John Cutts Riding Archer
Over 4,000 people crowded the banks of the Maribyrnong River to witness the running of the first Melbourne Cup on the first Thursday in November. Archer was well supported by racing enthusiasts in New South Wales but the crowds at the first Cup at Flemington tended to give their backing to local horses. For Etienne de Mestre, it was an opportunity to secure his title as a master trainer, and for jockey John Cutts it was a chance to enter the history books. The first Melbourne Cup started chaotically with a false start and the fall of three of the seventeen runners. But this did not break Archer’s strength and determination. After the crowd’s favorite horse Mormon raced to the lead, Archer stormed past and won by 6 lengths in 3 minutes 52 seconds. This was the slowest time run in Melbourne Cup history because the track was quite primitive. Archer’s jockey, John Cutts, who rode Archer in 16 of his 17 starts, dressed in black silks.