Melbourne Cup

2021 Melbourne Cup

Date: First Tuesday in November
Start time: 3pm
Racecourse: Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia
Distance: 3200m
Grade: Group 1
Prizemoney: $4,400,000
Track Surface: Grass
Track Direction: Anti-Clockwise
Race Conditions: 3YO and Older, Minimum Topweight
Qualification: Three Year Olds and Over
Type: Thoroughbred
Operator: Melbourne Racing Club
Inaugural Race: 1861


The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s most important, and most sought after, race in history. Dating back from the inaugural even in 1861, the Group 1 Race has retained its prestige for almost a century with many punters keen to follow Melbourne Cup Tips and score a winner in the big race.

The race is held over a distance of 3,200 metres, for horses three years and older – and is also the richest ‘two-mile’ handicap in the world.

Aussies love the Melbourne Cup – giving it a fond nickname, ‘The Race that Stops a Nation;’ not stopping there, Melbournians also have the day off as a Public Holiday.

How Long is the Melbourne Cup?

The Melbourne Cup is run over a distance of 3,200 metres, the traditional two-mile cup distance.

What time does the Melbourne Cup Start?

The Melbourne Cup starts at approximately 3pm every year – with the first Tuesday in November reserved as the Melbourne Cup Date.

Melbourne Cup Betting

Below is a table that outlines the basics on how to bet on the Melbourne Cup.

Bet TypeHow to Place This Type of Bet
Win BetPlace a bet on the horse you think will be the outright winner (1st place) in the 2021 Caulfield Cup
Place BetPlace a bet on the horse you think will place in the top three in the 2021 Caulfield Cup. Pays less than a win bet, but the odds are safer
Each-Way BetPlace a bet on the horse you think will win the Caulfield Cup, with a safety net of a place bet. If your horse runs 1st, you will collect both the Win and the Place pay-out. If your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd, you will win only the Place pay-out
Quinella BetPlace a bet on the horses you think will  finish 1st and 2nd in the any order in the Caulfield Cup
Exacta BetPlace a bet on the horses you think will  finish 1st and 2nd in the correct order in the Caulfield Cup
Trifecta BetPlace a bet on the horses you think will  finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the correct order in the Caulfield Cup
First FourPlace a bet on the horses you think will  finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the correct order in the Caulfield Cup
Quadrella Bet (Quaddie)Place a bet on the winners of four nominated races to win a Quaddie. This means you have to select three other races apart from the Caulfield Cup to place a Quaddie

Melbourne Cup Winners

2020Twilight PaymentTiger MothPrince of Arran
2019Vow And DeclarePrince of ArranIl Paradiso
2018Cross CounterMarmeloPrince of Arran
2017RekindlingJohannes VermeerMax Dynamite
2016AlmandinHeartbreak CityHartnell
2015Prince Of PenzanceMax DynamiteCriterion
2014ProtectionistRed CadeauxMount Who Shot Thebarman
2013FiorenteRed CadeauxMount Athos
2012Green MoonFiorenteJakkalberry
2011DunadenRed CadeauxLucas Cranach
2010AmericainMalluckydaySo You Think

Melbourne Cup Tips

The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s premier horse race and it happens to be the race most Aussies like to have a casual punt on. Our expert tipster has put together a short list of Melbourne Cup tips to look out for in the leadup to the big race.

Here are five 2021 Melbourne Cup best bets to consider this year, along with their current 2021 Melbourne Cup odds.

2021 Melbourne Cup Best Bets

Prince of Arran $15

Hit the line superbly in the 2020 Caulfield Cup and looked to be in the finish once again in the Melbourne Cup. The last three years have seen Prince of Arran place in every Melbourne Cup, but never win.

Stats aren’t great for returning horses in the Melbourne Cup, let alone those having their third attempt… has he had his chance already?

I think there’s still one more shot. Jamie Kah on board again would also be an absolute plus, she’s absolutely flying at the moment and has been unofficially named 2020’s best jockey.

Surprise Baby $26

Surprise Baby had been earmarked for the 2020 Melbourne Cup win ever since he flashed home to finish 5th in the 2019 edition. He was in line for a strong finish but ran into a few that were too smart on the day.

