The Melbourne Cup is one of the most popular horse races in the world. But in Australia, it is certainly the most famous of all. It is held on the first Tuesday of November every year, and is known as “the race that stops the nation”. The event is the richest “two-mile” handicap in the world, bringing together some of the best horses, jockeys and trainers to compete for the greatest honour.
The Melbourne Cup boasts a long and rich history, with the first race held in 1861. The race is 3,200 metres long and takes place at the Flemington Racecourse annually. It is enormously popular around the globe, with millions of people tuning in to watch it on television. While many of the lucky ones also attempt to get Melbourne Cup tickets online, so they can enjoy all the action in person.
Over the years, there have been many inspiring stories associated with the Cup, from the horses who have defied the odds to riders who have overcome adversity. However, we won’t be able to discuss all those here, and so we have compiled a few of those inspiring stories for the readers below.
1- Michelle Payne
Michelle Payne’s story is a source of huge inspiration for a lot of people. Payne has the distinction of being the first and only female jockey to win the prestigious Melbourne Cup. She achieved this incredible feat in 2015 aboard Prince of Penzance. Her victory is even more amazing considering the fact that her horse was a 100-1 outsider.
No woman had ever pulled off such a feat before, but Payne did it in 2015. Her story will continue to inspire women that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
2- Vintage Crop
The Melbourne Cup is full of inspiring stories, and one of them is that of Vintage Crop, the British-bred Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who delighted fans with her excellent talent. No overseas horse had ever won the famous race in over 130 years, but Vintage Crop broke that record in 1993. He bested all his opponents to come away with the big prize, garnering international fame in the process.
Vintage Crop also won the Cartier Award for Top Stayer for his racing exploits during the 1993 season. He was trained by Dermot Weld while Dr. Michael Smurfit was his owner.With 16 victories in England, Ireland and Australia, the amazing race horse made over one million pounds in earnings.
Apart from the Melbourne Cup, he also won the Cesarewitch Handicap, Curragh Cup, Irish St. Leger and Saval Beg Stakes. Vintage Crop is commemorated by a statue in the Curragh Racecourse.
3- Media Puzzle
If we are talking about inspiring Melbourne Cup stories, then it wouldn’t do without mentioning Media Puzzle, the great Irish horse who achieved what no-one believed he could.
At age three, his best showings were third-place finishes in the Gallinule and St. Leger Stakes. He also suffered from tendon issues throughout his career. The 2001 year didn’t bring a lot of successes for him, but then everything changed for the better the following year.
Media Puzzle set up a new record in the 2400-metre Geelong Cup by completing the race in 2.25.90. He then headed to the Melbourne Cup where he stunned everyone with his performance.
Damien Oliver, who had lost his brother Jaason two weeks ago, was riding Media Puzzle who galloped to victory. Despite being a 150-1 outsider, he managed to pull off this stunning victory, which is a huge inspiration for racing enthusiasts around the globe.
4- Makybe Diva
No horse has ever dominated the Melbourne Cup quite like Makybe Diva. The Australian Thoroughbred racehorse stunned the whole world by three races at the Flemington Racecourse. Thus, she became the only horse in history to win three Melbourne Cups and the only mare to win it more than once.
Makybe Diva claimed her first victory in 2003 and then repeated the same feat for the following two years. Her incredible successes on the field saw her earning more than A$ 14 million.
Her other notable victories include winning the VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Sydney Cup, Australian Cup, The BMW Stakes, and Turnbull Stakes. She was inducted into Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2006 while there is also a race bearing her name, known as the Makybe Diva Stakes. Her great successes will help people inspire more love for animals and raise voices for horses who are being neglected, abused and abandoned. The world may not produce a great horse like Makybe Diva again, who would be at the best of her powers on the field. Other notable awards for the great racehorse include the Australian Racehorse of the Year, Australian Champion Stayer and the Australian Champion Filly and Mare.