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The Melbourne Cup: Six conversation starters to help you sound like an expert

Caitlin O'Sullivan
27 October 2020

Racing isn’t your specialty, but your work is having a Melbourne Cup sweepstake and you want to sound somewhat knowledgeable? We’ve got you! Check out our six conversation starters to help you sound like an expert this Melbourne Cup season.


Everyone loves Kiwi! His remarkable dash from almost last place to victory in the 1983 Melbourne Cup remains etched in New Zealander’s minds, so much so that it warranted a movie! The horse was bought by trainer Snow Lupton’s wife, Anne for $1,000. She named him Kiwi, unaware of how truly iconic that name would one day become.

The Favourite

Why not chat about this year’s Melbourne Cup favourite? That’s the horse the majority of people think will win after all! Since the beginning of the Cup, in 1866, the favourite has won 34 times. A triple figured ‘roughie’ has only won the Melbourne Cup four times. At this stage, ‘Tiger Moth’ is the favourite – but this can all change!

Bart Cummings

Bart Cumming’s name is synonymous with the Melbourne Cup, with the legendary trainer’s horses winning the race an incredible 12 times. He has trained some of the greats, including Think Big, Let’s Elope and Saintly.

Michelle Payne

She became an icon for all women in 2015, when she became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, a race previously dominated by males. Michelle won onboard Prinze of Penzance, who was a 100/1 shot. Fittingly, Payne was wearing the colours of the suffrage movement when she won: purple, green and white.

Peter St Albans

Everyone loves a little trivia, and this one’s a goodie. Peter St Albans is the youngest jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, winning the 1876 edition at the ripe ol’ age of… 11! At the time, the minimum age to ride in a race was thirteen, therefore his age was recorded inaccurately. When his teacher asked his fellow classmates why he was not at school, they replied “He’s winning the Melbourne Cup!”

New Zealand Horses Featuring

We all want to see a Kiwi bring home the Cup! Head over to Just Horse Racing’s website to keep an eye on the order of entry and see which Kiwi horses we can expect to see in the Cup.

So there you go, you’re set to sound like a pro. If you’re after live racing action on this iconic day, head along to Ellerslie’s Jarden Melbourne Cup Day or Melbourne Cup Day at Wingatui – both of which guarantee a great day out. Happy Melbourne Cup season everyone!

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