The Australian Cup is a Gr 1 Weight for Age horserace for
two-year-old Australian thoroughbred colts, geldings and fillies,
contested over 2000m at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne in March
every year. It currently offers a purse of AUD$1,005,000 and is one
of the oldest and most prestigious races in Australia.
Inaugurated in 1862, the Australian Cup is renowned for attracting
the nation's best two-year-olds, as well as top trainers and most
talented jockeys. Being that it is such an old and historical race,
the Australian Cup has been run over a variety of distances in its
For instance, according to racing records from 1863 until 1942 the
Australian Cup was run over 3600m (18 furlongs). From 1943 until
1962 it was run over 3500m (17 furlongs) and in 1963 over 3200m (2
miles). From 1964 until now it has been contested over 2000m (10
The race was run as a handicap from 1982 until 1986, and in 2007 it
was run at Melbourne's Caulfield Racecourse. Since 1862 six horses
have won the Australian Handicap twice - Woodman, Welkin Prince
Craftsman, Ming Dynasty, Vo Rogue, and most recently Northerley in
2001 and 2003.
The 2005 Australian Cup winner, Makybe Diva, is one of the most
successful Australian thoroughbreds in recent times. She was named
Australian Racehorse of the Year in 2005 and 2006, Australian
Champion Filly and Mare in 2005, and Australian Middle Distance
Champion in 2006. She was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall
of Fame in 2006.