1881 to 1890 Melbourne Cup Winners

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Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Zulu, 2nd Place The Czar, 3rd Place Sweetmeat

Jockeys: James Gough, Trahan, P. Piggott

Trainer: T. Lamond

Winner’s Time: 3:32.50

Weight: 36.29kg

Odds: 50/1

Prize money: £2,105


During the 1881 Melbourne Cup race, a dog ran onto the track, causing three out of the thirty-three horses competing to fall. Jockey Dodd died from the injuries he sustained. Zulu was originally brought to the race as a stable mate for the AJC Derby winner Wheatear. Wheatear was one of the horses that fell.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place The Assyrian, 2nd Place Stockwell, 3rd Place Gudarz

Jockeys: C. Hutchins, Reilly, J. Gainsford

Trainer: J. E. Saville

Winner’s Time: 3:40.00

Weight: 50.35kg

Odds: 33/1

Prize money: £2,010


The Assyrian won the 1882 Melbourne Cup by half a length after battling the last 100 meters out with fellow racehorse Stockwell. 1882 also marked the first year that bookmakers were licensed by the VRC to field at Flemington. The Assyrian’s career peaked as a five year old, where he won the ARC Duke’s Handicap, the Melbourne Cup, TRC Hobart Cup, TTC Derwent Plate, and the AJC Autumn Stakes.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Martini-Henri, 2nd Place First Water, 3rd Place Commotion

Jockeys: C. Williamson, McGrade, Trahan

Trainer: M. Fennelly

Winner’s Time: 3:30.50

Weight: 46.72kg

Odds: 5/1 favourite

Prize money: £2,657


1883 Melbourne Cup winner Martini-Henri was the first New Zealand-bred winner of the Cup. Named after a type of rifle, the 3 year old colt won by two lengths and his victory was so easy that his jockey never whipped him from start to finish.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Malua, 2nd Place Commotion, 3rd Place Plausible

Jockeys: A. Roberston, C. Power, W. Murphy

Trainer: Isaac Foulsham

Winner’s Time: 3:31.75

Weight: 61.24kg

Odds: 6/1

Prize money: £2,477


Malua proved he was a great sprinter and stayer after winning the premier sprint races, the Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap as well as the Adelaide Cup, Australian Cup and Melbourne Cup. Malua was originally named Bagot, but his owner former Premier of Tasmania J. O. Inglis changed his name as he found it to be disrespectful to the founding secretary of the VRC, R. C. Bagot.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Sheet Anchor, 2nd Place Grace Darling, 3rd Place Trenton

Jockeys: M. O’Brien, J. Williams, Robertson

Trainer: T. Wilson

Winner’s Time: 3:29.50

Weight: 49.44kg

Odds: 20/1

Prize money: £2,912


The 1885 Melbourne Cup was surrounded by controversy after it was alleged that Sheet Anchor’s jockey Mick O’Brien hit runner-up Grace Darling over the head just before the finish line. However, there was no protest from Grace Darling’s owner.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Arsenal, 2nd Place Trenton, 3rd Place Silvermine

Jockeys: W. English, Robertson, McGrade

Trainer: H. Rayner

Winner’s Time: 3:31.0

Weight: 46.75kg

Odds: 20/1

Prize money: £3,665


With only two wins to his name before the 1886 Melbourne Cup, Arsenal was considered a lucky winner. Arsenal won the race by a neck, just beating Trenton, the future sire of Auraria and Revenue – both Melbourne Cup winners.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Dunlop, 2nd Place Silvermine, 3rd Place The Australian Peer

Jockeys: T. Sanders, Robertson, Gorry

Trainer: J. Nicholson

Winner’s Time: 3:28.50

Weight: 52.16kg

Odds: 20/1

Prize money: £4,005


Dunlop possessed great stamina on the track and won the 1887 Melbourne Cup with a new race record, easing his way across the track in the last few strides to win by a length. After the race, his jockey reportedly burst into tears with happiness. Dunlop possessed great stamina on the track.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Mentor, 2nd Place Tradition, 3rd Place The Yeoman

Jockeys: M. O’Brien, T. Aspinall, R. Ramage

Trainer: Walter Hickenbotham

Winner’s Time: 3:30.75

Weight: 52.16kg

Odds: 7/1

Prize money: £4,885


1888 was a year of prosperity for Melbourne and therefore the VRC lifted the sweepstakes for the Melbourne Cup by 3000 sovereigns, which made the Cup the most valuable race in the world. For Mentor’s trainer, Walter Hickenbotham, this would be his first out of four wins.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Bravo, 2nd Place Carbine, 3rd Place Melos

Jockeys: J. Anwin, M. O’Brien, Norton

Trainer: T. Wilson

Winner’s Time: 3:32.50

Weight: 53.98kg

Odds: 8/1

Prize money: £7,237


Bravo was the Melbourne Cup winner sired by a former Cup winner – Grand Flaneur. Despite his excellent pedigree, Bravo had an unlucky race career leading up to the 1889 Melbourne Cup. He sustained several injuries and just barely missed winning quite a few important races.


Race Info:

Placings: 1st Place Carbine, 2nd Place Highborn, 3rd Place Correze

Jockeys: R. Ramage, J. Egan, H. Moran

Trainer: Walter Hickenbotham

Winner’s Time: 3:28.25

Weight: 65.77kg

Odds: 4/1 favourite

Prize money: £13,230


Originally from New Zealand, Carbine’s direct descendant is Phar Lap – however, it is Carbine who is regarded as the Australia’s most important race horse. He competed carrying the weight record of 65.77kg and beat 38 other runners.

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