The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
- 1921 MELBOURNE CUP – SISTER OLIVE
- 1922 MELBOURNE CUP – KING INGODA
- 1923 MELBOURNE CUP – BITALLI
- 1924 MELBOURNE CUP – BACKWOOD
- 1925 MELBOURNE CUP – WINDBAG
- 1926 MELBOURNE CUP – SPEARFELT
- 1927 MELBOURNE CUP – TRIVALVE
- 1928 MELBOURNE CUP – STATESMAN
- 1929 MELBOURNE CUP – NIGHTMARCH
- 1930 MELBOURNE CUP – PHAR LAP
Placings: 1st Place Sister Olive, 2nd Place The Rover, 3rd Place Amazonia
Jockeys: E. O’Sullivan, V. Sleigh, L. Franklin
Trainers: J. Williams, C. Moore, W. Leyshon
Winner’s Time: 3:27.75
Prize money: £10,450
Sister Olive was originally trained by Jack Williams to be a sprinter, but it wasn’t until jockey Edward O’Sullivan took her out for a test that her true potential was discovered. After running her, O’Sullivan informed Williams he was training Sister Olive for the wrong races. According to O’Sullivan she was a natural stayer.
At the 1921 Melbourne Cup, Sister Olive began the race approaching the leading group of three and O’Sullivan nursed her through all the way. As she raced around the bend for home, O’Sullivan urged the filly along to gain three lengths over Amazonia and win the race.
Placings: 1st Place King Ingoda, 2nd Place The Cypher, 3rd Place Mufti
Jockeys: A. Wilson, E. O’Sullivan, F. Straker
Trainers: J. Scobie, P. Guinane, J. Mulcahy
Winner’s Time: 3:28.25
Prize money: £12,624
King Ingoda was by former Cup winner Comedy King, who was bought by his owner Charles Dubois as an unborn foal. In his 1922 Melbourne Cup race, the stallion was lined up in an all-stars race. His victory was helped with training by celebrated trainer James Scobie.
Placings: 1st Place Bitalli, 2nd Place Rivoli, 3rd Place Accarak
Jockeys: A. Wilson, J. Munro, D. Zeally
Trainers: J. Scobie, I. H. Andrew, H. McCalman
Winner’s Time: 3:24.25
Odds: 4/1 favourite
Prize money: £13,288
Considering Bitalli was not raced for six months before his 1923 Melbourne Cup victory, it is not surprising that he started with longs odds. However, his eccentric trainer James Scobie had no doubts that Bitalli would still steal the show. The five year old won the race, costing bookmakers £400,000.
Placings: 1st Place Backwood, 2nd Place Stand By, 3rd Place Spearfelt
Jockeys: P. Brown, R. Lewis, E. O’Sullivan
Trainers: R. Bradfield, J. Scobie, V. O’Neill
Winner’s Time: 3:26.50
Prize money: £12,818
Trained by Hall of Fame inductee Richard Bradfield, Backwood won the 1924 Melbourne Cup to become one of Bradfield’s four Cup winners. He was the second imported horse to win the race, securing victory at the 9 furlong mark with one continuous run. Backwood was one of Bradfield’s few horses that were imported and trained in Australia.
Placings: 1st Place Windbag, 2nd Place Manfred, 3rd Place Pilliewinkie
Jockeys: J. Munro, F. Dempsey, G. Young
Trainers: G. Price, H. McCalman, R. W. King
Winner’s Time: 3:22.75
Prize money: £13,216
1925 marked the first year the ABC provided transmission of the Melbourne Cup.
Bred at Percy Miller’s Kia-Ora Stud in the Hunter Valley, Windbag was one of several Cup winners bred at the stud. There other Cup winnings come from Statesman (1928), Peter Pan (1932 & 34), Delta (1951) and Evening Peal (1956). Windbag was a great sprinter and stayer, winning races from 6 furlongs to two miles.
Placings: 1st Place Spearfelt, 2nd Place Naos, 3rd Place Pantheon
Jockeys: H. Cairns, N. Percival, J. Pike
Trainers: V. O’Neill, L. Roberston, F. Williams
Winner’s Time: 3:22.75
Prize money: £12,912
Spearfelt was a descendant of Carbine, which definitely helped the stallion succeed on the race track. In front of 118,877 people, Spearfelt won by half a length with a time equalling Windbag’s race record from the previous year. On the eve of the race, Manfred and Heroic, both champion race horses, were withdrawn from the race.
Placings: 1st Place Trivalve, 2nd Place Silvius, 3rd Place Son O’Mine
Jockeys: R. Lewis, A. Reed, F. Dempsey
Trainers: J. Scobie, H. Butler, L. Robertson
Winner’s Time: 3:24.0
Prize money: £13,198
Winner of the 1927 Melbourne Cup, Trivalve was a destined champion given he had a double cross of Carbine’s bloodline. On the day, he was ridden by the great Bobbie Lewis and trained by legendary trainer, James Scobie. This year’s win would give both men with their fourth Melbourne Cup successes. Prior to the Cup, Trivalve won the VRC St. Leger, King’s Plate and Governor’s Plate, proving that he was ready for race day.
Placings: 1st Place Statesman, 2nd Place Strephon, 3rd Place Demost
Jockeys: J. Munro, R. Howes, R. Medhurst
Trainers: W. Kelso, L. Robertson, L. J. McCann
Winner’s Time: 3:23.50
Prize money: £12,675
Trained and owned by prominent racing identity William Kelso, Statesman won the 1928 Melbourne Cup by beating Cup favourite Strephon by four lengths. Statesman was gelded straight after his win and Kelso supported this decision by stating that geldings were easier to train and handle. This year’s race would be the smallest field since Banker in 1863.
Placings: 1st Place Nightmarch, 2nd Place Paquito, 3rd Place Phar Lap
Jockeys: R. Reed, M. McCarten, R. Lewis
Trainers: A. McAulay, F. D. Jones, H. R. Telford
Winner’s Time: 3:26.50
Prize money: £12,422
Best known for beating Phar Lap in the 1929 Melbourne Cup, the New Zealand foaled Nightmarch earned his status as a great racehorse by winning both the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in the same year. The stallion managed to beat the legendary horse by four lengths and many blamed Phar Lap’s defeat on the fact that he pulled for half the race. Funnily enough, Phar Lap and Nightmarch were sons of the same sire, Night Raid.
Placings: 1st Place Phar Lap, 2nd Place Second Wind, 3rd Place Shadow King
Jockeys: J. Pike, T. Lewis, P. Tehan
Trainers: H. A. Telford, J. Holt, E. Fisher
Winner’s Time: 3:27.75
Odds: 8/11 favourite
Prize money: £12,429
The only horse to be given legend status by the Australian Racing Hall of Fame, Phar Lap holds the record for the shortest priced favourite in the Melbourne Cup. During the 1930 Melbourne Cup, Phar Lap created quite a bit storm after bookmakers realised they would lose a fortune if Phar Lap was to win. Incidentally, Phar Lap was shot at on the same day by gangsters. However, Woodcock placed himself and his pony between Phar Lap and the shot, saving the horse from tragedy. After the race, Woodcock and Telford sent Phar Lap into hiding in St Alban’s stud in Geelong. To add further drama to the day, Phar Lap’s float broke down on the way to Flemington, however he managed to arrive three quarters of an hour before the race started. During the course of a week, Phar Lap ran more than 5 miles after winning both the Linlithgow Stakes and the CB Fisher Plate.