The 2014 Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup has grown to become one of Australia’s most watched events.

The 2014 Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s premier thoroughbred racing event with a total prize pool of $6 million. The lucky owners of the winning horse receive $3.6 million with prize money of $125,000 or more paid all the way down to 10th placing in the race. 

The race was first run in 1861 and was over the distance of two miles. In 1972, in anticipation of the introduction of the metric system, the distance of the race was changed from 3218 to 3200 metres.

Of the 152 horses which have gone into the race as favourite, 35 (23 per cent) have gone on to win the Cup, with Phar Lap in 1930 being the shortest priced winner at the odds of 8/11 ($1.73). The very next year, Phar Lap ran eighth in the race, carrying the greatest weight of all time - 10 stone 10 pounds (68kg).

This year’s Melbourne Cup shapes to be one of the hardest to predict of the past decade with the Caulfield Cup-winning Japanese horse Admire Rakti the clear favourite. Last year we saw the Gai Waterhouse-trained import Fiorente guided to victory over Red Cadeaux, second-placed multiple times and who lines up again this year. This year’s Cox Plate second-placed horse and the winner of last year's Caulfield Cup, Fawkner, is the most fancied of the Australian horses.

How to pick your horse

Even if you’re not one for betting, the Melbourne Cup usually warrants a couple of dollars on a horse, but how do you choose yours?

Form
I am a diehard form man myself. I will study each and every horse and go over hours of video just so I can claim bragging rights over my friends and family. Things haven’t gone my way in the past two years, but that is about to change! Not only do I like to look at the form of each horse, but statistics from previous cups provide keys to the race which can’t be ignored. Eight of the last 13 winners have won their previous race before running in the Cup while three of the last seven cups have been won by internationally trained horses (second place was claimed in each of the last seven years by an international horse as well).

Weights
A high weight can ruin a horse's chance of winning the Cup. In the past seven runnings of the race, we have seen the top two weighted horses combine for zero placings. The list of horses which couldn’t win with a top weight includes past winners Dunaden, Americain and Shocking. In fact, the last seven cups were won by horses carrying 55kg, 53.5kg, 54.5kg, 54.5kg, 51kg, 53kg and 54.5kg. Five of the top six in the market this year will carry 55kg or more in the Cup with second favourite Lucia Valentina sneaking in with just 53kg.

Name
An old favourite of mine, which used to get a run before I understood horse racing. I would choose the most macho named horse, so it would come as no surprise that Might and Power is my favourite horse of all time. Cavalryman is the stand-out this year and brings formlines which should hold up in this class of race. Who Shot The Barman is the other horse I like in the race on names.

Trainer
Having won 12 Cups in his lifetime, Bart Cummings is a favourite of most, but his one runner this year, Precedence, has seen better days and is getting on in years. Last year’s winning trainer, Gai Waterhouse, is without a runner this year due to her horse, The Offer, being scratched from the race last week. Robert Hickmott, the trainer of Lloyd Williams three runners in the race, is the other obvious trainer pick. All of Lloyd’s horses are targeted for this race every year and he has won the equal most number of Melbourne Cups.

Jockey
Several of today’s jockeys have won at least one Melbourne Cup each and none were more memorable than Damien Oliver's on Media Puzzle 12 years ago. Oliver, who won it last year on Fiorente, will be forced to ride an outside chance after his ride for Gai Waterhouse was scratched. James McDonald is the in-form jockey of the moment and put in one of the best rides of the year on Rising Romance in the Caulfield Cup. He is the one to watch for the carnival.

My picks

I'm a big fan of the New Zealand horse Lucia Valentina who finds herself near the bottom of the weights coming off a very good run 3rd in the Caulfield Cup and she is my top pick. I'm a sucker for a local and Fawkner was very unlucky to run second in the Cox Plate and follows a similar formline to last year's winner Fiorente. Two horses at odds appeal to me in Opinion who is a very unpredictable horse and you never know if it has turned up to race, and Seismos, who needs to be given the lead from the top of the straight to have any chance.

Who is your pick for the Melbourne Cup? Whatever your pick, enjoy the day and the 200 seconds that stop the nation every year.





