The Melbourne Cup is a group 1 greyhound race which is run over 515m at Sandown Park in November each year.
It is often regarded as the biggest event on the greyhound calendar, with its $420,000 winner’s cheque making it the richest greyhound race in the world.
The series consists of heats and a final, with the best 64 greyhounds contesting the qualifiers and the winners progressing through to the decider.
The most recent edition of the Melbourne Cup was taken out by Aston Dee Bee for owner Ray Borda and trainer Seona Thompson.
Get free bets to place on this year’s Group 1 Melbourne Cup exclusive to readers of Australian Racing Greyhound.
Betting on the Group 1 Melbourne Cup
Only the best of the best compete in the Melbourne Cup series, making it one of the most anticipated races for enthusiasts and punters.
Naturally, a high-class line-up attracts plenty of betting interest as it showcases the best sprinting talent greyhound racing has to offer – proven, explosive chasers doing what they do best.
With all of the focus on the race, betting pools are usually bigger, which in turn results in a more lucrative winning dividend if you are skilful enough to pick the winner.
Leading bookmakers know how popular the Melbourne Cup is and many of them now offer all-in markets for the winner of the final in the weeks leading up to the heats. These prices often offer plenty of value.
Additionally, there are also fixed odds prices for both the heats and final once the fields and box draws have been drawn – giving punters the chance to shop around and find the top odds about their selected competitor.
Group 1 Melbourne Cup – history
The Melbourne Cup was first held in 1956 and staged as a handicap when won by Rocketeer (Rocket Jet x Whispering Lass Jan ’55) who collected £500 for his connections. It was run as a handicap race until 1964 when Rocket Streak (Chief Zephyr x Rocket Sue Oct ’62) scored a big victory from box one.
The first bitch to win the race was Saskagay (Sunview x Byam Rose Sep ’60), which won the 1962 edition over 565 yards in 30.80 – collecting £2,000.
The 1974 race was a rags to riches story, with the New Zealand-bred Kwik Metal (Gabriel Mist x Metal Joy Sep ’72) saluting after being purchased as a puppy for just $30.
In 1986 the race was reduced to 511m (having been run over 513m since 1973) following the reconstruction of Sandown Park. It only stayed at this distance for nine years, being run at 515m (the current distance) for the first time in 1995.
The first prize money, which had increased periodically since the inauguration of the race, hit $100,000 for the first time in 1996. Two years later, the race was taken out by one of the best greyhounds the sport has seen, Rapid Journey (Amerigo Magic x Miss Courtney May ’95), which added the race to his impressive CV including the Adelaide Cup, the Perth Cup, the Golden Easter Egg, the National Sprint Championship and the Topgun.
In 1999, now-disgraced trainer Graeme Bate prepared his third winner of the Melbourne Cup when Kantarn Bale (Light Of Fire x Jindara Bale Feb ’98) defeated two of his kennel mates to give Bate the trifecta.
In 2004 prize money grew to $150,000. In 2005 Closing Argument (Exceptional x Maddy Shiraz Nov ’03) defeated Bonshaw Boy (Bob’s One x Major Break Jun ’03) to give trainer Cameron Taylor the quinella.
Betty’s Angel (Brett Lee x Leprechaun Yap Nov ’04) defeated her litter sister Miss Mini Mouse in the 2006 final, setting a new 29.51 race record in the process and completing the Sapphire Crown – Melbourne Cup double.
The most controversial running was in 2008 when Surgeon (Primo Uno x Bella’s Angel Apr ’05) was allowed to start in the race despite many believing he had eased when winning his heat the week prior. His naughty antics were on display in the feature final, marring Hanify’s Impact (Collision x Miss Hanify May ’06) across the line en route to giving Darren McDonald his third Melbourne Cup win in five years.
El Grand Senor (Where’s Pedro x Elgrando Gold Apr ’08) won the 2010 Melbourne Cup – collecting his third group 1 trophy. The hatrick of wins at the highest level would later earn him Sandown Greyhound of the Year, Victorian Greyhound of the Year and Australian Greyhound of the Year titles.
Leading trainer Andrea Dailly won her first Melbourne Cup in 2011 when Dyna Tron (Collision x Gold Rush Bale Feb ’09) saluted. He was one of four finalists for Dailly and one of seven finalists for leviathan owner/breeder Paul Wheeler. The same year prize money was increased to $350,000 to the winner.
