By Ric Chapman
Everyone loves a fairytale story, well let’s rephrase that.
If you have a bet in the Cup and it gets smashed let’s hope it is by a rank outsider at around $101.
That’s about the only way you’ll ‘love’ a longshot winning the Cup and believe me they have greeted.
When Michelle Payne rode an absolute 10 out of 10 race to get PRINCE OF PENZANCE (Pentire-Royal Successor) home in 2015 beating the fast finishing Max Dynamite and Criterion at $101 it made news across the globe. A movie followed of the great race. *Footnote to that win, Michelle rode him at his next start and was 2nd in a Gr 3, then the connections made the weirdest decision in life – they took Michelle off him after she had won ALL seven of his races on him and over $4million in prize money.
In four subsequent runs, he didn’t run a place!
Prince Of Penzance was an anomaly in so much that $101 winners are rare in the Cup.
The only others over the years were:
THE PEARL who carried 48kg under jockey Jim Cavanagh in 1871. They ran 3:39.0 and there was 23 runners.
WOTAN made the racing world wait until 1936 before he won at $101 in what was then a fast time of 3:21.25. (By comparison Gold Trip ran 3.24 last year but it was a very damp track).
OLD ROWLEY was between Wotan and Prince Of Penzance saluting at tripe figure odds in 1940 under lightweight hoop Andy Knox in a field of 20.
For the record the shortest priced winner of the Cup goes to the legendary PHAR LAP (Night Raid-Entreaty) who started at 8/11 or $1.75.
If he was still alive, he’d be 97 years old today.
The biggest Cup field was a whopping 39 the year the champion NZ-bred CARBINE (Musket-Mersey) won in 1890 in 3:28. He won 33 races, which included 18 of his last 19 races.
And, in the Cup he carried 66kg, the most by a winning horse in the race’s history.
The smallest field was just 7 the year BANKER (Bolardo-Jeannette) scrambled home in 1863 carrying the lightest winning weight also of 42kg.
Can an outsider greet the judge in front this year? Probably not as the top four saddlecloth numbers simply look superior, but by all means have a wager on the boaters.
OUR 2023 LONGSHOT TIPS
RIGHT YOU ARE – $61.00
The best of them seem to be RIGHT YOU ARE (So You Think-Leica Ding) who at $61 looks a great each way bet.
He ran 5th in the Caulfield Cup and it was a terrific trial for this year’s Melbourne Cup.
MILITARY MISSION – $51.00
And, $51 chance MILITARY MISSION (Mastercraftsman-Atlantic Isle) is very fit, in form and can run home very hard.
Both have excellent trainers who have already won a Cup. Right You Are is trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace who scored last year with Gold Trip.
While Gai Waterhouse who steered Fiorente to victory 10 years ago, now teams with the astute Adrian Bott in preparing Military Mission.