He’s getting older now, aged six, but continues to win strongly, and with prize money of almost $1 mil, shouldn’t be looked past for the 2021 Melbourne Cup.

Verry Elleegant $26

Verry Elleegant shot the lights out during his 2020 racing campaign and was in amongst it for the Melbourne Cup.

Although that title isn’t hers yet, the Turnbull Stakes and the Caulfield Cup as the $5 favourite are nothing to frown about.

Jumping on Verry Elleegant for the 2021 Melbourne Cup at $26 now is a smart investment. Shouldn’t have any issue staying the trip next year, and will be right in it.

Cherry Tortoni $34

Cherry Tortoni should be Melbourne Cup ready by 2021. Considering he’s won at Group Two level and amassed almost $500,000 in career earnings – he’s definitely well on his way.

On the 24th of October 2020, Cherry Tortoni took home his most significant win to date, $300,000 at Moonee Valley, defeating Khoekhoe.

There’s definitely more to come from this star – and I’d look towards the 2021 Melbourne Cup.

Finche $34

Finche came out of nowhere in 2020, with odds fluctuating in the moments before the Melbourne Cup.

Turn of foot wasn’t his strong point, but he’s definitely looking stronger coming into 2021. Finche is the son of champion racehorse Frankel, who graced the winners’ circle on three separate occasions from 8 starts in France.

Finche wasn’t ready for the 2020 Melbourne Cup, but I think 2021 is his year.

Melbourne Cup Trifecta Tips

As an example, let’s look at 2020’s winning Melbourne Cup Trifecta

1st – Twilight Payment

2nd – Tiger Moth

3rd – Prince of Arran

How to do a Melbourne Cup Trifecta

Winning a Melbourne Cup Trifecta is not simple, to say the least. But there are definitely tips and tricks that you can consider to make punting a little bit easier.

Melbourne Cup Trifecta Tip 1

Don’t blindly trust other punters, always go with your gut when it comes to choosing your favourites. Do your own research and look at stats into runners you think may have a shot at the Melbourne Cup Trifecta

Melbourne Cup Trifecta Tip 2

If you’re a bit unsure where to start with your research, consider checking out a Melbourne Cup Form Guide – bookies like Ladbrokes and Neds have them available year-round.

Also check out and, both of which have information on horses, from current form, to trainers, and prize money

Melbourne Cup Trifecta Tip 3

Consider placing a Box Trifecta rather than a Straight Trifecta. A Box Trifecta covers you in all combinations of finishing positions, once you’ve chosen three runners.

It will also cost a little extra to place, but improves your chances of winning a Melbourne Cup Trifecta by a massive amount
Where to Place a Melbourne Cup Trifecta

You’re able to pace a Melbourne Cup Trifecta through an online bookie – or in store at TAB. Online bookies often offer elite punting services – with plenty of fans placing a Box Trifecta with the 3 favourites in their bet.

Online bookies are also not subject to business hours or location – which means you’re able to place a Melbourne Cup Trifecta from your living room! Online Bookies also offer a step-by-step guide into placing a Melbourne Cup Trifecta.

2021 Melbourne Cup Odds

Prince Of Arran
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Tiger Moth
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Van Gogh
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Master Of The Seas
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Nickajack Cave
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Surprise Baby
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Twilight Payment
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Verry Elleegant
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Cherry Tortoni
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Il Paradiso
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Russian Camelot
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Sir Dragonet
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The Chosen One
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Young Werther
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Arcadia Queen
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Melbourne Cup Prize Money

Melbourne Cup Prize Money for Top 10 Placings:

1st – $4.4 Million
2nd – $1.1 Million
3rd – $550,000
4th – $350,000
5th – $230,000
6th – $160,000
7th – $160,000
8th – $160,000
9th – $160,000
10th – $160,000

Melbourne Cup Tips 2020

Below is our Melbourne Cup preview, including Melbourne Cup tips, Odds and Best Bets.

It’s shaping up to be an outstanding edition of the Melbourne Cup (3200m), with the usual band of international raiders taking on the best local hopes for a slice of the $8 million on offer… the Tigers took out the AFL Grand Final, will a Tiger take out the Melbourne Cup too?!

