sport news From being upstaged by Burke and Wills to the youngest ever jockey: Here are ... trends now

sport news From being upstaged by Burke and Wills to the youngest ever jockey: Here are ... trends now
sport news From being upstaged by Burke and Wills to the youngest ever jockey: Here are ... trends now

sport news From being upstaged by Burke and Wills to the youngest ever jockey: Here are ... trends now

The Melbourne Cup has provided thrills, spills and entertainment for the masses since 1861, earning it the nickname 'the race that stops the nation'.

It is a time when even the most casual punter will have a flutter on a favourite, roughie, local hope or foreign raider in the hopes of striking it rich.

While the race itself may only last a couple of minutes, the day at Flemington Racecourse is on the bucket list for many Australians.

However while there have been plenty of heart-warming stories to come out of Melbourne Cup Day, the jewel in the heart of the Spring Carnival has also had many contentious moments. 

Here are some of the most shocking facts about the Melbourne Cup, dating all the way back to when it all first started:  

History-making jockey Michelle Payne is banned for drug use

Michelle Payne riding Prince Of Penzance became the first woman rider to win the Melbourne Cup, an achievement which is yet to be matched

Michelle Payne riding Prince Of Penzance became the first woman rider to win the Melbourne Cup, an achievement which is yet to be matched

Michelle Payne and trainer Gai Waterhouse pose during the 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival Launch at Flemington Racecourse

Michelle Payne and trainer Gai Waterhouse pose during the 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival Launch at Flemington Racecourse

Michelle Payne made history as the first and only woman to win the Melbourne Cup in its 162-year existence. She achieved this remarkable feat while riding Prince of Penzance, whose colors were coincidentally the same as those of the suffragette movement: purple, green, and white. It was a shock, upset victory, as she was considered a longshot at odds of 100-1 on that day at Flemington.

"I want to say to everyone else get stuffed because women can do anything and we can beat the world," she said at the time.

However, just two years after her historic win, Michelle Payne faced a setback when she tested positive for a banned substance called Phentermine, which is an appetite suppressant. This happened after she provided a urine sample at a racing event in Swan Hill, northern Victoria, on June 11, 2017.

Michelle's legal team tried to argue for a lighter punishment, explaining that she had been prescribed Phentermine to help with health issues stemming from a traumatic experience she had in 2016. Despite their efforts, Michelle was suspended from the sport for four weeks after pleading guilty.

In a statement, she took full responsibility for her actions, saying, "The blame is entirely on me. I regret not seeking more guidance, I wasn't thorough, and that is entirely my fault. I sincerely apologise to everyone."

Payne has since announced her decision to retire from horse racing at the end of the 2023 season.

What do we do with the drunken Governor-General?

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Governor-General John Kerr certainly enjoyed himself at the 1977 running of the Melbourne Cup

Governor-General John Kerr certainly enjoyed himself at the 1977 running of the Melbourne Cup

Melbourne Cup Day and the Spring Racing Carnival are known for wild partying and mishaps, usually involving excited fans rather than politicians. However, in 1977, something unusual happened. After Black and Gold won the race, Governor-General John Kerr was supposed to present the Cup to the winning trainer, Bart Cummings, who had just won his fourth Melbourne Cup.

But here's the twist: Governor-General Kerr seemed to be very drunk. When he got up to speak, his speech was bizarre, to say the least. Even today, almost 50 years later, people remember his strange words more than the actual race.

Kerr's obvious drunkenness, along with his bushy white hair and aristocratic demeanor, made him look more like a character from Barry Humphries' comedy than a serious government official. The crowd even hissed as he stumbled through his speech.

He tried to explain away the strange noises in his speech by saying, "Any little noises that you may happen to hear are only static. It's just something wrong with the system. Cheers from a small minority! However, life is wonderful for all of us."

Later on, former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam admitted that he had made a mistake in appointing Kerr as Governor-General, calling him a "drunk." It was

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