Melbourne Cup day

The Melbourne Cup runs today at 3 pm Melbourne time. That’s 5 pm here, which is an awkward time for me. I can’t remember how long ago I  watched a Cup live. That might be a reason I have lost interest in it over the years.

That there are far fewer New Zealand owned or bred horses involved may be a factor too. In today’s race, of the 24 horses in the field there is only one New Zealand bred (and I think owned) – that’s Who Shot Thebarman, a 10 year old, which is quite old for a horse that’s still racing. Most horses are 4-6 year olds, with a few 7 (3) and 8 (2) year olds. So he’s probably past it. He was bred in Otago (North Taieri), and the ODT says no other 10 year old has won the Cup since it started in 1861 – see Who Shot Thebarman carrying Otago cup dreams. But he did win the Sydney Cup earlier this year.

One other horse, Zacada was sired (by Zabeel) in New Zealand and is based here, but has drawn the widest barrier (24) and has awful recent form, finishing 11th of 13, 15th of 16, 8th of 12 and 12th of 15 in his last four races.

Sir Charles Road is also New Zealand based, was third in this year’s Sydney Cup and fifth in the Auckland Cup (both the same distance as the Melbourne Cup, 3200m). Doesn’t seem a big chance.

Not much Australian breeding either, with just one fully Aussie bred and another four with Aussie dams. The big race has become quite international. There is one Japanese horse. Ireland is prominent, with four fully bred there, plus six sired and another four with Irish dams. Great Britain, USA, Germany and France also feature in the breeding.

I have no idea who has any chance of winning – all starters do theoretically, but some don’t look likely.

NZ Herald has 2018 Melbourne Cup: Runner-by-runner preview and best betting tips from the experts

I remember of a New Zealand horses finding fame in the Cup:

  • 1970 Baghdad Note
  • 1971 Silver Night
  • 1976 Van Der Hum
  • 1977 Gold and Black (NZ bred)
  • 1978 Arwon (NZ bred)
  • 1979 Hyperno (NZ bred)
  • 1983 Kiwi
  • 1985 What a Nuisance (NZ bred)
  • 1987 Kensei (NZ bred)
  • 1988 Empire Rose
  • 1995 Doriemus
  • 1997 Might and Power (NZ bred)
  • 1998 Jezabeel
  • 2001 Ethereal
  • 2007 Efficient (NZ Bred)
  • 2015 Prince of Penzance (NZ bred)

At $7 million stakes (I remember a long way back when the stakes reached a whopping one million) the Cup attracts horses from around the world now. The chances are that the Aussies won’t have a home grown winner, nor be able to claim a New Zealand horse as theirs (Phar Lap won in 1930).


  1. Number 23 Cross Counter (barrier 19)
  2. Number 9 Marmelo (barrier 10)
  3. Number 17 A Prince of Arran (barrier 20)

All from Great Britain (one reason why there is less New Zealand interest in the Cup these days). First and Third from wide barrier draws.

I haven’t heard of any of these horses and haven’t seen the race yet.


    • Gezza

       /  6th November 2018

      See? Nothing new under the sun really. I’d forgotten about Bob. And there’s Georgina Beyer as well. We’re pretty progressive really, in Kiwiland.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  6th November 2018

        Bob didn’t go all the way though, he stayed a stallion. Unlike Georgina who went from being a stallion to a gelding to a mare/mayor..

        I remember reading that a horse called Hoof Hearted had to change his name, which seemed a pity,

        It’s amazing that it took so long for one to be called Ray Sauce, which I think is the funniest one ever.

        • Gezza

           /  6th November 2018

          My point is in Kiwiland we don’t discriminate against freaks and weirdos & they never used to expect safe spaces and to control everyone else.