What is the Melbourne Cup?
  • # Horse racing
Find out what is the Melbourne Cup and how horses can qualify in it. Learn how much the prize money is and the famous horses that won the race.

The Melbourne Cup is known to be the richest two-mile handicap race in the world. The Group 1 flat race is held annually on the first Tuesday of November in Australia since its establishment in 1861. This is also known to be the race that stops a nation. This is because it’s a public holiday in Melbourne and a few cities in the state of Victoria.


The Melbourne Cup is considered to be a quality handicap race that does not strictly follow rules of handicap races. This meant that horses with more wins in various races will have less weight penalties given to them. 


Weight Penalty


Weight penalties are additional weight given to horses that won any handicap flat race with a value of A$55,000 or more. It is also given to horses that won any international races.


While the race is a flat handicap race, there is no set maximum limit for the weight that the horses can get. The top weight given to a horse should not be less than 57 kilograms. Additionally, the minimum weight any horse can be given is 50 kilograms.


These handicap weights are decided by the official handicapper of the Melbourne Cup which is the VRC Handicapper.


There is no specific horse breed that can compete in the tournament as long as they are three years old and above. However, they need to meet the qualifications that the race directors of the Melbourne Cup have. These directors will vote on the horses that can join the race.


The race directors can also exclude any horse from being voted out of the competition if they have won the following races:

  1. Lexus Stakes 
  2. LKS Mackinnon Stakes 
  3. Cox Plate 
  4. Caulfield Cup 
  5. The Bart Cummings 
  6. Andrew Ramsden Stakes 
  7. Doncaster Cup 
  8. Irish St. Leger 
  9. Spring Tenno Sho 
  10. Sankei Sho All Corners 
  11. Arlington Million
  12. San Juan Capistrano Handicap
  13. Australian Stayers Challenge

All foreign-bred and trained horses except New Zealand horses need to be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days before they can travel to Australia and compete. The premises they can be quarantined under should also be approved by the Australian Government Standards.


Purse of the Melbourne Cup


The Melbourne Cup is one of the richest turf races in the world. This is because it has a purse of A$8,000,000 or approximately ¥596,912,000.


The Race Track of the Melbourne Cup


The Melbourne Cup has been held every year at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The horses would have to run a distance of 3,200 metres or about 2 miles on a left-handed turf race track.


Most Notable Horses in the Melbourne Cup


The Melbourne Cup is one of the biggest horse racing events in Australia. Since it also allows foreign horses to compete in the race, this means that there have been various horses that made a name for themselves. Some of these horses are:

Kingston RuleKingston Rule was an American Thoroughbred horse that had the fastest speed record in the Melbourne Cup. He won it in 1990 with a record of three minutes, sixteen seconds, and thirty milliseconds.

Makybe DivaMakybe Diva was a British-bred and Australian-trained Thoroughbred horse that won the Melbourne Cup thrice in 2003, 2004, and 2005. She also holds the record for carrying the heaviest handicap weight for a mare with her 58 kilograms in 2005.

CarbineCarbine was a New Zealand Thoroughbred that carried the heaviest weight in the Melbourne Cup with his 66 kilograms. He won while carrying this weight in 1890.


Where to Wager?


There are thousands of sports betting sites that you can wager on the Melbourne Cup race. However, if you want to wager on the best sports betting sites in the industry, you can check out Gamble.jp’s comprehensive reviews on the best bookmakers.



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