Let’s take a look at each and every runner going around in The Race That Stops A Nation to fill our pockets and give you ultimate bragging rights with your friends, family and co-workers…

1 – Anthony Van Dyck – $9

A monster effort in the Caulfield Cup when second behind Verry Elleegant, who had the odds stacked in her favour with the soft track and better draw.

It’s going to take a very good horse to win with 58.5kg, but he looks one of the better Melbourne Cup tips and certainly one of the best internationals to come out in recent times.

In with a massive chance with the Good track and kind draw, and must be on your side and in all exotics.

2 – Avilius – $51

The old stager is travelling well this preparation and was blocked out of a run in the Caulfield Cup, where he very well could have placed with clear air. Probably needs a softer track at this stage, the price is about right.

3 – Vow And Declare – $67

Last year’s winner just isn’t travelling as well this time around, and is carrying 5kg more this time around. Willo jumping off is a big negative, happy to be against him.

4 – Master Of Reality – $26

It looks a nice setup for Master Of Reality, who was second across the line last year but relegated to fourth after Frankie Dettori did Frankie Dettori things. Has to be a live hope, Melham should roll forward from the gate and he’ll be a major player at nice odds.

5 – Sir Dragonet – $10

Outstanding win in the Cox Plate, with Group 1 Glen Boss delivering again on the big stage. He gets another chance here, with the negative the Good track, which could be quite unforgiving by 3pm Tuesday.

If the track was wet, he’d be a best bet for sure and certainly a quality Melbourne Cup tip. At the short quote, happy to be against him, but must go in all exotics.

6 – Twilight Payment – $26

Was plain out here last year finishing 11th in the Melbourne Cup, but seems to be travelling better than he was this time around. Has taken care of Master Of Reality a few times this preparation and must be an outside chance at the odds.

7 – Verry Elleegant – $13

Can’t knock the star mare who has shot the lights out this preparation, and has to be right in this. If you’ve been with her this preparation you can’t jump off, she’s won the Turnbull Stakes and the Caulfield Cup as the $5 favourite, and you’re getting $13 about her here. Shouldn’t have any issue staying the trip and is right in this.

8 – Mustajeer – $101

Would need to start running now.

9 – Stratum Albion – $51

Interesting runner who has been going over the sticks. Second behind Enbihaar in a flat race is very good form, but not sure he’s the right type of horse with a dynamic turn of foot to win this.’

10 – Dashing Willoughby – $101

This galloper looks like an absolute plodder, was happy to be against him in the Caulfield Cup and he performed so badly that connections scanned him twice for an explanation. Price is about right.

11 – Finche – $19

Speaking of turn of foot, it’s probably the one thing the big giraffe lacks. He should roll forward from the gate and loom in the straight, but not sure he’s got the required x factor to win against some of these. Goes in all exotics and is sure to try his heart out.

12 – Prince Of Arran – $12

Hit the line well in the Caulfield Cup and looks to be in the finish once again, and gets J Kah on who is absolutely flying. Stats aren’t great for returning horses in the Melbourne Cup, let alone those having their third attempt… has he had his chance already? Goes in all exotics.

13 – Surprise Baby – $9.50

Has been earmarked as his race ever since he flashed home to finish 5th in last year’s edition. Willo on is a massive tick and he’s drawn well. Should be in the finish but think he’s running into a few that may be too smart on the day.

14 – King Of Leogrance – $51

Hasn’t looked up to it this time around.

15 – Russian Camelot – $13

Has been monstrous all preparation and fought on well in the Cox Plate after doing a stack of work in the run. The Cox Plate was the grand final but it’s been a great platform for a Melbourne Cup tilt, and he’s drawn well enough to sit with some cover with Ollie onboard.

Will stay all day and has to be a massive chance, and he’s at a nice price.

16 – Steel Prince – $41

Travelling really well this preparation and won his way in with a strong victory in the Geelong Cup. Don’t think he’s got the class to win a Melbourne Cup.

17 – The Chosen One – $41

Bobbed up to place in the Caulfield Cup and won’t mind the step up in trip. One to include in wider exotics.

