2019 HISTORICAL MELBOURNE CUP PREVIEW - G1 3200m


Rekindling leads a quinella
for Lloyd Williams in 2017


Australians don't need much more than those three famous words (The Melbourne Cup) to get excited. Considered the most watched 200 seconds in Australia each year, this two mile handicap horse race means much more than an equine event. Let’s check out the last few editions of the First Tuesday in November.


PROFILING THE RACE

  • There have been five multiple winners - Archer (1861+62), Peter Pan (1932+34), Rain Lover (1968+69), Think Big (1974-75) & Makybe Diva (2003+04+05).
  • Eleven horses have done the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double - Poseidon (1906), The Trump (1937), Rivette (1939), Rising Fast (1954), Even Stevens (1962), Galilee (1966), Gurner’s Lane (1982), Let’s Elope (1991), Doriemus (1995), Might and Power (1997) & Ethereal (2001).
  • Of the last 26 winners, 13 have won their last start and 13 were defeated of which 6 were placed. Rekindling, Protectionist, Green Moon, Viewed, Efficient, Makybe Diva ’03 and Jezabeel, who was knocked down at Caulfield, were unplaced.
    Andreas Wohler & Ryan Moore

  • Highest weight to win - Carbine 65.5kg in 1890.
  • Shortest price to win - Phar Lap 11-8 on - 1930.
  • Prince Of Penzance joined the list of longest priced winners in 2015 starting at 100-1.
  • Barriers have been of little importance with the 1000m run to the first turn. Since 1988 Kingston Rule drew 1, Prince Of Penzance 1, Might and Power 2, Saintly 3, Media Puzzle 3 as well as Cross Counter 19, Empire Rose 20, Doriemus 21, Rogan Josh 21, Brew 23.
  • Leading Trainers - Bart Cummings (12), Etienne de Mestre (5), Lee Freedman (5).
  • Leading Jockeys - Bobbie Lewis (4), Harry White (4).
  • Winners by Age - 3yo x 25, 4yo x 44, 5yo x 46, 6yo x 31, 7yo x 10, 8yo+ x 2.
  • By comparison with the Caulfield Cup, only eight 4yos have won at Flemington in the last 33 years.
  • First Female Trainer to win - Sheila Laxon (Ethereal 2001) while Gai Waterhouse became the second in 2013.
  • Michelle Payne famously became the first female jockey to take the Cup in 2015.
    Ethereal gets up late
    to win the Cup in 2001


  • First Million Dollar race - What a Nuisance 1985.
  • While horses like Might and Power made all the running and Delta Blues was on pace, most recent winners have been well and truly in the second half of the field.
  • Mare victories are a conundrum. They have won 5 of the last 19 and 7 of the last 29 Cups but that isn’t the norm. Before Empire Rose in 1988 you had to go back to Light Fingers in 1965.
  • Traditionally it has always been thought that the Caulfield Cup was the best lead up but that is no longer the case (Viewed last to run in it in 2008).
  • Last 10 Winners Most Prevalent Age of winner - 5yo (4 times)
  • Last 10 Winners Average Weight of winner - 53.5kg
  • Last 10 Winners Average Price of winner - 20-1
  • Breakdown of winners – 1 colt, 3 geldings & 6 entires
  • Races that the winner ran in prior - Geelong Cup (2), Cox Plate (2), Lexus Stks (1), Herbert Power (1), Moonee Valley Cup (1), Bart Cummings (1), English St Leger (1), Great Voltigeur Stks (1).


RECENT WINNERS

  • 2018 - CROSS COUNTER 3g (Teofilo x Waitress) (8-1)
    Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy, Trainer: Charlie Appleby
    Barrier: 19, Weight: 51.0kg, Gross Time: 3:21.17
    Margin: 1L, Track: Soft (6), Starters: 24
    2nd: Marmelo (H Bowman-56.0kg), 3rd: A Prince Of Arran (M Walker-53.0kg)
    Review: Godolphin had tried for 30 years to win the race and had come close with multiple second placings. However this time they came with a battle plan. European three year olds made it back to back wins in the great race and this was an outstanding staying effort. Cross Counter had run so well in top mile and a half contests back home against really good classic season horses. Not winning all of them meant the light weight. Despite a hiccup causing the need for bandages he was well backed. He missed disaster out of the straight when The Cliffsofmoher broke down but was still second last with 1000m to go. McEvoy had won twice before and went wider looking for clear runs as Bowman on Marmelo took inside runs. Winding up, the blue with a red cap got momentum at the furlong and galloped on by for a superb win. The blue army got to celebrate for the first time.

  • 2017 - REKINDLING (High Chaparral x Sitara) (14-1)
    Jockey: Corey Brown, Trainer: Joseph O’Brien
    Barrier: 4, Weight: 51.5kg, Gross Time: 3:21.19
    Margin: 0.4L, Track: Good (3), Starters: 23
    2nd: Johannes Vermeer (B Melham-54.5kg), 3rd: Max Dynamite (Z Purton-54.0kg)

    Review: There were several stories to this renewal. Lloyd Williams won his sixth Cup as an owner, Joseph O’Brien led home an Irish trifecta and Corey Brown won the Cup eight years after his first. Add to that a 3yo won the Cup for the first time since Skipton in 1941. It was a strange Cup in that they didn’t go overly fast and those along the rails ran the placings. Rekindling was among a good group of European staying classic horses and Williams had owned him early. By the late, great High Chapparal, he had a great run all the way and when Johannes Vermeer eased off heels, he had ground to make up. As JV sprinted he put two lengths on him but Brown closed the gap and got level at the 100m. He was too strong as Joseph beat home his father. In fact as Max Dynamite’s connections said “We travelled halfway around the world to be beaten by some blokes 20 miles down the road.”

  • 2016 - ALMANDIN 6g (Monsun x Anatola) (10-1)
    Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy, Trainer: Robert Hickmott
    Barrier: 17, Weight: 52.0kg, Gross Time: 3:20.58
    Margin: 0.2L, Track: Good (4), Starters: 24
    2nd: Heartbreak City (J Moreira-54.0kg), 3rd: Hartnell (J McDonald-56.0kg)

    Review: The 2016 Cup will be remembered, much like the year before, for the human participants rather than the horse. Lloyd Williams has a passion for the Cup and buys imports every year to win it. With the win here he broke the record for most wins by an owner. As for Kerrin McEvoy, he’d been riding in scintillating form. His victory secured him a place in history winning the race with the widest gap between first and second (Brew 2000). Getting him in quickly was the key and Almandin relaxed off midfield. Horses were struggling to get to favoured on pace positions. Coming to the turn, as Moreira went inside, McEvoy went out and they eventually paired off. Heartbreak City tried valiantly but the Hickmott gelding proved too strong late. Almandin benefited from the break between runs after securing an entry winning the Bart Cummings. It might have told. The win also gave Monsun three wins in four years as the sire.

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