6 quick facts about the race that stops the nation

Australia's most popular sporting extravaganza is on this Tuesday, 3rd of November: The 155th celebration of the Melbourne Cup event. The "race that stops a nation" is a highly-anticipated date on the Australian horse racing calendar, as people gather to watch the action, marvel at the fun fashions and fans from all over the globe stake their money on their favourites to win.

Of course, betting plays a big part in adding to all the hype and excitement around the big race, but there are also some exciting facts about the race that you should know.

Top 6 facts about the Melbourne Cup

  1. The Melbourne race is touted as the richest "two-mile" event of its kind in the entire world and offers an exhilarating high-stakes environment for anyone interested in gambling on their favourites!

  2. The late ’Cups King’ Bart Cummings trained 12 Melbourne cup winners over his lifetime, the last being in 2008 with Viewed. This victory marked 50 years since he entered his first Melbourne Cup runner.

  3. The cup has a long and proud history behind it as one of Australia’s most exciting sporting events. The track itself has a circumference of 2,312m and a home straight length of 450m in total.

  4. Moments of sporting history have been made at the Melbourne Cup, going down in the books as one to remember for the ages. One of those moments was back in 1990, when American-bred horse Kingston Rule raced the fastest cup ever.

  5. Sired by the renowned Secretariat and the 1982 Australian Horse of the Year, Rose of Kingston, Kingston Rule’s record time of 3.16.30 still stands today - although there’s always a chance that this year’s event could pull off a record-breaking win.

  6. If you’re a better who likes to go by colour, it might interest you to know that a total of six grey horses have won the coveted cup since 1992. In the race’s long history, however, only five horses have been able to win the title more than once. Those honours go to Archer, Peter Pan, Rain Lover, Think Big and Makybe Diva.

However, the Melbourne Cup wasn’t always the must-see event that it is now. When it was first held in 1861, a crowd of just 4,000 showed up to cheer on their favourites – a far cry from the record crowd of 122,736 spectators who flocked to Flemington in 2003.

While it may have started off with relatively humble beginnings, the Melbourne Cup is one of the most enduring sports events in Australia and even the two World Wars couldn’t stop this juggernaut in its tracks.

Whether you are attending the races at Flemington or just watching the race at the office, it is tempting to have a flutter to get into the spirit of the event, but when it comes to your personal finances you don’t want to leave anything up to chance.

These articles are provided as reference material to allow more informed decision making, but are not intended as being a complete source of information on any topic. All readers should make their own independent analysis on the topic to make sure they have considered the aspects that are important to them.