Jason Thompson scored back to back wins in the Melbourne Cup in 2012-2013. Got A Moment (Collision x Splitting Hairs Feb ’10) took out the race in 2012 when recording a slick 29.37, followed by Black Magic Opal (Magic Sprite x Awesome Opal May ’11) which took out the next edition in identical time.
Melbourne Cup – the recent years
After taking out the Melbourne Cup the year before with Dyna Villa, owner Paul Wheeler once again combined with Andrea Dailly for the win, which was an upset result as Dyna Double One (Barcia Bale x Crystin Bale Apr ’13) ran down champion kennel mate Fernando Bale (Kelsos Fusileer x Chloe Allen Mar ’13) to get the win. Both dogs were superstars of the track and retired as the only two greyhounds to have earned more than $1 million on the race track.
2015 Melbourne Cup results
November 20, 2015. Sandown SGRC First Prize $420,000
Winner: Dyna Double One (Barcia Bale x Crystin Bale) Born: March 2013 Black Dog
Owner: Brendan Wheeler, Trainer: Andrea Dailly.
Time: 29.16. Margins 0.5 x 6.
Others in finishing order: Fernando Bale, Black Illusion, Bearville Azza, Zipping Meg, Dyna Tiber, Lamia Bale, Secret Spell.
The 2016 edition of the race was taken out by Ando’s Mac (El Grand Senor x Brook’s Doll Jun ’14) which gave leading NSW trainer Jason Mackay his biggest training win. The $420,000 first prize took Ando’s Mac’s prize money to $556,386 – 16th on the all time prize money earner’s list.
The fawn flyer was the first NSW trained greyhound to win the race since Go Wild Teddy (Head Honcho x Web Of Silence Aug ’98) saluted in 2000 and was just the second greyhound which was not black to win the race in the past 14 years.
2016 Melbourne Cup results
November 18, 2016. Sandown Park SGRC First Prize $420,000
Winner: Ando’s Mac (El Grand Senor x Brook’s Doll) Born: June 2014 Fawn Dog
Owner: Alderdice Anderson Synd, Trainer: Jason Mackay.
Time: 29.481. Margins: 0.25 x 0.5.
Others in finishing order: Jesaulenko, Worm Burner, Outside Pass, Barton Bale, Zambora Brockie, Matt Machine, Tripum.
Aston Dee Bee broke through for his first group 1 win in brilliant style, winning the world’s richest greyhound race in a sizzling 29.36. The black dog was beaten for speed in the early stages but muscled his way to the front and from that point in time was never in doubt, charging clear to defeat a gallant Chasin’ Crackers.
2017 Melbourne Cup results
November 24, 2017. November 24 2017. Sandown Park. First Prize: $420,000
Winner:Aston Dee Bee ( Barcia Bale X Aston Elle) Black Dog. Whelped:02/04/2015
Trainer: Seona Thompson Owner:Raymond Borda
Others in Finishing Order: Chasin’ Crackers, Kouta Mayhem, Bewildering, Raw Ability, Striker Light, Aston Miley, Up Hill Jill
Group 1 Melbourne Cup – honour roll
1957 Rookie Rebel
1958 Marine Jet
1959 Capital King
1960 Chief Ranee
1964 Rocket Streak
1965 Kinta’s Son
1966 Cheltenham Lass
1967 Swan Opal
1970 Chris’ Dandy
1971 Gerard The Gent
1972 Gold Grotto
1973 New Mariner
1974 Kwik Metal
1975 Dynamic Dean
1976 Carrington Jade
1979 Acclaim Star
1980 Black Aztec
1981 Satan’s Shroud
1982 Kid Scandal
1983 Lady Lilly
1984 Rustic Venture
1985 Sydney Dingaan
1986 Legendary Kid
1987 Speedy Mick
1989 Fair Sentence
1990 Highly Blessed
1991 Fox Hunt
1992 Master Giant
1993 Silver Chisel
1994 Light Of Fire
1995 City Blitz
1996 Henry Hand
1998 Rapid Journey
1999 Kantarn Bale
2000 Go Wild Teddy
2001 Classic Capri
2002 Excite Ability
2003 Bombastic Shiraz
2005 Closing Argument
2006 Betty’s Angel
2007 Shanlyn Prince
2009 Lord Ducal
2010 El Grand Senor
2011 Dyna Tron
2012 Got A Moment
2013 Black Magic Opal
2014 Dyna Villa
2015 Dyna Double One
2016 Ando’s Mac
2017 Aston Dee Bee