1996 Cup winner Saintly is one of five runners for Bart Cummings (Image: Andrew Rosenfeldt)

Field of Stars

The 24 champions of the turf making up the Lexus Melbourne Cup The Race of Dreams have been revealed.  They are headlined by three-time Cup winner Makybe Diva. 

The much-anticipated virtual race, developed by Inspired Entertainment, will bring together the most memorable Cup victors in the 160-year history of the Melbourne Cup to determine the ultimate champion. The race will be shown live and free on Network 10 and 10 Play at 1:30pm on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, Tuesday 3 November.  

Super mare Makybe Diva is joined in the field by other Australian racing icons such as Phar Lap, Carbine, Archer and Might and Power. 
The legendary Cups King Bart Cummings is represented in the final field by five horses; Light Fingers, Galilee, Think Big, Let’s Elope and Saintly, with Cummings’ father Jim represented by Comic Court. 

An expert panel comprising VRC Ambassador and Hall of Fame trainer Gai Waterhouse, Network 10’s Francesca Cumani, broadcaster Gerard Whateley, Herald Sun Chief Racing Writer Leo Schlink, legendary race caller Greg Miles, Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter and the VRC’s Executive General Manager Racing Leigh Jordon settled on the final 24 after much deliberation. 

Notable names such as Peter Pan, Nightmarch, Rising Fast and Rain Lover will also feature in the race, with Victorian race caller and the voice of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Matt Hill to call the lifelike event. 

Vintage Crop enters the field as the first international winner of the Melbourne Cup with France’s Americain and Dunaden adding more international flavour to the race.

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said the final field will bring back great memories, create many talking points and provide inspiration in this challenging year.
“The Lexus Melbourne Cup is one of the most recognised horse races in the world and every year the winner cements their place in Australian sporting history,” Mrs Elliott said. 

“Melbourne Cup champions such as Phar Lap, Carbine, Makybe Diva, Saintly and Might and Power captured public attention, won our hearts and have all become legends in their own right.  It is always uplifting to remember and celebrate those monumental achievements.

“In my lifetime I have been fortunate enough to witness some incredible Cup victories, none more impressive than Makybe Diva winning her third Cup in 2005.  Creating a virtual race to compare recent winners to those of the past will be fascinating, and will certainly generate some robust and pretty entertaining debate.”

The expert panel was involved in selecting the final 24 horses and assessing the final field from 1-24, to help devise a ranking that was sent to Inspired Entertainment along with information such as each horse’s running style, winning time and the handicap weight assigned by Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter in Lexus Melbourne Cup The Race of Dreams.

Inspired Entertainment then uses a complex algorithm to decide the actual race result, while their designers develop the lifelike race simulation.

The 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival begins with AAMI Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 31 October 2020 followed by Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 3 November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 5 November and Seppelt Wines Stakes Day on Saturday 7 November. 

Network 10 is the exclusive broadcast partner of the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival with all races live and free on 10 and streamed on 10 Play.


Final Field for Lexus Melbourne Cup The Race of Dreams







1861, 1862

Etienne de Mestre

Johnny Cutts

Archer was the first winner of the Melbourne Cup and one of only five horses to win more than one Melbourne Cup. He is also only one of three horses to carry more than 10 stone (approximately 63kg) to win the Cup.

The Barb


John Tait

William Davis

The Barb was foaled near Bathurst in NSW and stolen by a group of bushrangers before being found and later sold to trainer John Tait. Nicknamed the Black Demon for his feisty spirit, The Barb was also a dual Sydney Cup winner.

Grand Flaneur


Tom Brown

Tom Hales

Grand Flaneur holds a special place in racing history as the only horse to win a Melbourne Cup and retire undefeated. He won from 1000m – 4800m displaying great versatility not seen in modern racing. He also sired Cup winners Bravo (1889) and Patron (1894).



Walter Hickenbotham

Bob Ramage

This year marks 130 years since the history making win of Carbine in the Melbourne Cup. He holds the weight-carrying record in the Cup when lumping 10 stone 5 (approximately 66kg) to victory in 1890. Carbine secured 33 wins in his 43-start career.



Ike Earnshaw

Tom Clayton

As a three-year-old Poseidon won the Caulfield Cup, VRC Derby and Melbourne Cup, a feat that would rarely ever be considered in modern racing.



Harry Robinson

Ken Bracken

Poitrel joins Carbine and Archer as horses to have carried more than 10 stone (approximately 63kg) to win the Melbourne Cup. He was part of the first few crops born at the famous Arrowfield Stud and later retired to stallion duties there.



Alex McAulay

Roy Reed

Phar Lap’s great rival Nightmarch won the 1929 Melbourne Cup and became the first horse to win the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in the same year. Sired by the same sire as Phar Lap in Night Raid, Nightmarch had 69 race starts for 24 wins and finished second on a remarkable 18 occasions.

