Know More About The Melbourne Cup

Billed as one of Australia’s major thoroughbred races, the Melbourne cup race is considered as a national holiday of sorts by many in the country. It is said to put a stop to the FA Cup Prize Money Breakdown

 whole nation as people from all walks of life follow it with bated breath the minute it starts. Considered to be one of the richest turf thoroughbred races of the world, it is held on the first Tuesday of November each year on the Flemington Racecourse located in Melbourne.

History Of The Race

It was in the year 1861 when the race was started, although the original distance covered just over two miles. This meant a total course of over 3218 meters. Over 17 horses actually raced for the first ever race for the Melbourne cup. The first place prize was a sum of 170GBP along with a hand beaten gold watch. It was in 1970s, after the adoption of the metric system by Australia, that the distance was reduced by 18.688 meters and then set at 3200 meters in 1972. It was also in 1875 when a regular slot for the race was finalized and the race officials decided the date as the first Tuesday of November. It was after the year 1916 that the tradition of presenting an actual cup to the winner of the race was started.

Prize Money And Trophies

It was in the year 1985 that the Melbourne cup became the first Australian race to have first place prize money of one million dollars. A horse named “What a nuisance” won this prize. The race was so popular that Prince Charles and Lady Diana as well as the Princess of Wales all attended, who arrived for the race on a boat via Maribyrnong River.

The current trophy that is being presented to the winner is a greatly different version from what was first awarded in 1861. The first was a gold watch that was replaced by a silver bowl having two handles along with a horse and rider made in England, in 1865. Several trophies since then have featured horses in one form or another. A different cup is awarded to the winner of the race every year.

Melbourne Cup Winners

The first race was won by Archer, winning the race with a time of 3:52, making it the slowest winning time ever in the history of the race to date. With billions being at stake these recent years, the cup has become one of the richest and most popular cup ever with people from all over the country betting their savings on the race. While some may get the prize, there are many that don’t. In the history of the cup, one of the most famous winners to date is Phar Lap. Considered to be one of the most famous thoroughbred horses in the world to this day, he became an Australian icon by winning the cup in 1930 during the great depression.

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