    COMMENTS

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    King
    4th Nov 2014
    7:37am
    Hi,
    Here is an omen bet for the Melb. Cup today.It is Tony Abbott's birthday today...He is 57 years old....A very good PM. In 10 yrs time he will be 67.So if we add 5+7=12, and then add 10 we get 22.
    Therefore the omen tip for the Cup is No 22...Lucia Valentina
    Good Luck
    Cheers,
    George Masters...Hevey Bay QLD.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2014
    10:52pm
    A good PM? not that's ONE useless nag I would like to see put down!
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2014
    10:52pm
    should read...now ...not not
    go veg!
    4th Nov 2014
    8:48am
    I'm one of the growing number of people saying "Nup to the Cup" and "Is the party worth it?". There's never a word about horses' welfare in these articles. Whips do hurt horses and spectators are watching animal cruelty without realising. Race horses that are too young get fatal injuries and about 18,000 horses are bred for racing each year but they can't all win - imagine the outcry if every person who wasn't a success was killed. We could dress up and drink while watching humans race - at least it's their choice to do it.
    KSS
    4th Nov 2014
    12:13pm
    "We could dress up and drink while watching humans race" - we do! Its called the Olympics lol.
    Incognito
    4th Nov 2014
    6:35pm
    I agree, horse racing is cruel all for the sake of making dollars, and this race is the cruelest of all. The horses that don't do well get sold for butchering, very few get to live out their days in pasture. The very least that should happen is 1% of all takings be used to take care of these horses.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2014
    10:42pm
    TOTALLY AGREE GO VEG! DEFINATELY A NON EVENT, CRUELTY TO ANIMALS FOR THE PLEASURE OF MORONIC, DRUNKEN HUMAN CLAPTRAP. WOULD LIKE TO SEE A FEW OF THE SPECTATORS PUT DOWN INSTEAD OF THE 2 POOR HORSES WHO LOST THEIR LIVES TODAY DUE TO HUMAN GREED.
    go veg!
    4th Nov 2014
    8:53am
    I'm one of the growing number of people saying "Nup to the Cup" and "Is the party worth it?". There's never a word about horses' welfare in these articles. Whips do hurt horses and spectators are watching animal cruelty without realising. Race horses that are too young get fatal injuries and about 18,000 horses are bred for racing each year but they can't all win - imagine the outcry if every person who wasn't a success was killed. We could dress up and drink while watching humans race - at least it's their choice to do it.
    jaker
    4th Nov 2014
    11:35am
    We dress up and watch people race all the time, it's called sport
    Anonymous
    6th Nov 2014
    4:39pm
    Just another iconic ozzie boozefest - a strangely warped celebration of animal cruelty, gambling addiction, binge drinking all rolled into one.

