History of the Melbourne Cup

By The Numbers

  Going the distance   State of affairs Winning boxes   Last Winner from box
1956-63 565 yards 49 Victoria Box 1 17 2018 (My Redeemer)
1964-71 555 yards 12 New South Wales Box 2 9 2015 (Dyna Double One)
1972 507.5m 2 Queensland Box 3 8 2019 (Whiskey Riot)
1973-85 513m 1 South Australia Box 4 6 2006 (Betty’s Angel)
1986-95 511m     Box 5 5 2016 (Ando’s Mac)
1996- 515m     Box 6 4 2007 (Shanlyn Prince)
        Box 7 8 2011 (Dyna Tron)
        Box 8 7 2014 (Dyna Villa)

 Facts & Figures

Fastest time 29.17, Dyna Double One (2015) out of box 2
Battle of the Sexes Dogs 52, Bitches 11
Punter’s Paradise Favourites have won on 25 occasions
The long and short Gold Grotto1/2 (1972) El Grand Senor $1.70 (2010)
Classic Capri $25.90 (2001)
Legends of the lead Graeme Bate (3 winners): Satan’s Shroud (1981), Fair Sentence (1989), Kantarn Bale (1999). Darren McDonald (3 winners): Hallucinate (2004) Shanlyn Prince (2007) Surgeon (2008).

Jason Thompson (3 winners): Light Of Fire (1994) Got A Moment (12) Black Magic Opal (13)

Second coming   Saskaview (1963, 3rd 1962), Cheltenham Lass (1966, 2nd 1965), Classic Capri (2001, 2nd 2000)
Biggest margin 9 lengths (Fox Hunt, 1991)
Smallest margin Neck (Chief Ranee 1960, Chris’ Dandy 1970, Black Aztec 1980, City Blitz 1995, Dyna Double One 2015.)
Just for the record Hua (1988) set a new track record of 30.01 over 511m
Supreme Being  Legendary stud dog Chariot Supreme sired the trifecta in 1990 – Highly Blessed, Singalong, Black Pirate
Tears of Joy  Another stud great, New Tears – himself a finalist in 1987 (fell) – sired the trifecta in 1994: Light of Fire, Zippity Magic, New Fox
Three cheers  Graeme Bate trained the trifecta in 1999 – Kantarn Bale, Devon Road, Flying Law



1956                First Melbourne Cup staged at Sandown Park on the grass track over 565 yards under handicap conditions. First Prize 500 pound.

1962                Race worth £2,000. Race won by Saskagay, the first bitch to win the race

1964                A sand track is installed, resulting in the race distance being reduced to 555 yards. Winner $1000.

1966                First Melbourne Cup not conducted under handicap conditions. Cheltenham Lass wins the event after finishing second in 1965

1967                Neville Ballinger trains the Cup quinella with Swan Opal and Dollar Hunter

1970                Chris’ Dandy wins the Melbourne Cup for trainer Alex Kay, the fourth consecutive winner from New South Wales

1971                Prizemoney increased to $8000 to the winner.

1973                Race reduced to 513 metres.

1974                New Zealand-bred Kwik Metal upstages locals by claiming the 1974 Melbourne Cup after being bought for $30 as a pup

1975                Prizemoney increases to $11,500 to the winner. Dynamic Dean is later crowned the 1975 Greyhound of the Year, the first of seven Melbourne Cup winners to receive the honour

1978                Prizemoney increased to $35,000 to the winner. Hollywood star Robert Stack presents trophy

1979                Hollywood starlet Elke Sommer presents trophy

1980                25th Melbourne Cup presented by Greg Norman. Sandown gives away a Mercedes to a patron

1986                Race distance reduced to 511 metres following construction of Henry Harrison Grandstand

1990                Prizemoney increased to $40,000 to the winner

1991                Prizemoney increased to $50,000 to the winner

1992                Schweppes begins Cup sponsorship. Master Giant wins the Cup, becoming the fourth consecutive winner to take out the Shepparton Cup-Melbourne Cup double

1995                Prizemoney increased to $80,000 to the winner. Race distance increased to 515m following construction of new Sandown circuit

