With the running of the Lexus Melbourne Cup just around the corner, we’ve put together our top ten facts about the race that stops two nations.
Melbourne Cup Day in New Zealand is widely celebrated, including here, at Ellerslie Racecourse with our OMF Melbourne Cup Raceday.
Keep reading for a few facts that you can wow the office with come November 6th…
It’s one of Australia’s richest races with a stake of A$7.3 million (only the Everest is richer at A$13 million, run at Royal Randwick)
The race was first run on 7 November 1861. First prize was a gold watch and £710
42 Kiwi-bred horses have won the race so far… the first being Martini Henry in 1883 (namesake of one of our hospitality precincts on OMF Melbourne Cup Day)
Only around 23% of the ‘favourites’ have won the Melbourne Cup…
Sheila Laxon, who has the distinction of being the first woman to officially train a Melbourne Cup winner, trained kiwi-bred Ethereal, the 2001 winner.
Kiwi-bred horse, Prince of Penzance, won the Melbourne Cup in 2015. He was ridden by Michelle Payne who was the first female jockey to win this race.
In 1998, Jezabeel won the Auckland Cup at Ellerslie and then went on to take out the Melbourne Cup the same year.
The Melbourne Cup visited New Zealand this past July as part of the 16th Annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour. The Tour also visited the UK and Ireland for the first time this year.
Ellerslie Racecourse is the only place in Auckland to see live horse racing on the first Tuesday in November.
New Zealand has an illustrious history in this race, in fact between 1950 and 1980 two in every three Cup winners were either trained or bred in NZ