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Australia’s Most Famous Racehorses

In no particular order we’ll be taking a brief look at just some of the most famous horses to ever race on Australian tracks. Some are legendary for having a big heart, while others are renowned for winning the most major races.

Makybe Diva

This horse has a claim to fame that no other racehorse in history has ever achieved – Winning 3 Melbourne Cup races in 2003, 2004 and again in 2005. This is a feat that is likely to never be repeated ever again. At least, not in our lifetimes. The great mare was also the champion in a number of other prestigious Australian races, including the Sydney Cup in 2004, the Australian Cup in 2005 and the Cox Plate, also in 2005. She also holds the record for the most amount of prize money won by an Australian racehorse.

Phar Lap

Phar Lap did almost all of his racing on Australian shores, but was actually foaled in New Zealand. This majestic racehorse has always be known for having the biggest heart of any horse to ever grace a race track. Phar Lap’s most notable victory was winning the 1930 Melbourne Cup. He won a total of 37 races from just 51 starts in his relatively short career. Phar Lap sparked the imaginations of people the world over during The Great Depression and was a true inspiration to many people.

Kingston Town

This racehorse rose to prominence and then stardom during the late 1970s and early 1980s. He’s well known for being the only horse to win the Group 1 Cox Plate 3 times (1980, 1981, 1982) in his illustrious career on the track. Kingston Town also has the unenviable notoriety of coming last in his first ever race. Over his career, Kingston Town managed to win a massive 30 races from just 41 starts, statistics that are a far cry from his inglorious start. Other notable victories include the Rosehill Guineas in 1980, the Sydney Cup in 1980, and the Caulfield Stakes in 1981 and 1982. Kingston Town never won the coveted Melbourne Cup.

Black Caviar

This champion racehorse of the recent era is renowned for having won every single race she competed in, with 25 wins from 25 starts. That’s virtually unheard of in the horse racing industry. Probably not since Phar Lap has a racehorse truly captured the public’s imagination like Black Caviar did in her hey days from 2009 to 2013. The mighty mare’s notable victories include the GBR Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 2012, VRC Lightning Stakes in 2011, 2012 and again in 2013, the MVRC Australia Stakes in 2010 and 2012, and the VRC Danehill Stakes in 2009.


This champion racehorse was king of the track just prior to the turn of the 20th century. Carbine was foaled in New Zealand, but did the majority of his racing on Australian racecourses. Many astute race goers consider Carbine to be the greatest thoroughbred to ever grace an Australian race track. Carbine achieved feats that no other racehorse in Australian history has ever matched, such as winning races carrying great weights, and also winning consecutive races held on the same day. He won 5 from 5 races in New Zealand, and had 9 victories from 13 starts in Australia. Carbine’s famous victories include the Sydney Cup in 1889 and again in 1890, AJC Plate in 1889, 1890 and 1891, the Craven Plate in 1890 and the Melbourne Cup also in 1890.


Right in the middle of his illustrious racing career, a mysterious stomach disease almost claimed the life of Tulloch in 1958. The champion horse wasn’t to be kept down though, making a comeback two years later by winning the coveted VRC Queen’s Plate in 1960. Over the course of Tulloch’s career, he only ever failed to win or place in a race just the once, and unfortunately that was in the 1960 Melbourne Cup where he could only manage 7th. Out of a massive 53 starts, Tulloch enjoyed 36 victories and 16 placings. Other notable victories were the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1958, 1960 and 1961, the Caulfield Cup in 1957, the Caulfield Guineas in 1957 and the Rosehill Guineas, also in 1957.

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