100 Melbourne Cup facts

The countdown is on to the world’s greatest greyhound race, with just 100 days until we crown a new TAB Melbourne Cup champion.

Winning the Cup is a career defining – and life changing – moment for a greyhound trainer. It is the ultimate reward for decades of hard work and dedication to their craft. Speak to a Cup winning trainer about the moment they got their hands on the most sought after trophy in the sport of greyhound racing and watch for the sparkle in their eye and smile on their face. They can try and play it cool, but there’s no hiding what winning the Cup means to them.

And so as trainers across Australia plot their path to TAB Melbourne Cup night on Friday 26th November just 100 days away, here’s 100 facts about the TAB Melbourne Cup.

1 The Melbourne Cup was first run in 1956
2 The first Melbourne Cup was won by Rocketeer
3 The first Melbourne Cup was run on grass
4 Hard Style Rico owns the race record – 28.909. It is also the track record
5 Hua (1988) is the only other greyhound to break the track record in winning the Cup
6 Whiskey Riot won by the closest margin – a nose – in 2019
7 Fox Hunt won by the biggest margin – 9 lengths – in 1991
8 Kantarn Bale (1999) is the youngest Cup winner at 641 days (1 year, 9 months, 3 days)
9 Box 1 is the winningest box with 18 winners
10 Box 6 has provided the least number of winners with just 4
11 Shanlyn Prince is the only greyhound to wear the green rug to Melbourne Cup success (number 6 was brown before 2003)
12 12 female greyhounds have won the race
13 53 male greyhounds have won the race
14 50 Cup winners were trained in Victoria
15 Kwik Metal, winner of the 1974 Cup, was bred in New Zealand
16 Paul Wheeler owned seven finalists in the 2011 Cup. They were the first seven across the line
17 29 Cup winning greyhounds were black
18 Excite Ability is the only blue dog to win the Cup
19 Rocket Jet, New Tears, Black Top and Collision have each sired three winners
20 Five of the last 11 winners were the fastest qualifiers
21 The first Melbourne Cup was worth 500 pounds to the winner
22 The 500 pound winners purse in 1956 is the equivalent to $16,505 in today’s money
23 Chariot Supreme sired the trifecta in 1990
24 Dyna Double One is the only winner in the last 11 years that didn’t lead through the first turn
25 Classic Capri (2001), Cheltenham Lass (1966) and Saskaview (1963) each won the Cup at their second attempt
26 Five Cup winners have sired Cup winners – Rookie Rebel, Tangaloa, Light Of Fire, Bombastic Shiraz amd El Grand Senor
27 The Melbourne Cup was a handicap event from 1956 until 1965
28 The 1996 Melbourne Cup, the first on the current circuit, was the first to carry $100,000 to the winner
29 New Tears sired the trifecta in 1994
30 No Western Australian trained greyhound has ever won the Melbourne Cup
31 Classic Capri (2001) is the longest priced winner of the Cup – $25.90
32 Gold Grotto is the shortest priced winner at 1/2
33 The 2005 edition – the 50th Melbourne Cup – was worth $150,000 to the winner, then the richest race in the world
34 In 2012 the Melbourne Cup was the first race in the world worth $500,000
35 The distinctive Melbourne Cup trophy with greyhounds for handles was first introduced in 2012
36 Since 1987, El Grand Senor is the heaviest greyhound to contest the Melbourne Cup (39kg). He won the 2010 Cup
37 Since 1987, Got A Moment is the lightest greyhound to contest the Melbourne Cup (24.9kg). She won the 2012 Cup
38 Graeme Bate has the record for most Cup finalists with 25
39 57 different trainers have won the Cup
40 Since 1988, 143 different trainers have had a Cup finalist
41 13 trainers have won the Cup with their first – and only – Cup finalist
42 Cameron Taylor quinellaed the 2005 Cup with his only two Cup finalists (Closing Argument, Bonshaw Boy)
43 The Britton family – Allan, Robert, Jeff and Linda – have had 19 finalists without a win. They have been runner up 5 times
44 23 favourites have won the race
45 Whiskey Riot (2019) was the first greyhound in 24 years to win from box 3
46 Since 2000, Ando’s Mac (2016) is the only Cup winner to have been trained outside of Victoria
47 Since 2010, the winner’s average first split is 5.04
48 All of the last 11 Cup winners broke 19 seconds to the second split (at an average of 18.68)
49 Black Magic Opal (2013) has the fastest first split in a Cup final – 4.93 – run a week after setting the split record (4.90)
50 Since 2010, the average age the Melbourne Cup winner is 957 days (or two years, seven months and 15 days)
51 Since 2010, the Cup winner entered the final withan average of 37 career starts under their belt
