Archer sails to a win in Melbourne.
Melbourne in 1861 was prosperous city, still building on gold-given prosperity and increased population. Some 150 000 people lived the it had independence
from NSW, Victorian Rules Football, gas lighting, Clubs, reticulated water, a University, - and great confidence.
Four thousand enthusiastic patrons attended Flemington racecourse on the first Thursday ( not Tuesday ) in November 1861.
The night before the race a market was framed at the Albion Hotel. There was plenty of support for the local horse Morman at 2/1, while in NSW entry Archer eased to 8/1.
The traditional story goes that a month before the cup, Dave Power, Etienne De Mestre's strapper, had led and ridden Archer the 560 miles from Braidwood/Nowra in NSW to Melbourne .
The journey took more than five weeks. However, recent examination of the shipping lists makes it almost certain that Archer in fact came by ship.
Archer was trained by de Mestre, foaled on Me T.J. Roberts property, Exeter Farm, and owned by the estate of T.M. Royds. T.M. Royds died while riding in 1852.
De Mestre trained Archer in Melbourne from stables situated behind the Botancial Hotel in South Yarra, galloping him on the St Kilda Park.
De Mestre , though white-haired , was 29 in 1861 and owned a 1200 acre model training establishment on Shoalhaven.
It was rated the best private track in NSW.
He was born Sydney in 1832, and won the his first race at 15 on his own horse named Sweetheart at Bathurst.
In the 1850's he established his stud, track and stable on his father's property a Terara at the mouth of the Shoalhaven River.
The 1862 Melbourne Cup saw a repeat of the 1861 Cup with Archer first, winning from Mormons. Archer carried 10 stone 2 pounds, but still ran five seconds faster than the previous year and was 10 lengths ahead of Mormons when they crossed the line.
In 1863 a ( technicality ) over Archer's entry prevented his running. Sydneysiders remain suspicious.
Archer won 2 consecutive win in the Melbourne Cup.