Phar Lap


Harry Telford

Jim Pike

An Australian racing hero, Phar Lap lifted the spirits of a nation during the Great Depression, winning the 1930 Melbourne Cup and surviving an attempted shooting just days before the race. Phar Lap also won two Cox Plates before he travelled to America where he sadly died in suspicious circumstances.

Peter Pan

1932, 1934

Frank McGrath

Billy Duncan (1932)

Darby Munro (1934)

A dual winner of the Melbourne Cup, Peter Pan’s success on the track may have been overshadowed by the deeds of Phar Lap who raced in the same era. He retired after 39 starts and 23 wins and remains one of only five horses to win more than one Melbourne Cup.

Comic Court


Jim Cummings

Pat Glennon

Born in Normanville, South Australia, Comic Court won the 1950 Melbourne Cup for trainer Jim Cummings. That day he was strapped by Jim’s son, Bart, who would go on to become the greatest trainer in the history of the Melbourne Cup with 12 wins.

Rising Fast


Ivan Tucker

Jack Purtell

New Zealand-born galloper Rising Fast is the only horse to have won the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in the same year. His spring of 1954 also included wins in the Turnbull Stakes and Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington.

Even Stevens


Archie McGregor

Les Coles

New Zealand stayer Even Stevens is one of only 11 horses to have completed the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup double, arriving in Australia on what was the first ever Qantas flight to carry horses across the Tasman.

Light Fingers


Bart Cummings

Roy Higgins

Small in stature but big in heart, Light Fingers was Bart Cummings’ first Melbourne Cup winner who returned the following year to run second in the Melbourne Cup. Her other major wins at Flemington included the VRC Oaks in 1964.



Bart Cummings

John Miller

Bred by New Zealand’s Trelawney Stud, Galilee was rated by Bart Cummings as one of the best horses he trained, able to handle all conditions and win Group 1 races from 1600m – 3200m.

Rain Lover

1968, 1969

Mick Robins

Jim Johnson

Rain Lover became the first horse in more than a century to win consecutive Melbourne Cups. Mick Robins was a Broken Hill miner and hobby trainer and defeated the powerhouse stables at the time to win not only two Melbourne Cups but a VRC Mackinnon Stakes, VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes and many more feature races.

Think Big

1974, 1975

Bart Cummings

Harry White

One of only five horses to win the Melbourne Cup more than once, Think Big began a lifelong love affair with racing for his owner Dato Tan Chin Nam. Jockey Harry White was famously late into the mounting yard to ride Think Big before the 1975 Cup after taking a nap between races. Think Big lived out his days at White’s Gisborne property.

Let’s Elope


Bart Cummings

Steven King

A favourite among many, Let’s Elope won the Turnbull Stakes, Caulfield Cup, Mackinnon Stakes and Melbourne Cup all in the space of one month in the spring of 1991. Inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2012, Let’s Elope had to survive a tense protest to hold the 1991 Cup.

Vintage Crop


Dermot Weld

Michael Kinane

Sir The first horse to travel more than 15,000km and win the Melbourne Cup, Ireland’s Vintage Crop paved the way for a wave of international success in Australia’s greatest race by winning the race in 1993.



Lee Freedman

Damien Oliver

Doriemus provided Damien Oliver with his first VRC Melbourne Cup win in 1995. In 1997 Doriemus’ jockey Greg Hall saluted as if he had won the Cup, only for the photo finish to show he had run second. Doriemus lived out his days with former rival Might and Power at Living Legends.



Bart Cummings

Darren Beadman

Known to fans as the horse from heaven, Saintly was identified by Bart Cummings as a champion at just two months old. A winner of the Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate in 1996, Bart Cummings once said “I never thought I’d rate another one of my gallopers up with Galilee but Saintly was right there alongside him.”

Might and Power


Jack Denham

Jim Cassidy

One of only a few horses to lead from start to finish in the Melbourne Cup and one of the only two horses to have won the Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup.

Makybe Diva

2003, 2004, 2005

David Hall (2003)

Lee Freedman (2004 & 2005)

Glen Boss

Makybe Diva created history in 2005 as the first horse to win three Melbourne Cups, a feat unlikely to ever be matched. The great mare also won a Cox Plate, Australian Cup and Sydney Cup during a 36-start career that saw her win 15 races and over $14 million in prizemoney. She now lives at owner Tony Santic’s property outside Geelong.



Alain de Royer Dupré

Gérald Mossé

First French-trained winner of the race who won the Geelong Cup before going on to win the 150th Melbourne Cup.



Mikel Delzangles

Christophe Lemaire

Dunaden won the Melbourne Cup in the closest finish ever recorded having won the G3 Geelong Cup the start prior. He went on to win the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase six weeks after the Melbourne Cup, and also won the Caulfield Cup the following year carrying top weight and coming from a wide gate.