The Melbourne Cup is one of the most iconic races in Australia, and it’s been running since 1861. Every year, millions of Australians tune in to watch the race and place their bets on their favorite horse. But has a favorite ever won the Melbourne Cup? This article will explore the history of the race, how favourites have fared over the years, and the odds of a favourite winning the Cup.
History of the Melbourne Cup
The Melbourne Cup is a 3,200 metre (2-mile) handicap race for thoroughbred horses aged three years and over, run on the first Tuesday of November each year. It is the most prestigious of all the Australian Group One (G1) races, and is the richest two-mile handicap in the world. It is also the world’s richest three-year-old race.
The first Melbourne Cup was held in 1861 at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria. The race was won by the horse “Archer”, who was ridden by jockey John Cutts. Since then, the race has grown in popularity and prestige, and is now one of the most watched events in Australia.
Favourites in the Melbourne Cup
Over the years, there have been a number of favourites that have contested the Melbourne Cup. Some of the most famous include:
- Makybe Diva: Makybe Diva is arguably the most famous Melbourne Cup horse of all time. She won the race in 2003, 2004 and 2005, becoming the only horse to win the race three times. She was also the first mare to win the race in over 100 years.
- Phar Lap: Phar Lap is one of the most iconic horses in Australian racing history. He won the 1930 Melbourne Cup and is still remembered as one of the greatest horses to ever compete in the race.
- Carbine: Carbine was one of the greatest horses of the 19th century. He won the 1889 Melbourne Cup, and is the only horse to ever win the race four times.
Favourites’ Odds of Winning
Over the years, favourites have generally not fared well in the Melbourne Cup. Since the first Melbourne Cup in 1861, only 10 favourites have gone on to win the race out of a total of 159 runnings. This means that the odds of a favourite winning the Cup are around 6%.
Why Do Favourites Struggle?
There are a number of factors that contribute to favourites’ struggles in the Melbourne Cup.
- Handicapping: The Melbourne Cup is a handicap race, which means that the weights carried by each horse are determined by an official handicapper. This can make it difficult for favourites to win, as they often carry more weight than their rivals.
- Distance: The Melbourne Cup is run over a distance of 3,200 metres (2-miles). This is a long way for horses to run, and can be difficult for favourites who are used to shorter distances.
- Large Fields: The Melbourne Cup usually attracts a large field of horses, which makes it difficult for favourites to get a clear run. This can make it difficult for them to win.
In recent years, there have been a number of favourites that have gone on to win the Melbourne Cup.
- Cartier: Cartier was the favourite for the 2018 Melbourne Cup and went on to win the race. He was ridden by jockey Kerrin McEvoy and was the first favourite to win the race since Makybe Diva in 2005.
- Vow and Declare: Vow and Declare was the favourite for the 2019 Melbourne Cup and went on to win the race. He was ridden by jockey Craig Williams and was the first Australian-trained horse to win the race since Shocking in 2009.
Favourites Going Forward
Given the recent success of favourites in the Melbourne Cup, it is likely that favourites will continue to have a good record in the race in the future.
However, it is important to remember that the Melbourne Cup is a handicap race and that favourites are not guaranteed to win. Handicapping can make it difficult for favourites to win, and it is important to assess the form and weight of each horse before betting.
In conclusion, favourites have had a mixed record in the Melbourne Cup over the years. While there have been some successful favourites, they are few and far between. Handicapping and the large fields of horses make it difficult for favourites to win, and it is important to assess the form and weight of each horse before betting. Despite this, favourites have had some success in recent years, and it is likely that this trend will continue in the future.
Q: How many favourites have won the Melbourne Cup?
A: Since the first Melbourne Cup in 1861, only 10 favourites have gone on to win the race out of a total of 159 runnings. This means that the odds of a favourite winning the Cup are around 6%.
Q: How many horses race in the Melbourne Cup?
A: The Melbourne Cup usually attracts a large field of horses, typically between 24-30.