18 – Ashrun – $23

Won his way in with a massive run in the Hotham Handicap, and looks like he’ll be right in the finish up in trip. Think Flemington suits him with the long straight that allows him to wind up and keep going. Think he has to be on your side at the price.

19 – Warning – $51

Only Phar Lap and and Efficient have returned to win the Melbourne Cup the year after taking out a Victoria Derby, and don’t think he’s quite at that class. Happy to be against him.

20 – Etah James – $201

The price says it all, no.

21 – Tiger Moth – $8

Outstanding profile for the Melbourne Cup, a northern hemisphere three-year-old with feather weight. Kerrin McEvoy on is a big plus, and so is the dry track. Has drifted since the barrier draw but think it’s an overreaction, and he is the one to beat. Must be on your side and goes in everything.

22 – Oceanex – $91

The price tells the tale.

23 – Miami Bound – $41

Would’ve been a live chance on a wet deck but the conditions make it tough. Can include in wider exotics.

24 – Persan – $41

Great training effort to get Persan into the cup but this looks too tough.

Expert Melbourne Cup Tips: 21-1-15-4/7

Melbourne Cup Statistics

Melbourne Cup Saddlecloth (Horse Number) Statistics

  • Numbers 4 and 12 are the most successful with 11 victories.
  • No 4 and No 12 have 11 wins
  • No 1 with 10 wins
  • No 6 with 10 wins – most recently Twilight Payment (2020)
  • No 5 and No 8 with 8 wins
  • No 2 and No 11 with 7 wins
  • The Unluckiest Melbourne Cup saddlecloth (1) is No. 18, which is clearly an unlucky number in the Melbourne Cup, considering the barrier has never produced a winner
  • Makybe Diva won in 2005 with a No.1. saddlecloth
  • The last horse carrying No.1 before that was Rising Fast in 1954.
  • Melbourne Cup Winner Stats – Age
  • Four and five-year-old horses have the best record with a 56.6% winning rate as of 2020
  • In the decade from 2006 – 2016 six 6YOs won the Melbourne Cup – including Prince Of Penzance (2015)
  • Only three eight-year-olds have won the Melbourne Cup: Catalogue (1938), Toryboy (1865) and Twilight Payment (2020) who won as a European 7YO racing as an 8YO in Australia
  • Skipton (1941) was the last three-year-old Melbourne Cup winner
  • Melbourne Cup Winner Stats – Sex
  • Makybe Diva is the most famous mare to win the Melbourne Cup (2003, 2004, 2005), and is an all-time Aussie favourite
  • Only 13 mares have won the Melbourne Cup

2020 Melbourne Cup Barrier Draw

  • Anthony Van Dyck (3) became the new favourite after drawing barrier 3 in 2020
  • 2019 winner Vow And Declare (4) redrew in gate 4 in 2020
  • Prince Of Arran (1) a dual placegetter in the race had the inside barrier
  • Lexus Hotham Stakes winner Ashrun (24) got the outside gate, fluctuating the odds
  • Barrier 11 (the most successful in the race’s history) was drawn by Master Of Reality, lowering odds

Melbourne Cup Barrier Draw Facts

There’s no value on a good barrier, but there are obviously more favoured positions in regards to production of Melbourne Cup winners over the past decades.

Is the Melbourne Cup Barrier Draw Important?

Short answer, yes. The Melbourne Cup Barrier is important.

There are gates which have never produced a winner, as well as barriers which have only seen one-off winners.

When looking at the Melbourne Cup odds, it definitely pays to keep the Barrier Draw in mind, whilst the long distance of the race, at 3,200m, obviously reduces the fear of drawing an outward barrier, your horse will fare better if starting from one of the first 12 gates.

Melbourne Cup Barrier Stats

Which Melbourne Cup Barriers Are the Best?