1996                Prizemoney increased to $100,000 to the winner

1998                Rapid Journey adds the Melbourne Cup to his Adelaide Cup, Perth Cup, Golden Easter Egg, National Sprint Championship and Topgun wins

1999                Graeme Bate trains the trifecta, winning his third Melbourne Cup with Kantarn Bale

2002                Prizemoney increased to $140,000 to the winner

2004                Prizemoney increased to $150,000 to the winner

2005                Closing Argument wins the 50th running of the Cup. Bonshaw Boy completes the quinella for trainer Cameron Taylor

2006                Betty’s Angel completes the Group 1 ADVANCE Sapphire Crown – Schweppes Melbourne Cup double, setting a new race record of 29.51 in the process

2007                Shanlyn Prince puts in a masterful display of speed becoming trainer Darren McDonald’s second cup winner in 29.60 less than a length from the race record. The Club announces a prizemoney increase for the 2008 cup with the winner taking home a staggering $175,000.

2008                Prizemoney increased to $175,000 to the winner. WA chaser Surgeon wins the cup in a sensation after marring the leader Hanify’s Impact in the last 20 metres. The winner was Darren McDonald’s third Cup success and second in succession.

2009                Popular husband and wife team Jenny and Jon Roberts were overjoyed with emotion when their hard chasing black dog Lord Ducal took out the cup in a fast 29.53. The Bombastic Shiraz sprinter was from a long line of the Roberts own breed and he defeated a star studded line up to land the big prize.

2010               El Grand Senor secured the third Group 1 victory of his stellar career with a brilliant win in 2010 Cup. Backed into $1.70 favoritism he would start one of the shortest priced favourites in the race’s 55 year history, El Grand Senor sent a shudder through the large crowd as he was beaten out of the boxes by Dee Winter and Dyna Obelia. However the leviathan 39kg son of Where’s Pedro showed a tremendous turn of foot, accelerating through a narrow gap to find the lead through the first turn and open up a race winning margin down the back straight. El Grand Senor then powered to the line in 29.55, defeating Symmetry by 6.25 lengths with Dee Winter a further two lengths away third.

2011                Andrea Dailly claimed her first Solo Melbourne Cup at Sandown Park when Dyna Tron led all the way to win Australia’s most prestigious race in a race record 29.21 seconds. In front of one of the largest crowds seen in recent years, Dyna Tron ($4.20) jumped brilliantly to lead Shereen Bale ($3.50) through the first turn and soon established a four length margin entering the back straight. Shereen Bale chased valiantly to trim the final margin to 2¾ lengths, but could do no more as Dyna Tron etched his name into greyhound racing history.

2012                In an extraordinary leap in prizemoney the Cup became the undisputed richest Greyhound race on the planet when the club announced it would increase the first prize to a whopping $350,000 to the winner. With subsequent place money adjusted as well it brought the total race stake to half a million dollars. The numbers would have only been a pipe dream 10 years earlier but progress within the industry in Victoria had seen a rapid development in all areas of the sport. Diminutive chaser Got A Moment created history when she claimed victory in the shadows of the post to record a memorable win. Trained by leading Victorian mentor Jason Thompson Got A Moment only arrived in the Thompson kennel eight weeks before the cup. She had been sent down from Queensland by owner/breeder Dianna Buxton on the recommendation of mutual friend, Reg Kay. Thompson knew from the moment she arrived he had something special.

Got A Moment took the lead down the back straight and led for the run home with champion Queenslander and race favourite Glen Gallon getting clear and looking like the winner but she wasn’t to be denied and held off the challenge to record a fairy tale win for her excited connections.

2013                Black Magic Opal cemented his place amongst the nation’s great sprinters with an emphatic all-of-the-way victory in the 2013 TAB Melbourne Cup. Sent to the boxes an easing even money favourite, the son of Magic Sprite began well to lead clearly through the first turn and from there was never challenged, charging to a 2.5 length victory in 29.37 seconds. Purchased for a reported six figure sum, Black Magic Opal proved a most astute acquisition and re-paid his connections faith by claiming greyhound racing’s biggest prize.

