To celebrate the lead up to the Melbourne Cup, we will today count down the top 5 Melbourne Cup wins of all time.
5. Rising Fast 1954
Rising Fast is still the only horse to ever win the Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup in the same year. This is an effort that we may never see the likes of again. Northerly had chance in 2002 but was weighted out with 60kg. Makybe Diva probably could have done it in 2005 but she could not run in the Caulfield Cup as not to risk a penalty for the Melbourne Cup.
To achieve this feat, a horse has to be an outstanding champion and a very versatile animal. Could Might and Power have won the 2000m Cox Plate in between his two amazing Cup wins? Maybe, but he would have had to pulled off the most remarkable feat. Southern Speed who won thes Caulfield Cup a couple of years back, bypassed the Cox Plate but was a distance 4th in the 2000m Mackinnon, so there is no way she could have completed the treble.
Back to Rising Fast. He was the 5/2 favourite ($3.50) and won very easily by just under two lengths.
The next year 1955, Rising Fast did the impossible and won the Caulfield Cup again, but then was beaten by the T.J. Smith trained Toparoa in the Melbourne Cup. Rising Fast almost won both Cups twice! However, his win in 1954 more than gets him a go in the top five.
4. Rain Lover 1969
Only four horses have won successive Melbourne Cups. Peter Pan won two but they were over three years. The successive wins so far are…
Archer 1861 and 1862
Rain Lover 1968 and 1969
Think Big 1974 and 1975
Makybe Diva 2003 and 2004
Makybe Diva 2004 and 2005
Now after winning one Melbourne Cup, a horse will be expected to carry more weight in a subsequent Cup attempt. Here are the winning weights for successive winners…
Archer 9.7 (60kg) in 1861 and 10.2 (64.5kg) in 1862. An increase of 4.5kg
Think Big 53kg in 1974 and 58.5kg in 1975. An increase of 5.5kg
Makybe Diva 51kg in 2003 and 55.5kg in 2004. An increase of 4.5kg
Makybe Diva 55.5kg in 2004 and 58kg in 2005 (joke). An increase of 2.5kg (as mentioned, joke!)
So apart from the joke that was Makybe Diva’s weight in her third Cup, the general increase was either 4.5kg or 5.5kg. That is fairly consistent and a good effort by different generations of handicappers. But the difference is Rain Lover.
Rain Lover 8.2 (51.5kg) in 1968 and 9.7 (60.5kg). An increase of 9kg.
That is almost double the average increase the other horses enjoyed. A huge increase in weight, and a super super effort to win with that weight. This is why Rain Lover is in the top five.
3. Galilee 1966
Lets have a look at this win first of all!
It is simply amazing how fast Galilee sprints at the end of a two mile handicap especially since he was carrying 8.13 (57kg) which was a really big weight for a four year old. Galilee was the 11/2 favourite ($6.50) and beat stable mate Light Fingers. Light Fingers had won the previous years Melbourne Cup. This win is rated by Bart Cummings as one of the best he has ever seen, and he definitely rates this the best of his 12 Melbourne Cups.
Galilee also won Caulfield Cup in 1966. In winning this race Galilee had defeated Tobin Bronze who who the 11/8 on favourite. 11/8 on ($1.72) is only slightly longer than the shortest price horse ever in the Caulfield Cup, which was Tulloch at 6/4 on ($1.66) in 1957. However, it is the sheer ease of the victory that gets Galilee in the top 5. His last furlong was the fastest record of the entire 1966 Melbourne Cup carnival! Amazing, considering he had already ran almost 2 miles!
2. Carbine 1890.
Since 1879 only three horses have been handicapped near 11 stone for the Melbourne Cup. Carbine 10.12 in 1891, Phar Lap 10.10 in 1931 and Bernborough 10.9 in 1946. Apart from showing that Carbine was an outstanding horse, these stats show that Carbine’s 1890 win was amazing. In winning the 1890 Melbourne Cup, Carbine carried 10.5 which is just under 66kg! This is the highest weight carried to victory in the Melbourne Cup ever. And it will never be beaten! In a field of 40, yes 40 without starting gates, Carbine carried 10.5 to win in great time by 3 lengths. In 1890 there was of course no head on cameras, so it was not unusual for jockeys to all but jump on each others horses to try and stop them from winning. Jockeys were not the clean cut, honest athletes they are today. Jockeys were small men who loved to drink, fight and punt. The other 39 jockeys no doubt had a decent crack at Carbine. Carbine may well be the best horse Australia has ever seen! He was definitely the best horse of the 19th century, and this win was the best win on any track in Australia in the 19th century. The following article really captures how the public supported Carbine. We have to remember that in 1890 Australia was a group of colonies, not a federation. This article comes from Brisbane! A long way from Melbourne.
So 10.5 is 7kg more than Dunaden will have to carry on Tuesday! An interesting thing to ponder is the fact that the last person who saw this win and remembers it died in 1968, and there is no footage and only a few sparse pictures. Yet, the win was so great, that the story has been told over and over again, and we today 122 years later, can almost imagine what it must have been like to be there! Oh and it is important to note that the attendance was 85,000. That was out of a Melbourne population of 460,000 or 18.5% of the cities population. If 18.5% turn up this Tuesday there will be over 800,000 there! That would sure make it hard to get a bet on or get a beer.
1. Peter Pan 1934
Here is why Peter Pan’s 1934 Cup win is the best ever (in my humble opinion).
He is the only horse to date to win Melbourne Cups with a year in between. Americain is favourite to do it this year.
Peter Pan carried 7.6 to victory in 1932 and 9.10 in 1934. That is an increase of almost 15kg! If Americain wins the 2012 Cup and thus emulates Peter Pan, he will have carried 54.5kg in 2010 and 58kg in 2012. That is just an increase of 3.5kg! Along way from a 15kg increase.
The track on the first Tuesday in November 1934 was extremely heavy. So heavy that Peter Pan’s winning time of 3.40 was over 17 seconds slower than the next years winning time and one of the slowest ever recorded. Peter Pan did not enjoy wet tracks, but still won.
Peter Pan won untouched by 3 lengths
In the field was the 1933 Cup winner Hall Mark who had 8 pounds less than Peter Pan. Marabou was also on the field; this horse went onto win the 1935 Melbourne Cup. Peter Pan conceded Marabou 17kg. Rogilla was also in the field. This gelding won 12 what would now be Group One races. This was one of the strongest Melbourne Cup fields ever.
Peter Pan drew the outside barrier and missed the start!
So there we have it! Peter Pan gets the number one slot.
Good luck and stay tuned