Jameka was always going to have to be exceptional to win this year’s Melbourne Cup from the moment the weights came out.

Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter assigned the daughter of Myboycharlie, who won last year’s Crown Oaks, 51.5kg for the 3200-metre handicap.

It was a daunting task considering that, of the five four-year-old mares to have won the Melbourne Cup, only Light Fingers (52.5kg) and Ethereal (52kg) have done it with more than 51kg.

Jameka’s task intensified, however, with a couple of penalties. First Carpenter handed her an extra half-a-kilogram for her win in the Naturalism Stakes, while she was allotted an extra 1.5kg for her win in the Caulfield Cup.

WATCH: Jameka's victory at Caulfield


That took her to 53.5kg, which became 54.5kg after weights for all runners in this year’s race went up 1kg.

Times have changed since La Carabine lumped the equivalent of 60.5kg into seventh position in the 1900 Melbourne Cup, but it is still rare to see a four-year-old mare carry Jameka’s weight.

Carpenter advises that eight others have tried with at least 54.5kg with second placings to Chicquita (1950) and Leilani (1974) – who each carried 55.5kg – the best results.

What Jameka will do, however, is carry the weight that has been successful more times than any other since Vintage Crop changed the race forever with his win in 1993.

"The Irish horse will win the Melbourne Cup." Vintage Crop became the first international to triumph in the Melbourne Cup in 1993.

  • Thirteen of the 23 winners since 1993 have been in the 54.5kg-56.5kg weight range.
  • Five of those winners have carried 54.5kg, the weight AlmoonqithGallante and Grand Marshalwill also carry on Tuesday.
  • The only horse to carry more than 56.5kg to victory since 1993 was Makybe Diva, who lumped 58kg to her third win.
  • Form Focus advises that Makybe Diva is one of 73 to carry at least 57kg since the introduction of metrics in 1973 with Think Big (58.5kg, 1975) and Gold And Black (57kg, 1977) the others to win. Big Orange and Our Ivanhowe are joint 57kg topweights this year.

While only five four-year-old mares have won the Melbourne Cup, two of them also won the Caulfield Cup. Light Fingers (1965) and Ethereal (2001) are among the 11 horses to have completed the double Jameka is chasing this year.

  • Since Ethereal, nine of the 14 Caulfield Cup winners have run in the Melbourne Cup with Elvstroem’s fourth placing the best result. Master O’Reilly (eighth), Viewed (seventh) and Fawkner (sixth) are the only others to finish in the first half of the field.
  • The Caulfield Cup is the most prolific producer of Melbourne Cup winners, with 19 of the past 40 having come through that race, but none since Viewed in 2008.
  • Since Ethereal the Cox Plate has been the most successful launching pad to Melbourne Cup success with four winners having had their final lead-up run in the Moonee Valley event.
  • The Geelong Cup is the other race that has supplied more than one winner as a final lead-up in that time with three – Media Puzzle, Americain and Dunaden – who all did the double.
  • Oceanographer finished third at Geelong, but won Saturday’s Lexus Stakes and will be out to join Brew and Shocking as horses to have done that double since 1993.
  • Half of the past 30 winners of the Melbourne Cup went in as last-start winners.

Last-start winners this year: Big Orange, Wicklow Brave, Grand Marshal, Jameka, Heartbreak City, Almandin, Assign, Oceanographer, Secret Number, Qewy.

Oceanographer’s Lexus Stakes win has him challenging fellow Godolphin galloper Hartnell for favouritism but the Cup hasn’t been a great race for the punters’ pick.

  • 34 of the 155 Melbourne Cups (21.93%) have been won by the favourite or equal favourite.
  • Fiorente, who won at $7 in 2013, is the only favourite to win in the last 10 years.
  • The average starting price in that time is $24, a price boosted by Viewed ($41) and Prince Of Penzance ($101).
  • Prince Of Penzance last year became the fourth horse to win at $101 and first since Old Rowley in 1940. The Pearl (1871) and Wotan (1936) are the other 100/1 winners.

WATCH: Michelle Payne discuss Prince Of Penzance's win in 2015

Oceanographer will be lining up for his third run in 13 days, an unusual preparation for an overseas galloper, but the important thing is he has been to the races in Australia.

  • Vintage Crop won the 1993 Cup at his first start since winning the Irish St Leger on September 18, but almost 100 have tried to win it first-up in Australia since for no wins.
  • They have come close, though, with Max Dynamite last year becoming the seventh international to finish second at their first run in Australia. Seven others have finished third.

Internationals first-up this year: Big Orange, Curren Mirotic, Bondi Beach, Wicklow Brave, Heartbreak City, Beautiful Romance, Secret Number

Two of the above group, Big Orange and Bondi Beach, are back after finishing unplaced last year and will be looking to do what only two horses have done of late.

  • Fiorente won the Melbourne Cup 12 months after finishing runner-up, joining Brew as the only horses to have won the Cup at a second attempt in the international era.

Those who ran last year engaged on Tuesday: Big Orange (5th), Excess Knowledge (7th), Our Ivanhowe (10th), Who Shot Thebarman (11th), Hartnell (15th), Bondi Beach (16th), Almoonqith (18th), Grand Marshal (21st).

Several engaged in this year’s Cup have tasted success previously.

  • Bart Cummings is the most successful trainer with 12 wins, but Lee Freedman – who trains Our Ivanhowe and Exospheric in partnership with his brother Anthony – has the equal second-most number of wins in the race with five.
  • David Hayes (Almoonwith), Robert Hickmott (Gallante, Almandin, Assign) and Gai Waterhouse (Excess Knowledge) are the other trainers to have won it with runners this year.
  • Bobbie Lewis and Harry White are the most successful jockeys with four wins, but two riders this year have the chance to join them. Damien Oliver (Exospheric) and Glen Boss (Grey Lion) are each on three wins.
  • Ryan Moore (Bondi Beach), Blake Shinn (Gallante) and Kerrin McEvoy (Almandin) are the other jockeys to have won it.


  • Since the introduction of starting stalls, barrier 11 – the gate Oceanographer drew – has provided more winners than any other alley with eight wins.
  • Barrier 18 (Curren Mirotic) is yet to supply a winner.
  • Curren Mirotic will also become the first nine-year-old to win if successful.
  • Only two eight-year-olds have won. Who Shot Thebarman, Wicklow Brave and Sir John Hawkwood are the eight-year-olds running this year.
  • Only six greys have won with Efficient (2007) the latest. Grey Lion is the lone grey engaged this year
  • Only five horses have won with three words in their name. Who Shot Thebarman, Sir John Hawkwood and Rose Of Virginia are those with three words engaged this year.