Think you know everything there is to know about the Melbourne Cup? Here are some surprising facts about the world's stayers championship.
1. NSW bets the most on the race
The Melbourne Cup may take place in Victoria, but if betting stats are to be believed, it is New South Wales where the big money rolls in. Punters in NSW are estimated to bet around $1200 a head on the Melbourne Cup, well ahead of the national average.
2. Fashion and retail are big business
It's no secret that the Melbourne Cup and Spring Racing Carnival in general are major fashion events. But did you know that around 50 million dollars is dropped on raceday attire by Australians every November?
3. The winner's owner gets most of the prize money
The owner of the Melbourne Cup winner scoops a whopping 85% of the prize money awarded for the win. The trainer walks home with a 10% cut of the prize, while the jockey gets 5% - just shy of half a million dollars for a couple minutes of racing. The horse itself gets a rub-down and some oats.
4. The race has never produced a dead heat
While the Melbourne Cup has come very close to producing a dead heat on several occasions, it has never produced a finish so close that race organizers couldn't identify a winner. However, there have been two third place ties in the race's history.
5. Horses that finish from 6th to 10th place get the same prize money
Horses that finish in the 6th to 10th positions in the Melbourne Cup earn a pretty decent payout, but their finishing order stops making a difference to their prize money payout. Meanwhile horses that finish 11th and lower earn nothing.
6. An Irish bonus
The winner of the Irish St. Leger earns a $500,000 bonus if they manage to win the Melbourne Cup the following November.
7. An international event
The Melbourne Cup has become a major tourism drawcard for the city of Melbourne. Of the tens of thousands of people who watch the race live annually, around 25% travel to the race from another state or overseas.
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