, J. Ashworth

Trainer: S. Moon

Winner’s Time: 3:38.0

Weight: 48.08kg

Odds: 16/1

Prize money: £1,335


The 1875 Melbourne Cup would be the first year in which the race was held on a Tuesday rather than a Thursday. Wollomai was bred at C.B Fisher’s property, Maribyrnong, not too far from Flemington. There has always been confusion over who owned Wollomai as the stallion rode under J. Sharp’s name however he was apparently sold to Albion Hotel owner, John Cleeland prior to the race. Cleeland supposedly won up to 20,000 pounds from Wollomai’s win.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Briseis, 2nd Place Sibyl, 3rd Place Timothy

Jockeys: P. St. Albans

Trainer: Jams Wilson

Winner’s Time: 3:36.25

Weight: 39.92kg

Odds: 13/2

Prize money: £1,775


Briseis won the Melbourne Cup in 1876 with the Cup’s youngest jockey 13 year-old Peter St Albans riding her to victory by 1.1/2 lengths in front. Briseis was unable to carry her original rider, Hales and so the keen young jockey stepped in to help Briseis’ owner, breeder and trainer James Wilson take the winning Cup home. Briseis managed a triple win of the Derby, Melbourne Cup and The Oaks all in the space of six days.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Chester, 2nd Place Savanaka, 3rd Place The Vagabond

Jockeys: P. Piggott, P. St. Albans, C. Ivemy

Trainer: Etienne de Mestre

Winner’s Time: 3:33.50

Weight: 43.54kg

Odds: 5/1

Prize money: £1,940


Due to the slippery and muddy conditions of the track on the 1877 Melbourne Cup race day, de Mestre made the decision to remove Chester’s plates before the race. His race time was a new record and despite Tom Kirk being the favourite to win, Chester won more than 20,000 pounds for his owner, the Hon. James White.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Calamia, 2nd Place Tom Kirk, 3rd Place Waxy

Jockeys: T. Brown, W. Murphy, Braithwaite

Trainer: Etienne de Mestre

Winner’s Time: 3:35.75

Weight: 51.71kg

Odds: 10/1

Prize money: £1,860


After a 6 month spell, Calamia won the 1878 Melbourne Cup and gave Etienne de Mestre his fifth Melbourne Cup victory. During the same week as the Cup, the public had received news that the Kelly gang had killed two policemen at Stringybark Creek. Last year’s winner Chester fell during the race and gave his jockey chronic injuries.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Darriwell, 2nd Place Sweetmeat, 3rd Place Suwarrow

Jockeys: S. Cracknell, D. Nicholson, G. Williams

Trainer: W. Dakin

Winner’s Time: 3:30.75

Weight: 46.27kg

Odds: 33/1

Prize money: £1,945


The French invention of the Totalisator became extremely popular during the 1879 Melbourne Cup as well as off course sweepstakes. The colony soon after declared both types of betting as illegal, however totalisators were eventually declared legal on course in 1931.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Grand Flaneur, 2nd Place Progress, 3rd Place Lord Burghley

Jockeys: T. Hales, P. St. Albans, P. Piggott

Trainer: T. Brown

Winner’s Time: 3:34.75

Weight: 42.64kg

Odds: 4/1

Prize money: £1,785


Grand Flaneur is one of few champion Thoroughbreds to have never been defeated in a single race. Throughout his remarkable yet short career, Grand Flaneur managed a winning record of 9 wins out of 9 starts. However, he wasn’t a very popular horse in the race due to his owner being known for scratching horses in order to win bets. Grand Flaneur ran 8 times as a 3 year old and won the AJC & VRC Mare’s Produce Stakes, VRC Victoria Derby, Champion Stakes, St. Leger Stakes and Town Plate.

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