Only the greats win Sandown’s rich classic

30th October 2020

Posted in: Latest News

Group 1 Melbourne Cup (515m)

Best 64 nominated, Sandown.

Heats November 20. Final November 27

$435,000 to the winner

 

Group 1 Bold Trease (715m)

Best 32 nominated, Sandown.

Heats November 20. Final November 27

$105,000 to the winner.

By DAVID BRASCH

QUEENSLANDER Di Buxton will be pleased to know the ‘love of her life’ Got A Moment is the smallest Melbourne Cup winner since 1987.

The giant of the track, she weighed only 24.9kgs when she raced in the Cup. And, she was also the smallest ever runner in the Cup final since 1987.

This is just one fact about the Melbourne Cup Sandown Club racing manager Michael Floyd has at his fingertips that make for fascinating pieces of the race’s history.

In contrast to Got A Moment, all 24.9kgs of her, the biggest sized winner ever has been El Grand Senor at 39kgs.

The Group 1 Melbourne Cup final will be run, in conjunction with the Group 1 Bold Trease, on November 27. The $435,000 prize to the winner will again attract the very, very best of the industry.

And Michael Floyd has the stats to prove only the greats win the Melbourne Cup.

“Since 1973 when the Victorian greyhound of the year was introduced, 10 Melbourne Cup winners have won that award,” he said.

“Since 2002 when the Australian greyhound of the year was introduced, five winners of the Melbourne Cup have won that award.

“Six Melbourne Cup winners are in the Victorian hall of fame and three Melbourne Cup winners are in the Australian hall of fame.”

The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1956 and won by Rocketeer. The trophy for that inaugural winner is held by the Sandown Club taking pride of place.

While the Melbourne Cup is obviously a ‘good dog’s race’, there is a certain recipe to find the winner.

“Not since 2001’s winner Classic Capri has the winner been older than three,” said Michael Floyd. “And, not since 1999 has the winner been younger than two.

“In fact, every other winner has been aged between two and two years and 10 months.”

And most have been Victorian-based.

Ando’s Mac is the most recent visitor to take the Cup in 2016, but the previous non-Victorian winner was Go Wild Teddy in 2000.

The Melbourne Cup, 2020 style, will be oh so different due to the Victorian government’s Covid restrictions.

Only essential staff to run the meetings and trainers and catchers will be allowed on course.

Sandown’s glamour race meeting will be covered live by Channel 7.

“Channel 7 and GRV were very happy with the coverage of the Australian Cup early in the year and the Melbourne Cup and Bold Trease meeting will receive the same coverage,” said Floyd.

“Obviously all other entertainment options are gone, so we will concentrate on TV and social media coverage of the big races.

“It will be entirely around dogs and trainers. They will naturally be the stars of the show.”

The Bold Trease has emerged as a Group 1 staying series since 2010 and has been won by such greats as Fanta Bale, Tornado Tears, Miata and Sweet It Is.

“Three of the top seven stakes earners of all time have won the Bold Trease,” said Michael Floyd.

Floyd said the club is happy with the way the recent track surface repairs have gone.

“The track was built in 1996 and a new surface put in during 2010,” he said. “From constant track maintenance, the clay base has been rising and recently it started to cause a problem.

“It needed work on a big section of the track and then the replacement sand needed time to consolidate.

“We are very happy with the way that has all gone and the way the surface is racing.”

Melbourne Cup winning trainers are headed by Graham Bate and Jason Thompson with three while Jason’s wife Seona has one herself.

The Wheeler family has owned four Cup winners.

Caption: Sandown Functions Supervisor Yvette Oudman with the 1956 Melbourne Cup