The most successful Melbourne Cup barriers are as follows:

  • Barrier 5 – 8 wins, last in 2013
  • Barrier 11 – 7 wins, last in 2010
  • Barrier 10 – 6 wins, last 2014
  • Barrier 14 – 6 wins, last in 2005
  • Barrier 8 – 5 wins, last in 2008
  • Barrier 5 has seen two Melbourne Cup back-to-back winners in Green Moon, 2012; and Fiorente, 2013.
  • Barrier 10 has also produced 2 winners from 20016, with Delta Blues, 2006; and Protectionist, 2014.
  • Vow and Declare became the first Aussie bred Melbourne Cup winner since Shocking, 2009, and won from gate 21.

Which Melbourne Cup Barriers Are the Worst?

Historically, there have been a few stinkers in terms of Melbourne Cup Barriers. The worst ever leading up to the 2021 Melbourne Cup Barrier Draw are as follows:

  • Barrier 18 – 0 wins
  • Barrier 7 – 2 wins, in 1924 and 2015
  • Barrier 15 – 1 win, in 1973
  • Barrier 12 recorded it’s third win in history this year, 2020, with Twilight Payment – while Barriers 2 and 20 have only 2 wins notched up on the board.

Melbourne Cup Barrier Statistics

  • Barrier 18 is the only gate never to produce a winner
  • Since 1925 Barrier 5 has been the most successful with eight winners; plus it produced back-to-back winners in Green Moon (2012) and Fiorente (2013)
  • Prior to 2012-13 the last time the same Melbourne Cup barrier produced back-to-back winners was What A Nuisance (185) and At Talaq (1986) from barrier 17
  • Barrier 1 last had a Melbourne Cup winner with Prince Of Penzance (2015)
  • The last Melbourne Cup winner to win from the outside barrier was Brew (2000) from 22 of 22 after two scratchings before the race
  • Since 1983 Barriers 6, 15, 18, 23 and 24 have not produced a Melbourne Cup winner

Melbourne Cup Facts

  • The first ever Melbourne Cup was run on a Tuesday in 1875, hence the Tuesday Traditino
  • There have been six grey Melbourne Cup winners in history, with the most famous, Subzero, running in 1992
  • Fashions on the field was first hosted almost a century later than the first Melbourne Cup, in 1962

Melbourne Cup Race Record

  • Kingston Rule (1993) is the fastest ever Melbourne Cup runner, with a time of 3 minutes 16.30 seconds
  • Slowest Winning Melbourne Cup Time
  • The first ever Melbourne Cup winner Archer (1861) has the slowest winning time at 3 minutes 52 seconds

Multiple Melbourne Cup Winning Horses

  • Archer (1861, 1862)
  • Peter Pan (1932, 1934)
  • Rain Lover (1968, 1969)
  • Think Big (1974, 1975)
  • Makybe Diva (2003, 2004, 2005)

Which trainer has the most Melbourne Cup Wins?

  • Bart Cummings, with 12 Melbourne Cup wins as a trainer holds the record for most wins as a trainer. He trained the winner in in 1965, 1966, 1967, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1999 and 2008.
  • In the modern era (since 1983) Lee Freedman has trained 5 Melbourne Cup winners (1989, 1992, 1995, 2004, 2005)
  • Most Melbourne Cup Wins – Jockey
  • Co-held by Bobbie Lewis (The Victory 1902, Patrobas 1915, Artilleryman 1919 & Trivalve 1927) and Harry White (Think Big 1974 and 1975, Arwon 1978 and Hyperno 1979) with four wins each
  • White also rode in two Melbourne Cup doubles
  • In the modern era (since 1983) both Damien Oliver (1995, 2002, 2013) and Glen Boss (2003, 2004, 2005) have ridden three Melbourne Cup winners

Which jockey has the most Melbourne Cup Wins?