    "Nup to the Cup" makes a whole lot of sense as far as I'm concerned...
    Kim
    8th Nov 2014
    3:23pm
    Agree, save lives, save horses and maybe someone's bank account. With the human and horse deaths over the last few or so years, it's not a good day anymore.
    particolor
    4th Nov 2014
    9:43am
    Cant tell You ?? You didn't put the Racing Page Up ??
    Cant afford a Paper !
    I guess Number 18 will have to do ??.
    No its cruel ! I never saw one Horse put its Hoof up that it wanted to Race !!
    particolor
    4th Nov 2014
    12:28pm
    Au Ravoir !!
    Kato
    4th Nov 2014
    1:29pm
    Oui Renai
    particolor
    4th Nov 2014
    1:49pm
    ULLO ! ULLO !!
    Kato
    4th Nov 2014
    4:03pm
    Her Otto Flick after those tips
    particolor
    4th Nov 2014
    5:44pm
    I didn't want to drop mY ODDS ON NUMBER 5 !!
    Tom Tank
    4th Nov 2014
    9:44am
    The horses are incidental to the profits being made, television rights and advertising and the downright gross behaviour of the drunks.
    I used to go the Cup every year and even then to see drunks staggering around at 10am before racing got underway was both sad and disgraceful. Drunks passed out on the grass before lunchtime.
    Shades of the collapse of the Roman Empire with orgies of sporting events, drunkenness etc.
    All very sad given it is supposed to be a sporting occasion
    particolor
    4th Nov 2014
    9:57am
    I'm sorry You had to Step over me last Year !! I promise not to get Quit as Elephants Trunk again this Year !
    particolor
    4th Nov 2014
    9:57am
    I'm sorry You had to Step over me last Year !! I promise not to get Quit as Elephants Trunk again this Year !
    Kato
    4th Nov 2014
    10:50am
    Incidental to the profits being made ? can you tell me where it is any different for us Peasants.
    particolor
    4th Nov 2014
    11:55am
    Peasants bet Peanuts ! And Tom Waterfall wishes You didn't pester Him !!
    Kato
    4th Nov 2014
    1:31pm
    Don't worry he will still take ya peanuts
    Kato
    4th Nov 2014
    1:31pm
    Don't worry he will still take ya peanuts
    Toots
    4th Nov 2014
    10:44am
    I find some comments just a tad amusing sorry. I've been around the horse industry a lot in my younger "hay" days. Horses enjoy the thrill of racing. One of my 11yr old retired riding nags would act like a 2 year old when I took him to the picnic races. He loved it! brought a real sparkle to his eyes.
    And yes non successful racehorses do find homes to go to. Some make very successful show hacks or eventers, others are just adored by people who love horses.
    Always sad to see a horse break down but it happens to all manner of species including us. :)
    Kato
    4th Nov 2014
    10:54am
    Toots have to agree with you. have been around racing horses all my life. Lived close to the race track in Kalgoorlie the horses left home used to get excited when they heard the last bets siren. They love racing. has any one seen a mob of wild horses in the bush. very competitive. Nature takes it course out there to.
    particolor
    4th Nov 2014
    11:47am
    Yes !! But You will still have to perform Track work till Your 70 !!
    Toots
    4th Nov 2014
    12:06pm
    If the government gets its way we'll all still be working until we learn to roll over and play dead !!
    But no horse performs track work at 70 sorry haha
    go veg!
    4th Nov 2014
    3:12pm
    If horses "love racing" as you say and presuming the jockeys are good, there is logically no need for the whip. Some find homes post-retirement but the vast majority of over-bred horses are killed, as in the greyhound racing industry. We should have evolved past using and abusing other species for our entertainment.
    Toots
    4th Nov 2014
    3:26pm
    Unfortunately go veg! we still haven't evolved past using and abusing our own species for entertainment either.
    Toots
    4th Nov 2014
    3:35pm
    Besides that horses willingly run in a paddock either for exercise or just fun. Every single day my horses would frolic around the property and as Kato said they do become competitive so it's not just a trot because they have to.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2014
    10:51pm
    Funny how people who are in favour of racing, can only tell us how horses LOVE racing and how the overbred unsuccessful ones ALL find homes by loving people, la lalala. Frolicking around a paddock is not quite the same as having the shit beaten out of them around a race track which is too long for them & don't even get me started on jumps racing which is a total disgrace! Ditto for greyhounds.
    Kato
    4th Nov 2014
    11:00am
    And the winner is Fawkner. followed by red cadeaux, then signoff.
    send me the money later.
    Kato
    4th Nov 2014
    11:00am
    And the winner is Fawkner. followed by red cadeaux, then signoff.
    send me the money later.
    particolor
    4th Nov 2014
    11:44am
    Write it again and Ill Scratch You from the Event !!
    Kato
    4th Nov 2014
    1:28pm
    At the barrier.
    Polly Esther
    4th Nov 2014
    12:55pm
    My money is on the one with the peachiest backside.
    The horse, not the jockey, but then on second thoughts.
    particolor
    4th Nov 2014
    1:48pm
    That's the Trainers Wife on that Horse You Lecher ??
    Kato
    4th Nov 2014
    3:59pm
    NO REFUNDS.
    HOLA
    5th Nov 2014
    7:07am
    The Melbourne Cup is not what it used to be - ALL AUSTRALIAN HORSES or NZ NAGS.
    Now it's all foreign horses who take the winnings out of Australia. Lets keep it OUR Cup.
    unicorn
    5th Nov 2014
    9:41am
    i agree Hola should remain Aussie only.


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