Melbourne Cup 2011

  • Posted by Richard Neilan
  • November 1, 2011 12:40 PM AEDT
  • 1 comment

The $6.175 million (Australian, about $6.4 million US) Emirates Melbourne Cup (G1) is the world's most famous 2 mile race, and is the "Race That Stops a Nation", as millions of Australians tune into the race on the first Tuesday in November, on television and on radio, as up to 24 runners contest the 3200 meters (about 2 miles) on the turf at Flemington Racecourse, under handicap conditions, before crowds of up to 120,000. The race was originally run at 2 miles but when Australia converted to the metric system, the 1972 running was the first contested at its current 3200 meters. The Melbourne Cup is to Australia what the Kentucky Derby is to America.

The already famous race earned an even larger international following in 2005, when mare Makybe Diva became the only three-time winner of the race of either gender, after already setting the record as the only mare to win it twice. After the third win, her trainer Lee Freedman said, "Go and find the youngest child on the course, because that's the only person here who will have a chance of seeing this happen again in their lifetime." She was promptly retired after the race and had a colt by English Derby winner Galileo in 2007, and then a filly by Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus in 2008. Other than Makybe Diva, the race's most famous winner is Phar Lap, who captured the 1930 running, the highlight of a career when he won 32 of 35 starts. In 2006, Delta Blues became the first Japanese trained horse to capture the famous three-handled loving cup, with Pop Rock completing the all-Japan exacta. Last year Americain won the Melbourne Cup, the first win for jockey Gerald Mosse and trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre. The current stakes record time is 3:16.30 set by Kingston Rule in 1990.

Post positions were drawn on Saturday and a maximum field of 24 was entered for the 2011 running of the Melbourne Cup on November 1st. The 3-1 morning line favorite is defending champion Americain, who wears the #1 saddlecloth as the 128 lb highweight but drew post 15. He has only 2 victories since last year's Cup, including the Moonee Valley Cup last out. Regular rider Gerald Mosse gets the call for trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre. In to challenge him include two horses at 6-1 second choice, fellow French invader Dunaden, off his win in the Geelong Cup, and drew post 13 as the 3 horse, and Lucas Cranach, formerly based in Germany but now in the barn of Anthony Freedman, fifth in the Caulfield Cup last out.

The full field with program numbers and post positions is listed below and North American style past performances are available at Australian form information for each horse is available here by clicking the horse's name under "Fields & Form." Note that in the North American pool, horses 20-24 are the mutuel field as one betting interest.

The Melbourne Cup is carded as race 7 of a 10 race card at Flemington on Tuesday, November 1, going to post at 3 PM local time. Racing fans in North America can watch the race at simulcast locations on Monday night, October 31, with the Cup going off at 11:00 PM ET.

1 comment
  • Lucy Taylor-Smith
    Lucy Taylor-Smith Thank goddness Qantas restarted flying us international punters back
    November 1, 2011