  • First Aussie woman jockey to ride in the Melbourne Cup was Claire Lindop who rode unplaced, with Debben in 2003
  • The youngest jockey to win was Peter St. Albans on Briseis in 1876, who was only 12 years old!
  • Michelle Payne on Prince Of Penzance (2015) is the only ever woman to win the Melbourne Cup

Most Melbourne Cup Wins as an Owner

  • 7 – Lloyd Williams (1981, 1985, 2007, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2020)
  • 4 – John Tait (1866, 1868, 1871, 1872)
  • 4 – Etienne de Mestre (1861*, 1862*, 1867*, 1878) *The winners of these years were leased
  • 4 – Dato Tan Chin Nam (1974, 1975, 1996, 2008)

Melbourne Cup Field Facts

  • The Smallest ever Melbourne Cup field was 7 starters in 1963
  • The Largest ever Melbourne Cup field was 39 starters in 1890
  • The Melbourne Cup Field now has a cap of 24 starters

Melbourne Cup Weight Facts

  • In the past decade the best Melbourne Cup weight to carry is 54kg – 55kg
  • The Heaviest weight carried to the victory line was Carbine, with 10 stone 5 pounds (66.0kg) in 1890
  • Phar Lap carried the highest weight ever recorded in the Melbourne Cup, with 10 stone 10lg (68kg) but lost running eighth in 1931 after winning the 1930 edition
  • Lowest Weight carried to across the line, was Banker with just 33.5kg in 1863
  • Makybe Diva (58kg in 2005) was the last Melbourne Cup winner to carry more than 56.5kg to victory
  • Since 1983 two Melbourne Cup winners have won carrying just 50kg: Black Knight and Rogan Josh

Melbourne Cup Winning Colours

  • More winning jockeys have worn black than any other colour
  • Blue is the next favoured colour for Melbourne Cup Winners – both Navy and Royal

Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup Double

11 Melbourne Cup winners won the Caulfield Cup in the lead-up:

  • Poseidon (1906)
  • The Trump (1937)
  • Rivette (1939)
  • Rising Fast (1954)
  • Even Stevens (1962)
  • Galilee (1966)
  • Gurner’s Lane (1982)
  • Let’s Elope (1991)
  • Doriemus (1995)
  • Might and Power (1997)
  • Ethereal (2001)

Melbourne Cup Betting

Biggest Melbourne Cup Trifecta

The record Melbourne Cup Trifecta dividend was a whopping $61,867.90 paid out back in 1993.

Most Money Gambled On The Melbourne Cup

In 2009 punters in Australia made history on Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup with a record $95.6 million outlaid on just the Victorian and New South Wales TABs.

The average spend per punter on the Melbourne Cup odds is around $8.50, and only $7.30 is returned in revenue.

Melbourne Cup Favourites

Many people looking for Melbourne Cup tips turn to the favourites. But how do favourites typically fare in the Cup? Let’s take a look at the stats!

  • Melbourne Cup betting favourites have won 32 times (until 2020)
  • Fiorente (2013) was the last favourite to win for the punters
  • Makybe Diva won the 2003 Melbourne Cup but didn’t start as favourite, Mamool did, and finished last (23rd of 23rd)
  • Phar Lap was the shortest priced favourite to win when 8/11 in 1930, followed by Revenue (7/4 in 1901) and Archer (2/1 in 1962)
  • Only four triple figure roughies have won the Melbourne Cup:  The Pearl (100/1 in 1871), Wotan (100/1 in 1936), Old Rowley (100/1 in 1940) and Prince Of Penzance (100/1 in 2015)

Biggest Winning Melbourne Cup Margin

  • Archer (1862) and Rain Lover (1968) share the record with 8L.

Closest Melbourne Cup Finish

  • Dunaden’s 2011 Melbourne Cup win over Red Cadeaux took officials over five minutes to decide on the result via photo

First Melbourne Cup Photo Finish

  • The first photo-finish was used in the 1948 Melbourne Cup when Rimfire beat home Dark Marne

Melbourne Cup Day Attendance Statistics

The first Melbourne Cup attracted only 4,000 spectators. The highest Melbourne Cup Day attendance to date was 122,736 in 2003.

2018 – 83,471
2017 – 90,536
2016 – 97,479
2015 – 101,015
2014 – 100,794
2013 – 104,169
2012 – 106,162
2011 – 105,979
2010 – 110,223
2009 – 102,000
2008 – 107,000
2007 – 102,411
2006 – 106,691
2005 – 106,479
2004 – 98,181
2003 – 122,736 (record)

Melbourne Cup Barrier Draw

The Official 2020 Melbourne Cup Barrier draw is always released live from Flemington Racecourse, following VRC Derby Day on Saturday October 21, 2020.