The Melbourne Cup is an annual thoroughbred horse race held at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne and is one of the most reputable horse races in the world. It’s a handicap race for horses aged three years and older. This race follows a distance of 3,200m instead of the two-mile distance traditionally adopted by Australia as per the metric system. It is viewed as one the most expensive turf races around the world.
It is an event which is known to have a long tradition after the first inauguration in the year 1861. There has been certain alterations in the structure of the race with the passage of time. One of them is the entry of a number of foreign-trained horses which included two horses trained by the Irish trainer Dermot K. Weld and one trained by the Japanese trainer Katsumi Yoshida. One of the significant reasons of attraction for foreign entries was the amendments made in the handicap weighting system. Comedy King was the first foreign-bred horse to win the 1910 Melbourne Cup.
The total amount of prize alloted to the Melbourne Cup accounted to $7,300,000 Australian dollars in 2018 along with trophies that cost $175,000 Australian dollars. The Melbourne Cup was the first race in Australia with a prize amount of $1,000,000 Australian dollars (in 1985). In 2018 $3.6 million was paid to the winner of the Melbourne Cup, with $900,000 AU for second place, and $450,00 AU third.
The horse with the most wins at the Melbourne Cup is British-bred Makybe Diva who won three times. The achievement by this Australia trained filly was made all the more special on account that the wins came in three consecutive years (2003, 2004, 2005). She also won the Cox Plate in 2005.