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An Unreal History Of the Melbourne Cup

This week the airwaves are being inundated with epic, sepia toned, historical flashbacks of the Cup Greats, voiced by over Australianised narrators to coincide with the 150th Melbourne Cup.

We have a saying at Turf Deli.

If there is a bandwagon, we want to be on it.

So, over this week we are proud to present, An Unreal 150 Year History of the Melbourne Cup.

Part 2 : 1927 - 2010 AB (After Bart)

The Cup changed forever in 1927 with the birth of a bouncy, eye browed baby boy named James Bartholomew Cummings. Disappointingly he failed to even have a Cup runner, yet alone win a Cup in his first year of life

1930 - PHARLAP
PHARLAP wins the Melbourne Cup and becomes a national icon. Unfortunately this was one of the last times that his hide, skeleton and heart were all in the one location, which dramatically cut short his racing career.

1934 - PETER PAN
It was around this time that the first Melbourne Cup sweep was run (source - guy at the TAB). Almost immediately punters across the nation come to the realisation that no matter how many long hours you spend pouring over the form, the daft thing you get in the Cup Sweep is going to go a lot better.

Trained by Jim Cummings, and strapped by some young kid named Bart who is unlikely to ever amount to much and should probably go get a reliable paying desk job somewhere.

Bart wins his first Melbourne Cup and earns the nickname "The Guy With One Cup". Jean Shrimpton causes a world wide uproar when she wears a mini skirt on Derby Day, yet her effort in walking home bare foot, drunk with high heels in hand on Cup Day goes largely unnoticed.


1966 - GALILEE
Bart wins his second Melbourne Cup in 1966 and earns the nickname "The Guy With the Spare Cup"

This year sees another Cup winner trained by Bart, who is promoted to the "Melbourne Cup - Leadership Group - Even Numbered Runners".

For the first time the Cup was run over the metric 3200M in 1972. Horses are creatures of habit, so just as some go better at particular tracks, others go better racing over metric rather than imperial distances.

1975 - THINK BIG
In 1974 and 1975 Think Big makes it back to back cups for Bart, who is elevated to the lofty title of "Melbourne Cup - Area Manager" and gets his own locker and car parking space.

1976 - VAN DER HUM
This year is famous for the extreme storm that broke over Flemington that day. Weather forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology was "sunny with the chance of some light rain", showing that they are no better at predicting the weather than punters are at predicting the Cup winner.

Another win by Bart in 1977, but this is over shadowed by Sir John Kerr, Governor General who appears to be extremely drunk when presenting the Cup, and sets the standard of Cup Day behaviour for a whole new generation.

1983 - KIWI
KIWI famously comes from almost last on the home turn with a powerful finishing burst to win the 1983 Cup. Historical re-enactments of this feat are attempted at the end of most Cup Days by over exuberant race goers just to keep the security guards on their toes.

1985 was notable as the First Million Dollar Melbourne Cup. Prince Charles and Lady Diana attend, and everyone gets to practice their Princess Anne looks like a horse gags.

This gigantic mare won the 1988 Cup. She was so big she struggled to fit into the starting gates. Famously even though her head was in front on the line, the 2nd place getter's NATSKI's rump was actually in front of hers. Moves to change to a "winner is first rump past the line" system are later rejected, mainly cause the photo finish of horses backsides wasn't particularly appealing.

1991 - LET'S ELOPE
1991 saw another win for Bart who had to nick down to Ikea for extra storage options and yet another build it yourself trophy cabinet.

The first international raider wins the cup in 1993, sending a xenophobic shiver through the facing fraternity. The racing media continue to beat up the chances of the international horses for the next 15 years, much to the amusement of seasoned punters who just scratch them as soon as they appear in the form guide and come out well ahead.

Another winner for Bart and a huge boon for Indian Take Away businesses around Australia.

A dramatic Melbourne Cup in 2002, which is soon to be released as a feature length movie. Loosely based on actual events, it will star Tom Cruise playing a US secret agent posing as an Australian jockey on an Irish horse trying to uncover a Chinese conspiracy to take control of the planet by alien robots. Like we said "loosely based on actual events".

MAKYBE DIVA wins the Cup, making it 3 wins in a row, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Owner Tony Santic , tuna baron, famously names her after five of his employees - Maureen, Kylie, Belinda, Diane, and Vanessa. This is a huge relief as normally he named all his horses to include the word "Smytzer", else we would be gasping at the exploits of the mighty "Fishy Smytzer"

The first Japanese runner wins the Cup in 2006. The after race interview with the Japanese, non English speaking jockey is deemed to make much more sense than the celebrity interviews in the marquees.

2008 - VIEWED
Yet another win for the Cups King in 2008, who is finally elevated to the title of "Most Powerful, All Mighty Cups Emperor - Lord of the Cups"

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