Melbourne Cup Leadup Races

Lead up races to the Melbourne Cup have been relatively standard for a long time, and trainers have developed "proven" lead up race patterns for their horses.


Shocking was the last horse
to win the Lexus before the Cup


Lead up races to the Melbourne Cup have been relatively standard for a long time, and trainers have developed "proven" lead up race patterns for their horses.

However with the advent of the European horses, differing approaches have occurred.

Below is a list of the major lead up races and trail followed by previous Melbourne Cup winners.

Media Puzzle (2002) won the Geelong Cup at his first Australian Start as did Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011).


Year
 
Cup winner
 
Mackinnon
(Doesn't apply now)
 
Lexus
 
MV
Cup
 
Cox
Plate
 
Caulfield
Cup
 
Herbert
Power
 
2018  Cross Counter             
2017  Rekindling             
2016  Almandin             
2015  Prince Of Penzance      Pl      Unp 
2014  Protectionist            Unp 
2013  Fiorente        3rd     
2012  Green Moon        Unp     
2011  Dunaden             
2010  Americain             
2009  Shocking    Won        Pl 
2008  Viewed  Unp        Unp   
2007  Efficient        Unp     
2006  Delta Blues          Pl   
2005  Makybe Diva        Won     
2004  Makybe Diva          Pl   
2003  Makybe Diva          Unp   
2002  Media Puzzle             
2001  Ethereal          Won   
2000  Brew    Won  Pl       
1999  Rogan Josh  Won        Unp  Won 
1998  Jezabeel          Unp   
1997  Might And Power          Won   
1996  Saintly        Won     
1995  Doriemus          Won   
1994  Jeune  Pl      Unp     
1993  Vintage Crop             
1992  Subzero  Unp        Unp   
1991  Let's Elope  Won        Won   
1990  Kingston Rule    Pl  Won       
1989  Tawrrific  Unp    Pl    Unp   
1988  Empire Rose  Won           
1987  Kensei  Unp        Pl   
1986  At Talaq  Won        Pl   
1985  What A Nuisance  Unp    Unp       
1984  Black Knight    Pl         
1983  Kiwi             
1982  Gurners Lane  Pl      Pl  Won   
1981  Just A Dash    Unp      Unp  Unp 
1980  Beldale Ball    Unp  Unp      Pl 
1979  Hyperno  Unp    Unp       
1978  Arwon  Unp        Pl  Won 
1977  Gold And Black  Pl        Unp   
1976  Van Der Hum        Unp  Pl  Won 
1975  Think Big  Unp           
1974  Think Big    Won  Unp       
1973  Gala Supreme          Pl  Won 
1972  Piping Lane      Pl       
1971  Silver Knight  Pl      Unp     
1970  Baghdad Note  Unp        Pl  Pl 

The two most successful lead up races in recent times have been the Mackinnon Stakes and the Caulfield Cup who between them have "produced" 27 of the last 49 Melbourne Cup winners.

Since the Mackinnon Stakes has moved to the final day of the carnival, this is not relevant now.

Horses having their lead up run in the Mackinnon Stakes had won the Cup 17 times in the last 49 years.

History also shows most Melbourne Cup runners also race in the Caulfield Cup. 21 of the last 49 Cup winners have done so. However none have done that since Viewed in 2008.

Some haven’t come through the main lead ups. Those winners include Cross Counter, Rekindling, Protectionist, Dunaden, Americain, Vintage Crop and Media Puzzle from Europe and Fiorente, Green Moon, Efficient, Saintly and Makybe Diva (2005) who came through the Cox Plate. Almandin was a locally trained runner who had a month between runs.

In fact Green Moon and Fiorente had exactly the same lead up races. Memsie/Dato Tan Chin Nam/Turnbull/Cox Plate before running at Flemington.

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