Melbourne Cup Prize Money Revealed – What Winners Take Home!


The Melbourne Cup is one of the most popular horse racing events and the prize money is enormous! This race is one of the richest races to take place worldwide and finishing even twelfth place is enough to win $160,000!

The Melbourne Cup prize money for 2023 currently totals to $14 million dollars which will be split between the top 12 participants with a certain proportion going to the horse owner, jockey, and trainer. Here we will explore a breakdown of the prize money and provide you with all the information needed to be prepared for this spectacular event.

Melbourne Cup Prize Money 2023

The Melbourne Cup prize money for 2023 is $14 million and this amount is divided among the owner of the winning horse, jockeys, and the trainers. 85% of the total amount will go to the owner, 10% to the trainers and 5% will go to the jockeys. In addition to 10% of the prize money, winning trainers are eligible for a trophy worth $10,000 in recognition for their efforts and skill.

Melbourne Cup Prize Money Breakdown

Let’s explore a more detailed breakdown of the Melbourne Cup prize money. The prize for first place in the competition is $4,400,000 cash split between the horse owner, trainer and jockey. The winner also receives the Melbourne Cup trophy which is worth $250,000 while the trainer and jockey both receive high quality replicas of the Melbourne Cup Trophy to keep.

The remaining prize money is split between the second place to the twelfth place participants. See the Melbourne Cup prize money breakdown below.

PlacePrize Money
1st $4,400,000
2nd $1,100,000
3rd $550,000
5th $230,000
6th              $160,000
7th              $160,000
8th              $160,000
9th              $160,000
10th            $160,000
11th            $160,000
12th            $160,000

Melbourne Cup Prize Money History

Although the race now is one of the richest in the world, it was not always like this. The first event was held in 1861 and won by Archer, who received 170 gold sovereigns as a prize!

Over the year, the Melbourne Cup prize money began increasing and was the first Australian horse race to have one million dollars in prize money in 1985 which increased to five million in 2005 and 14 million in 2023.

More Horse Races for Fans

There are several races that happen throughout the year which you can tune into while waiting for the Melbourne Cup. These include the Dubai World Cup and Kentucky Derby horse racing events. The Dubai World Cup is an annual race which runs in Meydan Racecourse in Dubai and has a prize money of $12 million, with the winner receiving $7.2 million. The Kentucky Derby is an annual horse racing occurring in America which has a prize money of $3 million with the winner along home $1.86 million. The prize money varies between different races and depends on several factors including the location of the event, the level of the race, and the stakeholders involved.


The Melbourne Cup is one of the most popular horse races with fans from all over the world watching eagerly. It is also the richest in the world with the Melbourne Cup prize money being $14 million for 2023. This prize money is split between the winner and runner-ups. With so many fantastic contestants for the Melbourne Cup 2023, who do you think will win this spectacular race?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the highest prize money horse race in Australia?

There are many horse racing events held in Australia with different amounts of prize money. The Melbourne Cup is considered the world’s richest race with prize money of $14 million to be split amongst the winner and runner-ups.

When is the Melbourne Cup held?

It has traditionally been held on the first Tuesday of November and this date is a public holiday observed in Victoria.

How long has the Melbourne Cup been running?

This popular horse racing event started in 1861 and has been running annually since then.

Who is the best jockey in Melbourne?

The two jockeys with the highest number of races won are Bobbie Lewis and Harry White and both have won four events each.

Is the Melbourne Cup gold or silver?

The first Melbourne Cup trophy was an elaborate silver bowl and awarded in 1865. The current Melbourne Cup trophy is made from 34 pieces of 18 carat gold and weights 1.65kg. The estimated worth is $250,000.

Who keeps the Melbourne Cup trophy?

The owner of the winning horse receives this trophy worth $250,000 in addition to the prize money, the trainer and jockey also receive high quality replicas of the trophy.

How much is 1 horse worth?

Several factors influence the value of a horse. Factors that increase the worth of horses include pedigree, colour, age, and weight. Prices are highly variable across Australia and range from a few hundred dollars all the way up to a million dollars.

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