Lunch Blog

The Race That Stops A Nation

The Melbourne Cup has been run and won for another year with Cross Counter taking Australian horse racing's biggest event.


Frederick Standish is credited with forming the idea for The Melbourne Cup.

The first cup was run in 1861 with seventeen runners and was won by Archer, who backed up the following year.

In 1863 the smallest field of just seven horses competed.

In 1876 the youngest jockey won the event, Peter St Albans, who was 12 years 11 months and 23 days.

The 1896 the Melbourne Cup was filmed for the first time.

The largest field of 39 horses was in 1890.

In 1930 Phar Lap won his first cup.

In 1972 the distance was updated to 3,200 metres.

In 1985 the Melbourne Cup was sponored for the first time with total prize money a million dollars and the winning cheque was $650,000.

In 2005 Makybe Diva became the only horse to win the race for the third time, in consecutive years.

In 2015 Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the cup aboard Prince of Penzance.