The TAB Melbourne Cup has come a long way since it was first run in 1956.
Run under handicap conditions over 565 yards on a grass track, Rocketeer claimed the first edition of the Cup and earned £500 (a little over $16,000 to today’s money) for his effort, a far cry from the $435,000 the winner of the 2019 renewal will take home!
But it’s more than prize money that makes the TAB Melbourne Cup the world’s greatest greyhound race.
To win a TAB Melbourne Cup is to fulfil a dream owners, trainers and breeders have dreamt their entire lives. A moment of greatness that will live on well beyond the final Friday in November, and secure their place among the sport’s greats.
TAB Melbourne Cup night a celebration of greyhound racing. With over $1,000,000 in prize money to be won across the 12 race card, there is a race to showcase all that is great about our sport.
But the action isn’t confined to the track. With great entertainment, variety of delicious food and big cash prizes to be won, it’s a night you won’t want to miss.
Entry is free so get your friends together and enjoy a memorable night out on Friday 29 November to see history made and experience GREATNESS!
- 1956 – First Melbourne Cup staged at Sandown Park on the grass track over 565 yards under handicap conditions worth £500
- 1962 – Race worth £2000; race won by Saskagay, the first female to win the race
- 1964 – A sand track is installed, resulting in the race distance being reduced to 555 yards
- 1966 – First Melbourne Cup not conducted under handicap conditions; Cheltenham Lass wins the event after finishing second in 1965
- 1967 – Neville Ballinger trains the Cup quinella with Swan Opal and Dollar Hunter
- 1970 – Chris’ Dandy wins the Melbourne Cup for trainer Alex Kay, the fourth consecutive winner from New South Wales
- 1972 – Gold Grotto wins against a field often considered one of the best ever assembled to line up in a Melbourne Cup starting at the shortest price favourite ever.
- 1973 – Race reduced to 513 metres
- 1974 – New Zealand-bred Kwik Metal upstages locals by claiming the 1974 Melbourne Cup after being bought for $30 as a pup
- 1975 – Prize money increases to $11,500 to the winner; Dynamic Dean is later crowned the 1975 Greyhound of the Year, the first Melbourne Cup winner to receive the honour
- 1978 – Prize money increased to $35,000 to the winner; Hollywood star Robert Stack presents trophy
- 1979 – Hollywood starlet Elke Sommer presents trophy
- 1980 – Sandown gives away a silver Mercedes to celebrate 25th running of the event; Greg Norman presents the Cup
- 1986 – Race distance reduced to 511 metres following Sandown Park track reconstruction
- 1990 – Prize money increased to $40,000 to the winner
- 1991 – Prize money increased to $50,000 to the winner
- 1992 – Master Giant wins the Cup, becoming the fourth consecutive winner to take out the Shepparton Cup-Melbourne Cup double
- 1995 – Prize money increased to $80,000 to the winner; race distance increased to 515m following construction of new Sandown circuit
- 1996 – Prize money increased to $100,000 to the winner
- 1998 – Rapid Journey adds the Melbourne Cup to his Adelaide Cup, Perth Cup, Golden Easter Egg, National Sprint Championship and Topgun wins
- 1999 – Kennelmates fill the trifecta, Kantarn Bale wins the Cup
- 2002 – Prize money increased to $140,000 to the winner
- 2004 – Prize money increased to $150,000 to the winner
- 2005 – Closing Argument wins the 50th running of the Cup; Bonshaw Boy completes the quinella for trainer Cameron Taylor
- 2006 – Betty’s Angel completes the Group 1 Sapphire Crown – Melbourne Cup double, setting a new race record of 29.51 in the process
- 2008 – Prize money increased to $175,000 to the winner
- 2009 – Lord Ducal, the least experienced runner in the final, registers 29.53 to give owner, trainer and breeder their biggest thrill in greyhound racing
- 2010 – El Grand Senor scores his third Group 1 feature of 2010 with a dominant performance for owner/breeder Carolyn Jones; El Grand Senor would go on to claim Sandown Greyhound of the Year, Victorian Greyhound of the Year, and Australian Greyhound of the Year honours
- 2011 – Dyna Tron secures Andrea Dailly her first Melbourne Cup victory in a race record 29.21 seconds; Dyna Tron was one of four finalists prepared by the Dailly kennel, with Graeme Bate also preparing three finalists to give leviathan owner/breeder Paul Wheeler seven finalists in the race.
- 2011 – Prize money increased to $350,000 to the winner making the 2012 Melbourne Cup the richest greyhound race ever run
- 2014 – Prize money increased to $420,000 to the winner
- 2015 – Dyna Double One defeats Fernando Bale in a Cup for the ages in race record time of 29.17
- 2016 – Ando’s Mac breaks a Cup drought for New South Wales
- 2018 – Prize money increased to $435,000 to the winner with $1M to be won across the 12 race card