Every year on the first Tuesday in November the Melbourne Cup evokes deep emotion and a sense of theatre that is reserved for only the most elite sporting events. Trelawney Stud has an illustrious history with the iconic race having produced seven winners of 'The Cup'. In 2010 a statue created by Australian sculptor Jane Dawson was unveiled to celebrate this achievement.
BREEDER: George Cobb
OWNER: Frederick William Hughes
TRAINER: Jim McCurley
JOCKEY: Jack Purtell
1947- Hiraji (Nizami x Duvach)
Hiraji was sired by Trelawney resident sire Nizami and from a daughter of legendary stallion Foxbridge in Duvach. He was owned at the time of his Melbourne Cup win by Frederick William Hughes of W.M.Hughes Pty fame, who eventually purchased Nizami to stand at his stud at Kooba near Wagga Wagga in New South Wales of Australia.
Hughes was one of the most influential Australians of his time and started out as a one-time farmhand and assistant wool valuer before he rose to a position of immense wealth due to his various industrial pursuits and vast land holdings.
After the death of his wife in 1935 Hughes developed an interest in racing and owned 300 horses over ten years. At his death in 1950 Hughes had owned 270 winners including Hiraji who he bought for 2100 guineas.
Hiraji was bred by Matamata barber and under-the-counter bookie George Cobb who was based at what is now Blandford Lodge. Cobb also bred, owned and raced the 1946 New Zealand Grand National Steeplechase winner Dumbo and won a New Zealand trainers' premiership.
BREEDER: Neville R Souter
OWNER: L.G. Robinson
TRAINER: Dan Lewis
JOCKEY: William Fellows
1949- Foxzami (Nizami x Honeywood)
Foxzami was the second son of Nizami to win the Melbourne Cup, and was also out of a daughter of the great Foxbridge.
Foxzami through the 1946 National Yearling Sales at Trentham to motor car sales accessories businessman L.G. Robinson who lived on Lord Howe Island off Sydney.
Trainer Dan Lewis was well into his 70s and yet to fulfil a 40 year ambition to win the Melbourne Cup when he took charge of Foxzami. He realised that dream could become a reality when Foxzami, as a three-year-old, ran third to Carbon Copy and Vagabond in the AJC Derby and second to Comic Court in the VRC Derby.
Foxzami began his Melbourne Cup preparation the following season and despite starting at long odds went on to win by a length and a half. It was also recorded that the Hon. Joseph Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia, was particularly pleased with the result having drawn Foxami in the slightly illegal Federal Parliamentary sweepstake.
BREEDER: Seton Otway
OWNER: N Brown
TRAINER: Dick Roden
JOCKEY: Pat Glennon
1959- Macdougal (Marco Polo II x Lady Fox)
Emotions ran high during the 1959 Melbourne Cup when Seton Otway watched from the Flemington stands as Mcdougal raced his way into Melbourne Cup history.
It wasn't just that the homebred gelding (out of another daughter of the beloved Foxbridge) won the famed race, but the struggle ensued to get there. Lady Fox died two weeks after foaling, leaving Mcdougal an orphan foal and it was his namesake, Peg Mcdougal, who nursed him through those early stages of life.
Peg Mcdougal, a long time companion of Seton Otway and his wife Ruth, took responsibility for the newborn foal and bottle-fed the colt in the crucial period between being orphaned and bonding with a foster mother.
The colt thrived and went through the ring a robust and healthy yearling when knocked down to Queensland grazier Norman Brown at the 1955 yearling sales for 1800 guineas.
When it was time to name the colt Brown wrote to Otway expressing a wish to call him either Otway or Trelawney. The suggestion was turned down and Brown was told of the life-saving intervention how 'Macdougal' may be an entirely appropriate alternative. Though Brown heeded the advice he sadly died without seeing the best horse he ever owned race.
In 1958 Macdougal made his first Melbourne Cup appearance racing for Brown's son in partnership with his father's estate. He failed on that attempt but came back the following year a far better horse.
Macdougal won both the Brisbane Cup and AJC Metropolitan Handicap before his epic three-length victory in the Melbourne Cup in 1959 at the odds of 8-1.
BREEDER: Seton Otway
OWNER: Trevor Knowles & R.K. Sly
TRAINER: Trevor Knowles
JOCKEY: W.A (Bill) Smith
1960- Hi-Jinx (Pride of Kildare x Lady's Bridge)
Hi-Jinx is regarded as one of the biggest upset winners of the Melbourne Cup. 1960 marked the 100th running of the race that stops two nations and the Flemington racecourse was given a major makeover to mark the occasion.
The Number One saddle cloth was to be worn by the all-conquering Tulloch who was backed into 3-1 favouritism despite his massive weight of 10st.1lb (64kg). The $50,000 stakes was $20,000 more than the previous highest, the crowd was at 100,000 for the first time, and in New South Wales a million viewers watched the first direct telecast.
It was a huge day for Trelawney who had bred Tulloch in partnership with high profile Cambridge identity Dave Blackie, but it was another horse from the farm that won that day.
Despite all the Tulloch-hype around him Trevor Knowles, trainer of Hi-Jinx, was quietly confident and placing bets on his mare at odds of 80-1. He was well aware of her fitness levels, her stamina and the fact she was only carrying 7st 10lb (49kg).
