Melbourne Cup Facts and Statistics

Melbourne Cup Facts & Historical Melbourne Cup Statistics to help you pick this year's Melbourne Cup winner!



The Melbourne Cup has a long and detailed history that has produced 163 years’ worth of interesting facts and statistics punters must consider before enjoying a punt on the 2023 Melbourne Cup at Flemington on Tuesday November 7, 2023.

Using the historical facts, betting statistics and combining these with the current Melbourne Cup Form Guide is a great way to pick the winning Melbourne Cup Trifecta when the ‘race that stops a nation’ stops the world at 3:00pm (AEDT) on the first Tuesday of November annually.

Melbourne Cup facts on former Melbourne Cup winners, their jockeys and trainers; along with Melbourne Cup statistics on the barriers, age and sex, and weights of the past horses to win the world’s richest handicap can all be useful when assessing the current Melbourne Cup field.

There are also those Melbourne Cup details and digits race fans like to know just for fun like the heaviest weight carried to victory by a Melbourne Cup winner, the Melbourne Cup race record time and the shortest-priced Melbourne Cup favourite to take out the title.

Below the Races.com.au team takes a look at all the great Melbourne Cup facts statistics from betting trends, to those random fact nuggets that could just win you a trivia night one day! Alternatively, HorseRacing.com.au has a great Melbourne Cup Infographic here.

Remember once you’ve read over the below Melbourne Cup info to check out the latest 2023 Melbourne Cup odds at our preferred online betting agency Ladbrokes.com.au, home of the best bonuses and promotions available online!

Melbourne Cup – Did You Know?

  • The Melbourne Cup was first run on a Tuesday in 1875
  • There have been six grey Melbourne Cup winners over the years, most famously Subzero (1992)
  • Trivia Question – What Australian sporting event did Russia win in 1946? The Melbourne Cup! Russia was a horse
  • Fashions on the field was first held in 1962

Melbourne Cup Race Record

  • Kingston Rule (1993) won in a time of 3 minutes 16.30 seconds – still the current Melbourne Cup time record

Slowest Winning Melbourne Cup Time

  • The inaugural winner Archer (1861) has the slowest winning time with 3 minutes 52 seconds

Multiple Melbourne Cup Winners

  • Archer (1861, 1862)
  • Peter Pan (1932, 1934)
  • Rain Lover (1968, 1969)
  • Think Big (1974, 1975)
  • Makybe Diva (2003, 2004, 2005)

Most Melbourne Cup Wins – Trainer

  • 12 – Bart Cummings (1965, 1966, 1967, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2008)
  • In the modern era (since 1983) Lee Freedman has trained 5 Melbourne Cup winners (1989, 1992, 1995, 2004, 2005)

Most Melbourne Cup Wins – Jockey

  • Co-held by Bobbie Lewis (The Victory 1902, Patrobas 1915, Artilleryman 1919 & Trivalve 1927) and Harry White (Think Big 1974 and 1975, Arwon 1978 and Hyperno 1979) with four wins each
  • White also rode two Melbourne Cup doubles
  • In the modern era (since 1983) Damien Oliver (1995, 2002, 2013), Glen Boss (2003, 2004, 2005) and Kerrin McEvoy (2000, 2016, 2018) have all ridden three Melbourne Cup winners

 

Melbourne Cup Jockey Facts

  • First Australian female jockey to ride in the Melbourne Cup was Claire Lindop who rode the unplaced Debben in 2003
  • But the first female to ride in the race was actually Maree Lyndon on Argonaut Style (1987)
  • The youngest jockey to win was Peter St. Albans on Briseis (1876) he was 12 years, 11 months and 23 days old at the time
  • Michelle Payne on Prince Of Penzance (2015) is the only Melbourne Cup winning female jockey

Melbourne Cup Field Facts

  • Smallest Melbourne Cup field was 7 starters in 1963
  • Largest Melbourne Cup field was 39 starters in 1890
  • The Melbourne Cup Field is now capped at 24 starters

Melbourne Cup Barrier Statistics

  • Barrier 18 was the only gate never to produce a winner since barriers came in in 1924 up until Verry Elleegant won in 2021
  • Since 1925 Barrier 5 has been the most successful producing eight winners; recently Green Moon (2012) and Fiorente (2013) went back-to-back from barrier 5
  • Prior to 2012-13 the last time the same Melbourne Cup barrier produced back-to-back winners was What A Nuisance (185) and At Talaq (1986) from barrier 17
  • Barrier 1 last produced a Melbourne Cup winner with Prince Of Penzance (2015)
  • The last Melbourne Cup winner to salute from the outside barrier was Brew (2000) from 22 of 22 after two scratchings from the field
  • Since 1983 Barriers 6, 15, 23 and 24 have not produced a Melbourne Cup winner

Melbourne Cup Saddlecloth Statistics

Numbers 4 and 12 are the most successful boasting 11 wins.

