The Melbourne Cup is steeped in history and has produced many champions over the years. We all know about the feats of trainers such as Bart Cummings, and how Makybe Diva won the race three times in a row, but in this post we’ll look at some lesser known fun facts about the race that stops the nation.
More Alcohol Is Consumed During the Melbourne Cup Than Any Other Aussie Sporting Event
No real surprises there, considering everyone who goes to the races has a penchant for consuming copious amounts of champagne and beer.
When it comes to the Melbourne Cup, the alcohol doesn’t just flow freely at Flemington. All around the country people are boozing it up at local race tracks, work or private parties, bars and night clubs. It’s Australia’s booziest (is that a word?) day of the year when it comes to sport, and is probably only the second booziest overall to New Year’s Eve.
There Has Never Been a Tie
Dead heats in horse racing are not overly common, but they do happen on a semi regular basis.
The Melbourne Cup has been running for more than 150 years and there has never been a dead heat in the race for first place. Not once. There have been some very close finishes, but never a tie for first.
There have been 2 third place dead heats though.
No Horse Has Ever Won the Cup From Barrier 18
That’s right, out of 24 entrants in the great race, winners have come from every single barrier number except for 18.
Whatever you do, if you’re looking to back a winner, forget the horse that draws this barrier. With barrier 18 boasting such a hoodoo, the race really only has 23 participants and not 24.
It’s a Horse Race With Truly International Flavour
Long gone are the days when only the Australian public watches the Melbourne Cup. The same goes for Melbourne Cup horses. These days there are just as many foreign-owned and trained horses as there are horses from Australia and New Zealand.
This has helped to really cement the Melbourne Cup as one of the world’s greatest and best-known races on the horse racing circuit.
Was the Melbourne Cup Held During World War Two?
Yes, it was, even though most other sporting events in the country were placed on hold until the war ended. Between 1942 and 1944, the Melbourne Cup was raced on a Saturday instead of the usual Tuesday billing. War bonds were given as prize money during the war years.
The Winning Horse Gets No Prize Money
This is hardly a surprise. After all, what’s a Melbourne Cup winning racehorse going to spend millions of dollars on? Oats and hay?
Still, it’s a bit of an uneven split when it comes to who gets the prize money. The owner (or owners) of the horse take a massive 85%, a further 10% goes to the winning trainer, and the champion jockey receives 5%.
As I said, the horse doesn’t get a share of the spoils. Not in monetary terms anyway. Maybe a back rub.
Which Australian State Wagers the Most Money On the Great Race?
You could be forgiven if you said Victorians, but in fact, it’s New South Wales that wins this one. It has been suggested that punters from NSW bet an average of $1200 each on the race, the highest for any state in the country.
Does that mean there are more gamblers in New South Wales? Is it the unofficial gambling state?
The Melbourne Cup Gives Victoria a Huge Economic Boost
It’s one of the richest events in Victoria, giving the local economy a massive shot in the arm during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Apart from all the money spent at Flemington Racecourse on betting and booze, some $50 million is spent in Melbourne alone just on fashion and accessories. Outside of the race track, massive sales occur in the alcoholic beverages industry, and visitors from interstate and overseas spend a whopping $150 million over the course of just a few short days.
Business owners in Melbourne must be rubbing their hands in glee as November approaches each year.
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