Jockey W.A (Bill Smith) unleashed Hi-Jinx on the turn who won an hectic three-way finish and led home an all-Kiwi trained result. The crowd hardly believed their eyes as Tulloch battled home to finish seventh, the only time in his incredible career he didn't run a place.
Hi-Jinx made 575 guineas as a yearling and was raced by Knowles in partnership with Manawatu farming friend R.K. Sly. Knowles eventually relocated to the Waikato and established Centennial Stud near Te Rapa and became an active member of the Waikato Racing Club committee.
OWNER: L & E Davis
TRAINER: John Carter
JOCKEY: Ron Taylor
1964- Polo Prince (Marco Polo II x Sou'East)
Polo Prince was the prototype of a New Zealand thoroughbred; he was lean, tough, and a race-hardened stayer. Having 'Lucky" Laurie Davis as an owner, he was always destined to win big.
Davis was living in Mangere when one refreshing Saturday morning he took a double at Te Awamutu with Mangere (first leg) and Refreshing. He coupled the pair for three quid and collected 18,846 quid when the result came in.
Davis purchased a small rural property with the winnings and gifted a 120 guinea mare named Sou'East, a granddaughter of Foxbridge, to his wife Edna. She named the resulting foal from a mating to Marco Polo II Polo Prince, not only because of the name of his sire but because of her husband's keen interest in polo.
'Lucky' Laurie also added a national lottery win and the New Zealand Derby (with The Gentry who he raced in partnership with racecaller Keith Haub) to his mammoth TAB double and Melbourne Cup win.
Unfortunately Polo Prince was not known for the sunny nature his owners possessed. The crotchety youngster was sent to former top jumps jockey turned-trainer John Cater to be taught some manners and for a potential career over jumps.
Carter recognised some genuine talent and thoughts of a jumping career were put on hold with Polo Prince going on to finish runner-up in both the Auckland and Wellington Cups.
After travelling badly to Australia Polo Prince was sent out at 12-1 in the 1964 Melbourne Cup due to a strong run in the Moonee Valley Cup and Mackinnon Stakes. Given a ground saving ride by jockey Ron Taylor, Polo Prince went on to win the Cup by a length and a half from fellow kiwi Elkayel.
BREEDER: Trelawney Stud
OWNER: Mr & Mrs M.L. Bailey
TRAINER: Bart Cummings
JOCKEY: John Miller
1966- Galilee (Alcimedes x Galston)
Galilee gave the legendary Bart Cummings his second of 12 Melbourne Cups. In his autobiography "Bart, My Life" Cummings, though he loathed to compare horses, declared he was unlikely to ever train a better stayer that Galilee.
Cummings also explained why he bought Galilee out of Trelawney's yearling draft when others, including the great Tommy Smith, branded the colt a cripple. He had been impressed by the colt at a pre-sales visit to Trelawney, disregarding his ungainly walk and focussing on his attractive pedigree and the fact he might come at a bargain price.
"He threw his offside foreleg at an angle and was distinctly pigeon toed. People said he walked like Charlie Chaplin. But that didn't discourage me because it didn't contradict any of the principles of spotting yearlings my father had taught me."
Cummings recorded in his catalogue "Very good, three stars, a grand walker."
Even after Galilee had established himself as an exceptional galloper he attracted criticism. Roy Higgins, the number one jockey for the Cummings stable at the time, contended the horse shuffled rather than walked and these disparagements were the reasons why John Miller became Galilee's regular rider.
The teamed up to win the Melbourne, Caulfield and Sydney Cups all in the same season.
As Cummings said to Tommy Smith, not bad for a horse labelled as a cripple that cost 3500 guineas.
BREEDER: Trelawney Stud
OWNER: Sir Walter Norwood
TRAINER: Eric Temperton
JOCKEY: Bruce Marsh
1971- Silver Knight (Alcimedes x Cuban Fox)
Silver Knight was the seventh product of Trelawney to win the Melbourne Cup and the sixth to be bred from a mare by Foxbridge. On this occasion it was Cuban Fox, a direct descendent of Persis, one of Seton Otway's two foundation broodmares.
As a yearling Silver Knight was bought for $7,500 by Awapuni trainer Eric Temperton on behalf of Sir Walter Norwood.
Silver Knight's New Zealand form was impressive enough to earn him a 55kg weighting for the Melbourne Cup, though he nearly missed the race. He only got on the last flight available after another horse cancelled. Even then there were further concerns after he became unruly and upset enroute to Australia.
On the day he presented in immaculate condition and a 21-year-old Bruce Marsh gave him a masterful ride to go on to win by a length and a half.
1971 also marked the first year the Melbourne Cup was shown live on Television in New Zealand allowing kiwis around the country to watch the 12th New Zealand-bred horse win the great race in 18 years.
Silver Knight was later bought by Robert Holmes A'Court, who also owned Trelawney for a short time in the late 1980s, for A$300,000 to stand at Heytesbury Stud near Perth. Silver Knight went on to sire Black Knight, winner of the 1984 Melbourne Cup for owner-breeder Holmes A'Court.