The Melbourne Cup has a rich history and is known as being one of the most exciting races in the world. It has been run yearly since its inception back in 1861. So, this means that the list of Melbourne Cup horses that have won the Melbourne Cup horse race and formed a part of the race’s history is long.
This is a race that creates legends and it boasts some of the most revered horse racing names in Australia and across the world, including names such as Archer, Peter Pan, Light Fingers, Let’s Elope, Ethereal and Makybe Diva that have all been part of Australia’s race that stops the nation. In this time, there have been some thrilling wins. Here are some of the best.
1982 Melbourne Cup – Gurner Lane
Going into the 1982 race, all eyes were on Kingston Town, who was on a roll, having claimed his third Cox Plate just one week before the race. He was going in with a real fire in his belly, having failed to succeed the year before – and he was seen as the sure-fire winner – all the way to the last 4400 metres of the 3,200m race. However, history was made and hearts were broken as Gurner Lane came from the inside to take the lead – and record one of the most unexpected and most unpopular wins in the history of the race. There was still some blame placed on Kingston Town’s jockey, Malcolm Johnston, who many said went for home too soon.
This counts as one of the most unexpected and most unpopular comebacks in the race.
1990 Melbourne Cup – Kingston Rule
There have been hundreds of gifted horses that have taken to the track in the Melbourne Cup – and many will argue that Kingston Rules is not amongst the best. However, whether this is true or not, in 1990 Kingston Rule managed to tear up the course in a record-breaking 3.16.30.
Kingston Rule was not leading the race all the way from the start, and Savage Toss was the horse that set the pace at the beginning. This kept the race going at a good tempo to start with. Kingston Rule used this time to settle in at a good pace. It was in his last 200 metres of the race that he made his move, going up the inside of the track and managing to hold off the race’s other fast finisher – The Phantom, to take the win in record time.
1993 Melbournee Cup – Vintage Crop
There have been many years where it has been European horses that have dominated the Melbourne Cup – and this began in earnest when Vintage Cup entered the race back in 1993. The Irish horse, Vintage Crop, entered the race coming off the back of an Irish St Leger win – and the horse had been impeccably trained by the genius Dermot Weld.
This was the race that took his career to the next level and paved the way for other European champions as he stormed to victory in the final furlongs of the race. This victory made him the first international winner of the Melbourne Cup (outside of Australia or New Zealand). To this day, he remains the only horse to win the Cup without a lead-up race in the country.
1996 Melbourne Cup – Saintly
Saintly most certainly gave a heavenly performance in 1996, managing to secure his place in the race history – now considered to be amongst the best horses that the race has ever seen. However, he wasn’t always held in such high regard. Before the race began, many held doubts over his ability to run the 3200m race but he went on to prove the doubters wrong. He cruised to victory, without even seeming to break a sweat. He easily overtook all the leaders of the race to take the win – and give jockey, Darren Beadman, his tenth race win.
2005 Melbourne Cup – Makybe Diva
This girl went on to score a hat-trick in 2005 after managing to dominate the race in 2003 and 2004. This was the year that Makybe Diva made Melbourne Cup history. This was her last performance in the race – and her best. Many believed that there was no way that Makybe Diva would be looking for a third consecutive win – and many doubted that she would be able to achieve it. However after Racing Victoria promised to water the track and getting a generous handicap, they opted to race her for the third time – and she proved to be the star of the show again.
Jockey, Glen Boss ran her beautifully from a wide gate and she managed to outrun her rivals yet again to become one of the most successful and popular horses in the history of the Melbourne Cup