The Spring Carnival – The Five Best Moments in the Melbourne Cup

Greg ShallardEntertainment, News

Like it or loathe it, the Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne is an incredible event, with more than 650,000 people in attendance each year. In 2013, a whopping 76,225 party pies were consumed at Flemington Race Course, while Melbourne’s struggling retail shops sold more than 12,000 pairs of sunglasses.

We take a small part in the carnival at Affinity, brokering the insurance for several trainers, who participate in the Melbourne Cup and races throughout the spring carnival. So without further adieu, here are our 5 most memorable moments in the Melbourne Cup.

5. Damian Oliver & Media Puzzle

Just a week before the 2002 Melbourne Cup, jockey Damian Oliver lost his brother Jason to a race fall in Perth. It was a tragedy for one of the most famous horse racing families in the country. On Melbourne Cup Day, Oliver rode Irish stayer Media Puzzle, an underdog, who went on to comfortably win the race. Oliver saluted the sky when he won, capturing one of the great moments in Australian sport.

Watch the video:


4. The Horse with no Rider

In one of the most bizarre Melbourne Cups in history, Rivette won the race after being second past the post in 1939. First past the post was Ortelle’s Star, who had shed her rider on the turn. Unfazed, Ortelle’s Star kept running and pipped Rivette by a nose. Rivette’s rider, Teddy Preston, didn’t realise until after the race that the horse was without a rider, and promptly celebrated his good fortune.

3. Kiwi Takes the Field

20 year old Jimmy Cassidy came from last place on the straight to take the 1983 Melbourne Cup with Kiwi. The horse had cost just $1000, a scrap of the sum that the favourites had fetched. It’s an incredible video to watch, as the horse and jockey seemingly fight each other in a wild display and eventually come together and run out winners.

2. Makybe Diva Makes it Three

Do we need to remind you? It was history in the making, and we saw it first hand, when champion mare Makybe Diva strolled home to win her third Melbourne Cup in a row in 2005.


1. Pharlap Overcomes All Odds

At 11 – 8, Pharlap was the shortest price favourite of all time in 1930. It was the height of the depression, at a time when Australian’s needed a miracle story, and Pharlap provided carrying a remarkable 62.5kg’s.