52 Got A Moment (2012) is the only female greyhound to win the Cup since 2007
53 Just three favourites have won the Cup since 2003
54 Just two favourites have missed a place since 2010
55 Since 1987, five greyhounds have started an odds on favourite in the Cup. El Grand Senor is the only odds-on favourite to win
56 Bombastic Shiraz (2003) is the only greyhound to win the Melbourne Cup after winning the Shootout
57 Just three of the last nine Cup winners won the race in the fastest time of the night
58 13 of the last 18 Cup winning greyhounds were black
59 Melbourne Cup Preludes were first introduced in 1995
60 Fox Hunt (1991) is the only SA trained greyhound to win the Cup
61 TAB has been a proud sponsor of the Melbourne Cup for 10 years
62 Rapid Journey (1998) is the oldest Cup winner since 1987 at 1276 days (3 years, 5 months, 27 days)
63 Every Cup winner since 2001 has been two years of age
64 Jason and Seona Thompson have had 23 finalists between them for four wins and six place getters
65 The earliest footage of the Melbourne Cup is 1977 (Mile Post)
66 Six of the last 11 Geelong Cup winners have made the Cup final
67 The last 11 Cup winners have won multiple group races, seven of them multiple group 1 winners
68 Bombastic Shiraz (2003) is the only greyhound to win the ‘Triple Crown’ – the Melbourne Cup, the Topgun and Shootout
69 Ten Melbourne Cup winners have been named the Victorian Greyhound of the Year
70 Six Melbourne Cup winners are in the Victorian Hall Of Fame
71 Since 2002, five Melbourne Cup winners have been named Australian Greyhound of the Year
72 Three Melbourne Cup winners are in the Australian Hall Of Fame
73 At the 1980 Melbourne Cup – the 25th edition of the race – one lucky patron drove home in a silver Mercedes!
74 The 1978 Melbourne Cup was presented by Hollywood star Robert Stack
75 The 1979 Melbourne Cup was presented by Hollywood starlet Elke Sommer
76 Greg Norman presented the 1982 Melbourne Cup, and was paid a ‘monkey’ ($500) for his time!
77 Saskagay won the 1962 Melbourne Cup. The 1963 Cup was won by her litter brother, Saskaview
78 The 1989 Melbourne Cup winner Fair Sentence was owned by Collingwood footballers Mick Maguane and Paul Hawke
79 Aston Rupee was the $14 favourite for the 2021 Cup when the market opened in March. He’s now the $9 favourite
80 The TAB Melbourne Cup is the highest wagering turnover race meeting in Australia
81 There are eight feature races on TAB Melbourne Cup night
82 The first Cup Night Speed Star match race was run 2019 with Sennachie defeating Feral Franky
83 The Melbourne Cup was run on a Friday night for the first time in 2014
84 Three of the last six Melbourne Cup winners qualified for the Adelaide Cup
85 Seven of the last nine Melbourne Cup winners raced at Sandown the week prior to the Cup heats
86 AFL Hall Of Famer Tony Lockett owned 2004 Melbourne Cup winner Hallucinate
87 Leviathan breeder Paul Wheeler has won four Melbourne Cups – Kantarn Bale, Dyna Tron, Dyna Villa, Dyna Double One
88 Luckie Karabitsakos (Hard Style Rico) was the first owner/trainer/breeder to win the Cup since Carolyn Jones and El Grand Senor in 2010
89 Terry Adamson is preparing to drive the lure for 29th time in the Melbourne Cup
90 Ron Hawkswell holds the most Melbounre Cups called with 26
91 There are Melbourne Cup exemption races in the United States, England, Ireland and New Zealand
92 Since 1987, Paul Wheler has breed 31 Melbourne Cup finalists
93 21 greyhounds with ‘Bale’ in its name have made a Melbourne Cup final
94 Winning a Melbourne Cup leads to demands at stud – seven of the last eight winners stand at a fee of at least $2200
95 The Melbourne Cup trophy is hand crafted in Melbourne and takes four people and several weeks to make
96 The Melbourne Cup is the Club’s longest running feature race – the first Cup run just 11 weeks after the track’s opening
97 The 10th, 20th, 30th and 40th Melbourne Cups were won from box 3
98 Both Acclaim Star (1979) and Rapid Journey (1998) set Australian prize money records when winning the Cup
99 Arthur Ludlow, Darren McDonald and Jason Thompson have all won consecutive Melbourne Cups
100 The TAB Melbourne Cup is the world’s greatest greyhound race!

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Mick Floyd
About Mick Floyd - Mick is the Racing and Media Manager at Sandown Park and has 15 years of experience in the sport. He has a finely tuned talent for finding three legs of a quaddie. You can follow his ramblings on Twitter - @mickfloyd
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