This year number 12 in the Melbourne Cup is a French horse called Auvray. He’s not well fancied in the odds but he does have one thing going for him. History tells us that the luckiest numbers for a horse running in the Melbourne Cup are numbers 12 and 4.
Since the Cup began in 1861, the horse bearing the number 12 saddle cloth has won the cup 11 times, the most recent being Makybe Diva in her first win in 2003.
While the Number 4 saddle cloth has also won the Cup on eleven occasions, it’s a little more off its game. The number 4 has not won since the 1986 running of the Cup – yep, 32 years ago. This year Chestnut Coat has the number 4 saddle cloth and is jumping from barrier number 4. It could be a sign that its the only number horse to draw the same number barrier this year.
The next lucky numbers are:
Number 1 has won 10 times.
Number 6 has won 9 times.
Numbers 5 and 8 have all won 8 times.
Number 2, 11 and 19 have each won 7 times.
The least luckiest numbers for a horse in the Melbourne Cup are numbers 7, 16, 18, 21 and 23. They’ve all won before but only on two occasions in the 158 year history of the Cup.
This years contenders with those not-so-lucky saddle cloths are:
7 – Who Shot Thebarman $34
16 – Ventura Storm
18 – Nakeeta $101
21 – Runaway $41
23 – Cross Counter $9
So things are looking up for the number 23 featuring in the favourites market this year but the number 18 drought looks likely to continue at $101.
Arguably though, the Number 20 is even unluckier. Although it has won on three occasions and on the face of that, it makes it a bit luckier than the numbers above… we think the number 20 is a little bit jinxed when it comes to the Cup. It has not won in more than 120 years. The number 20 has not won since Gaulus won in 1897 and before that, in 1886 when the winner was a horse called Jarsenal. Before that, it was 1880 when Grand Fleur won the Cup. Been a while then, huh?! Maybe its jinxed? Maybe its due?
This year it is a horse called Zacada wearing the number 20… a roughie currently at odds of $81… so the number 20 drought may well continue. But you never know. Roughies do get up to win the Cup with the likes of Prince of Penzance who won at $101 in 2015.
There is one more number that needs a mention on the unlucky list and that is number 18 – more specifically barrier 18. Barrier 18 is the only barrier in the history of the race that has never won the Cup. Every other barrier has won at least twice (except 15 – its only won once). The point is, these numbers do not bode well for Who Shot TheBarman – who has drawn Barrier 18 and will be wearing the not-so-lucky number 7 saddle cloth!
Fun fact: although there are only 24 horses in the Great Race, the Cup has been won twice by horses wearing the number 25 and once by the horse wearing 26 and 28 and even once by a number 39. We’ve ignored these unusual numbers for the stats above.