2014                Dyna Villa etched his name into greyhound racing folklore with a brilliant win in the 2014 $600,000 Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup. Unbeaten in three starts from box 8, Dyna Villa began brilliantly to cross the stellar field and lead through the first turn. As the rest of the pack settled Dyna Villa shot clear, opening a six length break over his rivals down the back straight in what proved to be a race winning break, stopping the clock in a slick 29.36 seconds. First prized increased to $420,000.

2015                Dyna Double One ($4.10) upstaged his kennel mate Fernando Bale in what will long be remembered as one of the greatest TAB Melbourne Cups ever run. Seeking an unprecedented ninth group 1 title in what was widely touted to be his final start, Fernando Bale ($1.40) stunned everyone when for the first time since July, he missed the start and was slowly away from the boxes. However he soon showed his trademark dazzling turn of foot, and with a huge roar from the crowd, charged through the first turn four-wide before crossing the field and leading by three lengths entering the back straight. Dyna Double One had similarly began only fairly before railing strongly through the first turn and setting off in pursuit of his more fancied kennel mate, setting up the race that greyhound fans everywhere had longed to see. With their rivals left behind, the race became a match race between two of the greats of the modern era. Dyna Double One closed in on Fernando Bale turning for home only for the champ to respond and in a thrilling run to the line, Dyna Double One finally nabbed his rival to land the world’s richest greyhound race by a neck in a new race record time of 29.17.

2016                Ando’s Mac caused a major upset in claiming the 2016 TAB Melbourne Cup. Trained by Jason Mackay, Ando’s Mac became the first New South Wales trained greyhound since the year 2000 to win the world’s richest greyhound race. Ando’s Mac ($12.90) began fairly but was afforded early room which allowed him to accelerate quickly and lead through the first turn. He opened a two-length margin over Barton Bale down the back straight before withstanding a late charge by the well supported Jesaulenko ($5.10) to claim the cup by ¼ of a length in 29.48. South Australian champion Worm Burner ($8.70) flashed home for third a further ½ length behind. Despite drawing box 5, Mackay was quietly confident his first TAB Melbourne Cup finalist was a winning chance in the sport’s showcase event.

2017                Aston Dee Bee ($2.40) secured his place in greyhound racing folklore after a brilliant victory in the $600,000 group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup. The hulking 36kg speedster took full advantage of his inside draw, railing powerfully through the first turn to take a lead he wouldn’t relinquish, charging to the line 3½ lengths clear of the fast finishing Chasin’ Crackers ($16.40) in 29.36 and claim the world’s richest greyhound race. Having won 10 of his previous 14 starts with those four placings being at group level, Aston Dee Bee’s win came as no surprise to many punters. He was sent to the boxes the $2.40 favourite after qualifying fastest with a brilliant heat win in 29.12 and was unbeaten in four starts from box 1 at Sandown Park.

2018                My Redeemer gave David Geall his biggest thrill in greyhound racing by winning the TAB Melbourne Cup at Sandown Park last night. In one of the most eagerly anticipated editions of the world’s greatest greyhound race, My Redeemer began cleanly from box 1 but was headed by favourite Black Opium to the first turn. My Redeemer held his position on the rail and after a brief bumping duel, he emerged a length clear entering the back straight. From there he was never challenged, doubling his margin off the back straight and powering to the line to register a brilliant 4½ victory in 29.38.

2019                Star sprinter Whiskey Riot broke a Group 1 jinx – and raced into greatness – taking out the 2019 Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup. Whiskey Riot capitalised on another crack at G1 glory, having finished second to his nemesis Hooked On Scotch in the Adelaide Cup, second to Sennachie in the Maturity Classic, and third to Get It Gizmo in the Topgun. He was also third to Hooked On Scotch in the G3 Shootout.

Based at Rowsley (just out of Bacchus Marsh), his trainer Anthony Azzopardi was lost for words: “Unbelievable. I didn’t know if he won or not. Words can’t describe it. This is what I’ve been working my whole life for. Words can’t describe it,” he said. Azzopardi also dedicated the win to his late father: “This is a whole family thing. This is for my father. I wish he was here but he’s not. But I know he’ll be watching down.”