Melbourne Cup Winner Stats – Age

  • Four and five year old horses have the best record with a 56.6% strike rate as of 2020
  • In the decade from 2006 – 2016 six 6YOs won the Melbourne Cup – including Prince Of Penzance (2015); six-year-olds won again with Verry Elleegant (2021) and Gold Trip (2022)
  • Only three eight-year-olds have won the Melbourne Cup: Catalogue (1938), Toryboy (1865) and Twilight Payment (2020) who won as a European 7YO racing as an 8YO in Australia
  • Skipton (1941) was the last three-year-old Melbourne Cup winner

Melbourne Cup Winner Stats – Sex

  • Makybe Diva is the most famous mare to win the Melbourne Cup (2003, 2004, 2005)
  • Just 14 mares in total and 12 individual mares have won the Melbourne Cup with Verry Elleegant (2021) the most recent
  • Stallions (Entires) hold the record
  • Just three fillies have won the Melbourne Cup

Melbourne Cup Weight Facts

  • In the past decade the average Melbourne Cup weight carried to victory is 54kg – 55kg
  • Heaviest weight carried to victory was Carbine with 10 stone 5 pounds (66.0kg) in 1890
  • Phar Lap  carried the highest weight with 10 stone 10lg (68kg) but lost running eighth in 1931 after winning the 1930 edition
  • Lowest Weight carried to victory was Banker with just 33.5kg in 1863
  • Makybe Diva (58kg in 2005) followed by Verry Elleegant (57kg in 2021) and the top-weight Gold Trip (57.5 kg in 2022) are the last Melbourne Cup winners to carry more than 56.5kg to victory
  • Since 1983 two Melbourne Cup winners have won carrying just 50kg: Black Knight (1984) and Rogan Josh (1999)

Melbourne Cup Winning Colours

  • More winning jockeys have worn black as their main colour than any other colour
  • Navy blue and royal blue is the next best and more popular in recent Melbourne Cup history

Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup Double

12 Melbourne Cup winners won the Caulfield Cup in the lead-up:

  • Poseidon (1906)
  • The Trump (1937)
  • Rivette (1939)
  • Rising Fast (1954)
  • Even Stevens (1962)
  • Galilee (1966)
  • Gurner’s Lane (1982)
  • Let’s Elope (1991)
  • Doriemus (1995)
  • Might and Power (1997)
  • Ethereal (2001)
  • Without A Fight (2023)

Melbourne Cup Betting Statistics

  • The record Melbourne Cup Trifecta dividend was a huge $61,867.90 paid out back in 1993
  • In 2009 punters across the country splurged on Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup with a record $95.6 million outlaid on the Victorian and New South Wales TABs
  • Average spend per punter on the Melbourne Cup odds is approximately $8.50, of which $7.30 is returned in dividends

Melbourne Cup Betting Favourites

  • Melbourne Cup betting favourites have won 32 times (until 2021)
  • Fiorente (2013) was the last favourite to salute for the punters
  • Did you know – Makybe Diva won the 2003 Melbourne Cup but she didn’t start favourite, Mamool did and they finished last (23rd of 23rd)
  • Phar Lap was the shortest priced favourite to win when 8/11 in 1930, followed by Revenue (7/4 in 1901) and Archer (2/1 in 1962)
  • Only four triple figure roughies have won the Melbourne Cup with The Pearl (100/1 in 1871), Wotan (100/1 in 1936), Old Rowley (100/1 in 1940) and Prince Of Penzance (100/1 in 2015)

Biggest Winning Melbourne Cup Margin

  • Archer (1862) and Rain Lover (1968) share the record with eight lengths

Tightest Melbourne Cup Finish

  • Dunaden’s 2011 Melbourne Cup win over Red Cadeaux – took officials over five minutes to decide on the result via photo

First Melbourne Cup Photo Finish

  • The first photo-finish was used in the 1948 Melbourne Cup when Rimfire beat home Dark Marne

Most Melbourne Cup Wins – Owner

  • 7 – Lloyd Williams (1981, 1985, 2007, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2020)
  • 4 – John Tait (1866, 1868, 1871, 1872)
  • 4 – Etienne de Mestre (1861*, 1862*, 1867*, 1878) *The winners of these years were leased
  • 4 – Dato Tan Chin Nam (1974, 1975, 1996, 2008)

 Melbourne Cup Day Attendance Facts

  • The first Melbourne Cup attracted just 4,000 spectators
  • The highest Melbourne Cup Day attendance to date was 122,736 in 2003
  • 2021 – Melbourne Cup Day attendance was capped at 10,000 due to COVID
  • 2018 – 83,471
  • 2017 – 90,536
  • 2016 – 97,479
  • 2015 – 101,015
  • 2014 – 100,794
  • 2013 – 104,169
  • 2012 – 106,162
  • 2011 – 105,979
  • 2010 – 110,223
  • 2009 – 102,000
  • 2008 – 107,000
  • 2007 – 102,411
  • 2006 – 106,691
  • 2005 – 106,479
  • 2004 – 98,181
  • 2003 – 122,736 (record)

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