Melbourne Cup Prize Money

Horses racing

Melbourne Cup Prize Money is well into the millions of dollars. This is the most lucrative horse race meet in Australia. In comparison to other races globally there are only two that come close to the Melbourne Cup prize money. There is the Dubai World Cup which is roughly US$10M and is held on a synthetic track. The second is the Japan Cup which is held on grass and is worth A$6.8million.

2017 Prize Money Break Down

The first 10 horses to place in the Cup will receive prize money. As broken down in the table.

Placing Prize Money
First Prize: $3,600,000
Second: $900,000
Third: $450,000
Fourth: $250,000
Fifth: $175,000
Sixth: $125,000
Seventh: $125,000
Eighth: $125,000
Ninth: $125,000
Tenth: $125,000

How much money does the winner of the Melbourne Cup receive?

The winner of the Melbourne Cup does not only claim bragging rights to the title but also a dollar reward of $3,600,000.

How much prize money does the winning jockey receive?

The jockey riding the winning horse is entitled to 5% of the prize money earned. 5% of $3.6Million dollars is $180,000. In addition to this, the jockey also receives payment for their riding fee.

How much prize money does the winning trainer get?

For the trainer behind the winning horse, they will take home 10% of the prize money in the race. Placing first means the trainer is entitled to $360,000.

How much do the winning connections receive?

The connections of the winning horse are therefore entitled to 85% of the total prize value. That’s a value of $3,060,000 for their horse making it first over the line.

Melbourne Cup Trophy

The actual Melbourne Cup Trophy is a fine piece of work. Handmade with 18-carat gold. It has been given the nickname of the ‘Loving Cup’ due to it being handmade. In addition to this trophy the jockey and trainer also receive miniatures. The strapper is also awarded a trophy known as the Tommy Woodcock, which is named after Phar Lap’s attendant.

Trophy Values
Melbourne Cup trophy: $150,000.
Trainer & Jockey miniatures: $10,000 trophy.
Strapper’s trophy:  $5,000.

Every year a new trophy is made as well as an identical one should the race ever end in a dead-heat. This is not as impossible as one may be thinking. There have been a few extremely close calls in the past. 

Australia vs. the World – prize money comparisons

When we compare the total prize money for the Melbourne Cup it far surpasses any other horse race globally. The event is increasing in popular and is evident in the number of internationals entering into the Cup. Prize money aside this is an extremely prestigious event.

History of Melbourne Cup Prize Money

The prize value of the Melbourne Cup always has and always will be a prestigious event. It is reported that the first Melbourne Cup in 1861 had a first place prize of £710 as well as a gold watch. Interestingly during WWII the prize was war bonds to the value of £200.

In 1985 the Cup was the first horse racing event in Australia offering $1 Million in prize money. In 2001, $4 Million as well as as change in the trophy for 9 carat to 18 carat gold. Fast forward to 2010 and beyond where the prize money exceeded $6Million.

Bottom Line

The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s most famous horse race. The meet takes place on Tuesday, 3.00 pm AEST, on the first Tuesday in November. It literally is the race that stops the nation. The total monetary value of the Melbourne cup is over $6,000,000. With the winning jockey rewarded with 5% of the winnings, the trainer with 10% of the winnings and the connections with 85% of the winnings. But prize money aside, to say you are the winner of the Melbourne Cup is an amazing feat.

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