The Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup

Run along a 3200 meter track in sunny Melbourne, the Melbourne Cup is the most famous Australian thoroughbred race in the racing calendar. The race is run at the Flemington racecourse in November of every year and brings together the cream of the crop of Australian racing. The race is steeped in history having first been held way back in 1861 (159 years ago!) over a longer distance of two miles. It’s for horses aged three and up has an impressive purse of A$8,000,000 in both 2019 and 2020, up from A$7,300,000 in 2018. Certainly not chump change!

At the inception of the Melbourne Cup the winner was awarded with an attractive gold watch and from there 1866 was the very first year that an actual Cup was given to the winners owners (of thoroughbred horse ‘The Barb’) . The Cup itself still exists and is on display at the National Museum of Australia for the Australian public to admire. The last manufactored Melbourne Cup was made on the other side of the world, in England in 1916, and a new and separate trophy is struck each year to give to the winner of the Melbourne Cup for them to keep.

As you’d surely imagine with a race with well over a century behind it, there have been many highlights and much history cast in amber over that period. From the 1863 Melbourne Cup that had the smallest ever field (just 7 runners, on account of a protest at Etienne de Mestre’s champion Archer being unfairly ruled out of the race ), to the first woman owner winning in 1915 (Mrs E.A. Widdis with Patrobas), 1948 where photo finish equipment was first used in the Melbourne Cup, and 2008 Bart Cummings (aka King Cup) winning the Cup for a staggering 12th time, with Viewed.

A few other interesting stats and facts over the years include the fact that Makybe Diva has the most wins in the Melbourne Cup (three consecutive wins from 2003 – 2005), Bobby Lewis and Harry White are tied for the most wins by a jockey (4), the aforementioned trainer Bart Cummings has won 12 times over a period of decades (1965 – 2008) and property developer Lloyd Williams has the most wins as an owner. I wonder what 2020 will bring us in terms of memorable Melbourne Cup moments or firsts? One thing is for sure, it won’t now be long until we find out! Enjoy the race. This information was brought to you by


Habibti Not to be confused with horses of the same name that may have participated in other horse racing jurisdictions since, Habibti was British Horse of the Year and Timeform Horse of the Year in 1983. Indeed, in awarding an annual rating of 136, Timeform described her as ‘the best sprinter of her sex we have rated.’

Foaled in Ireland in March, 1980, the daughter of Habitat was bought, as a yearling, by

Mohammed Mutawa and put into training with John Dunlop at Castle Stables in Arundel, West Sussex, approaching it with all of the gusto of someone on their way to high roller casinos. Habitat was unbeaten in three starts as a juvenile, including the Lowther Stakes at York and the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh, both of which were, at the time, Group Two contests over six furlongs.

As a three-year-old, Habibti was initially campaigned over longer distances. She finished third in the Group Three Fred Darling Stakes, over seven furlongs, at Newbury before stepping up to a mile, without distinction, in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish equivalent at the Curragh. However, switched back to sprinting in the July Cup, over six furlongs, at Newmarket, Habibti proved a revelation and her rivalry with another ‘flying filly’, the four-year-old Soba, trained by David Chapman, became one of the highlights of the season.

Having comfortably beaten Soba in the July Cup, Habibti did so again in the William Hill Sprint Championship, now the Nunthorpe Stakes, over five furlongs, at York. Back at six furlongs, she turned the Vernons Sprint Cup at Haydock into a procession, winning by seven lengths, and rounded off a stellar three-year-old campaign by beating Soba, for the fourth time, in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp, over five furlongs, smashing the course record in the process. Easy peasy, as they say. Now time to win big on goldenrivieracasino if my luck is still in.

Sha Tin

Sha Tin Horse racing is big business in Hong Kong and despite tough times in recent years (as consequence of outside interference of their governance, and well as the coronavirus), the sport of racing is bouncing back to its former glory. While some enjoy a bet new online casinos, in Hong Kong you’re more likely to see big money changing hands at a race track. We’ve previously covered the world famous Happy Valley racecourse, and so it’s high time that we also gave a mention to Sha Ting racecourse, also in Hong Kong.

Located in the (you’ve guessed it!) Sha Ting district and managed by the jockey club, the Shr Ting racecourse is a very recent addition (1978) in comparison to Happy Valley, which was built way back in 1845. It holds an impressive 474 races per season including many considered prestigious such as the Hong Kong Cup, the Hong Hong Mile, the Hong Kong Vase and Queen Elizabeth II Cup (all group 1 races).

On popular racedays, tens of thousands pack out the track, with the maximum capacity being 85,000 (30,000 higher than Happy Valley racecourse). Stables, an Equine Hospital and Gallop also feature, as well as a furf and all weather track. While it may not have quite the iconic look and reputation that Happy Valley does, Sha Tin certainly doesn’t fall far short and visually puts many a course around the world to shame. We love our racing here in the UK, but in terms of a backdrop, we come up second best and I’d be more inclined  to play uk online casino games. A bustling and vibrant Hong Kong city setting is just perfect for a spectator sport like racing.