Posted By John
Carbine Wins The Melbourne Cup

from the Australian newspaper The Age, on 5 November 1890

Many hearty ovations have in the past awaited popular winners at Flemington, but never in the history of the Australian turf has there been such a demonstration as that which marked Carbine’s phenomenal victory. Even before the race started it was made manifest that the famous son of Musket and Mersey was ‘the people’s favourite’, as he was heartily cheered as he emerged from the saddling paddock and walked slowly down to do his preliminary.

Carbine was the first to appear on the course, and on his arrival at the post such a rush of admirers took place that the assistance of the police was necessary before the course could be cleared. Long before the No. 1 was hoisted by the judge, in fact before the champion had reached the winning post, the spectators burst Gold Sovereigninto wild expressions of delight and admiration, as it could be seen some distance from the post that Carbine would have to fall down to lose.

As the clerk of the course escorted him back to the weighing yard, winner of the most valuable handicap race ever run in the world (10,000 sovereigns), the scene was one to be remembered. Inside the enclosure his popular owner was receiving the hearty congratulations of his friends, and acknowledging the cheers of the assembled thousands . . .

By his great triumph in the Melbourne Cup, Carbine has broken more than one record in connection with that famous event. He carried 10 st 5 lbs, a weight never previously borne to victory in a Melbourne Cup, and beat the best time previously recorded for that race (3 min. 28 ½ secs.) by a quarter of a second.

Carbine (1885-1914)

Carbine, nicknamed “Old Jack,” was a remarkable New Zealand thoroughbred racehorse, competing first in New Zealand and later in Australia. Carbine had an impressive racing career. Out of 43 starts, he took 1st place 33 times, 2nd place 6 times and 3rd place 3 times. That’s an amazing 76.7% first place wins.

Carbine is not just known for his excellent performance on the track. As a sire, his descendants have won over half of the 65 Melbourne Cup races from 1914 to 1978. Carbine’s descendants include Phar Lap, Makybe Diva, Northern Dancer, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Nijinsky II (winner of the UK Triple Crown), to name just a few.

Suffering a stroke, Carbine was humanely put down on 10 June 1914. He was not forgotten. In 2001 he became one of five inaugural inductees into both the Australian Racing Hall of Fame and the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame. His skeleton can be seen on display at the Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Melbourne.

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