Whiskey Riot ($5.90) led throughout to defeat outsider Western Envoy ($30.80) by just under a length, with Hooked On Scotch ($2.10F) – who broke the track record in a heat – around a half-length away third in 29.44sec.

Honour Roll
                                             Last year’s brilliant winner Whiskey Riot.

Year Winner Trainer Time Year Winner Trainer Time
1956 Rocketeer E. Patterson 30 6/16 1989 Fair Sentence Graeme Bate 30.19
1957 Rookie Rebel Wally Hooper 30 14/16 1990 Highly Blessed Lorraine Ferremi 30.53
1958 Marine Jet Gavin Fraser 30 9/16 1991 Fox Hunt (SA) Peter Jovanovic 30.50
1959 Capital King Fred Garbutt 30 9/16 1992 Master Giant Peter Akathiotis 30.30
1960 Chief Ranee Max Hammond 30 13/16 1993 Silver Chisel (NSW) John Fleming 30.25
1961 Bybrae Arthur Bate 30 12/16 1994 Light Of Fire  Jason Thompson 30.05
1962 Saskagay Arthur Ludlow 30 8/16 1995 City Blitz Peter Giles 30.06
1963 Saskaview Arthur Ludlow 30 10/16 1996 Henry Hand (NSW) Dennis Dean 29.86
1964 Rocket Streak Fred Ladd 30 6/16 1997 Roanokee (QLD) Roger Green 29.96
1965 Kinta’s Son Bob Bowman 30 10/16 1998 Rapid Journey (NSW) Jane Carruthers 29.91
1966 Cheltenham Lass Paul Hogan 30 10/16 1999 Kantarn Bale Graeme Bate 29.73
1967 Swan Opal (NSW) Neville Ballinger 30 9/16 2000 Go Wild Teddy (NSW) Mark Bell 29.73
1968 Mr. Spot (NSW) Terry Rowlings 30 9/16 2001 Classic Capri Judy Hayley 29.65
1969 Millimsimbi (NSW) Stan Cleverley 30 7/16 2002 Excite Ability  Len Poore 29.77
1970 Chris’s Dandy (NSW) Alex Kay 31 1/16 2003 Bombastic Shiraz Darren Cairns 29.82
1971 Gerard The Gent Herb Siakew 30 7/16 2004 Hallucinate Darren McDonald 29.73
1972 Gold Grotto  Ed Tucker 30 6/16 2005 Closing Argument  Cameron Taylor 29.94
1973 New Mariner Ray Jennings 31.49 2006 Betty’s Angel Paul Bartolo 29.51
1974 Kwik Metal Cap Abbott 31.02 2007 Shanlyn Prince Darren McDonald 29.60
1975 Dynamic Dean  Sandra Hogan 31.32 2008 Surgeon Darren McDonald 29.87
1976 Carrington Jade Ken Murphy 30.70 2009 Lord Ducal Jon Roberts 29.53
1977 Mile Post  Tony Collins 30.94 2010 El Grand Senor Caroline Jones 29.55
1978 Tangaloa Joe Hili 30.97 2011 Dyna Tron Andrea Dailly 29.21
1979 Acclaim Star (NSW) Bill Fletcher 30.50 2012 Got A Moment Jason Thompson 29.37
1980 Black Aztec (NSW) Harry Sarkis 30.74 2013 Black Magic Opal Jason Thompson 29.37
1981 Satan’s Shroud   Graeme Bate 30.88 2014 Dyna Villa Jenny Hunt 29.36
1982 Kid Scandal Arthur Garrett 30.70 2015 Dyna Double One Andrea Dailly 29.17
1983 Lady Lilly Colin Kelly 30.86 2016 Ando’s Mac Jason Mackay 29.48
1984 Rustic Venture (QLD) Peter Denaro 30.92 2017 Aston Dee Bee Sonia Thompson 29.36
1985 Sydney Dingaan Ned Bryant 30.44 2018 My Redeemer David Geall 29.38
1986 Legendary Kid (NSW) Jim Coleman 30.62 2019 Whiskey Riot Anthony Azzopardi 29.44
1987 Speedy Mick Joe Schroeders 30.52 2020      
1988 Hua Roy Symes 30.01 2021