Every horse that crosses the line in first position at the Melbourne Cup has the right to call themselves truly remarkable (if they could talk). The richest horse race in Australia attracts no shortage of takers, with the winner carrying home some AU$3.6million in prize money. Even so, there are still stringent qualifying standards to meet, so every horse that makes the starting gate has proved his or her worth.
However, some Melbourne Cup winners are that little bit more legendary than others, if such a quality can be measured. Here are three of Motive Travel’s favourites – and remember, you can be at the 2016 event with us! A new legend may be born…
Some Melbourne Cup winners are that little bit more legendary than others, if such a quality can be measured.
Okay, so you may not remember The Barb unless you are the oldest person in the world, as this black streak of unbridled energy won the Melbourne Cup way back in 1866.
When he was a foal, The Barb was stolen by bushrangers, and his unruly captors may have leant him his unpredictable, highly-strung temperament. He was only recovered when his captors left him all alone in a barn, thinking him lame and of no use – how wrong they were!
Styled ‘the Black Demon’, The Barb followed up his Melbourne Cup victory by winning consecutive Sydney Cups, in 1868 and 1869.
The Spring Grand Slam. Four words that mean so much to trainers, owners and fans alike, but so very rarely seen. To win the Spring Grand Slam is to emerge victorious in the Cox Plate, the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup in the same calendar year, a feat which has only been achieved once, back in 1954. The New Zealand wonder almost managed to win the following year’s Melbourne Cup but fell away to second, but even so, Rising Fast still holds that elusive Spring Grand Slam in his hooves.
During the 1990s, Might And Power also won all three flagship events, but they weren’t in the same season – making Rising Fast’s feat all the more impressive.
The name alone is enough to stir visions of glorious victory in any Australian racing fan. Phar Lap won race, after race after race. Aside from his storming victory in the 1930 Melbourne Cup, he also won two Cox Plates, the AJC Derby and a whopping 19 further weight-for age races. A true legend among a field of legends, Phar Lap’s heart is often accredited to his success – both in a figurative and literal sense. When he died, the heart was put on display in the National Museum of Australia. It weighed 6.2 kilograms – the average heart of a racehorse weighs less than half that.
Contact the friendly team to find out more about Melbourne Cup packages – they are selling out fast!