Dubbed “The Race That Stops a Nation”, the Melbourne Cup is Australia’s biggest and most popular horse race. It marks the end of the Melbourse Spring Carnival, and is well known for making a horse in terms of being titled a champion. In 2016 the race was won by a total outsider, leaving the more popular horses to trail in his wake. The headlines about this surprise win were all over the place, but very little was said about the last place horse. Last place is not usually something to be reported upon, but sometimes it is interesting to see what happened, and what it may mean for the horses future
The last placing horse at the 2016 Melbourne Cup was a mare called Rose of Virginia. She was seven at the time of the Melbourne Cup, which is only one year younger than supermare Winx. Rose of Virginia has had a very full career, with many starts at many tracks and different types of going. Her last win was at the begging of the year at Ellerslie, since then she had two placings but that was all that could be noted at online horse racing betting australian sites.
Her trainers Lee and Shannon Hope released that the mare had internal bleeding after the race, which accounted for her bad form. It was not stated what kind of internal bleeding she had, just that it was enough to cause her to pretty much give up as they turned for home. She raced keenly up until that point, but all the wind seemed to go out of her sails, leaving her trailing badly at the end of the field, 99 lenghths behind the winner. Even so, punters all over the country picked her up in the sweeps which is the traditional bet on the last place in the race. Her jockey was ecstatic just to have had the experience of coming down the straight at the Cup, which was his first time despite his injured mount.
She is currently being spelled, but due to her age and many starts it is doubtful if Rose Of Virginia will race again, instead looking forward to a new life somewhere else, doing something else.
The mare has so far proven very profitable for punters, returning a 704% on investment for anyone who has backed her during her career. She finishes with a record of six wins from 38 starts.
Rose of Virginia is by the stallion Thorn Park who is a grandson of Nureyev. She has no Danehill blood in her, making her a good potential borrdmare should she be retired. Another grandsire in her pedigree is Bletchingly, who’s lineage is not very often seen these days although he was a super horse himself. Her dam sire lines go back to Snippets and in turn Pins as her maternal great grandsire. Both Pins and Snippets were outstanding stallions in their own rights, both as sires as well as racehorses.
Being last may not seem like much of an accolade, but for Rose of Virginia it was impressive that she ran the race at all!