The Melbourne Cup has seen some impressive winners over the years; many see this event as the one to win, with jockeys and horses training for months and even years to take home this coveted title. Unfortunately, that can’t be said for all who enter, but you can still stand a chance to win by putting in a bet for your favourite rider on Neds.
There haven’t been two more significant riders in the Melbourne Cup history than Bobby Lewis and Harry White, both tied at four wins each.
Let’s take a look into what made these two individuals so special, as well as some notable winning horses from the past.
Most Famous Melbourne Cup Winning Jockeys
Bobby Lewis obtained his love for horses through his mother, who was a skillful horsewoman. But, it was Bobby’s father that contributed to his skill on a horse by prohibiting him from using a saddle when riding.
Bobby’s older brother, who was a horse breeder by career, assisted Bobby in gaining the necessary knowledge in not only breeding but also knowing what makes a horse unique.
With this special love for everything horses, it comes as no surprise that Bobby left school at the mere age of 10 to pursue this career, never becoming completely literate. Bobby started racing a couple of years later and won his first race before the turn of the 20th century.
This first race was in 1892 at a country track; after that, he went on to win his first metropolitan race in 1895. For a brief moment, he travelled to England in 1899 with his trainer but returned home shortly after because he missed his home too much.
When Bobby arrived home, that is when his career really took off by partnering up with Jim Scobie and linking up with Eric Connolly to form an alliance that took over the racing world for an entire generation.
Bobby also saw himself piloting the wonder horse Phar Lap in his thirty-second cup event; unfortunately, he only placed third that year.
Harry White displayed a talent for riding horses at a very young age, with a career that spanned well over 35 years. He is considered among the greatest Australian jockeys of all time.
As mentioned, he is the only other rider to have four Melbourne Cup victories behind him; this proved the notion that he was not made for short distances.
Given this context, it is important to note that Harry White was still able to perform better than most sprinter riders.
He won three Futurity Stakes, three Oakleigh Plates, and no less than three Newmarket Handicaps. The Futurity Stakes that was held at 1400 meters under White’s reign before being increased to 1600 meters in 2006 was the longest of them.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a long or short distance; Harry White could ride any thoroughbred with skill and self-assurance.
Famous Melbourne Cup Horses
Phar Lap is probably the most legendary horse ever to compete in the Melbourne Cup. Even though he had the shortest odds against him, he still managed to win 37 of the 51 races.
That number would’ve turned to 38 if it didn’t happen that he picked up a weight of 68kg, which can easily slow down any horse.
Archer was the very first horse to win the Melbourne Cup when it started in 1861. A year later, Archer returned to defend his title and did so in style, winning the race by eight lengths in a field. The total number of horses that competed was 20, so it’s safe to say the win was nothing short of magnificent.
There have only been three horses in the history of the Melbourne Cup to win the race carrying ten stones or more, and Archer was one of them.
Kingston Rule is a legend in his own right within the Melbourne Cup horses. This is because he still holds the record for being the fastest runner with a finish time of 3:16:3, which he achieved in 1990.
This record has been standing for more than two decades; the only horse that ever came close was Media Puzzle back in 2002.
The Melbourne Cup history has been astonishing, to say the least, with jockeys and horses’ alike making a mark in the history books of horse racing.
It is so special because the Melbourne Cup is the most challenging horse race in Australia due to the sheer amount of talent that arrives there every year trying to leave their mark on history.