was a New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...
The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed...
racehorse who won the Melbourne Cup
The Melbourne Cup is Australia's major Thoroughbred horse race. Marketed as "the race that stops a nation", it is a 3,200 metre race for three-year-olds and over. It is the richest "two-mile" handicap in the world, and one of the richest turf races...
The lightly built chestnut was by the highly successful sire of stayers, Le Filou, from Cuddlesome by Red Mars (GB), by Hyperion
Hyperion was a British bred Thoroughbred, a dual classic winner and an outstanding sire. Owned by Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby, Hyperion won £29,509 during his career - a considerable sum at the time. His victories included the Epsom Derby and St...
(GB). She was originally called Close Embrace in New Zealand, but the Australian registrar wouldn't allow that name to be used.
Trained by Bart Cummings, Light Fingers would become the first of 12 Melbourne Cup winners for the great man. On a visit to New Zealand, Cummimgs had tried to buy the filly, but was unsuccessful. He did however manage to lease the horse, which would go on to carry the greatest weight to victory, by a mare, to that date.
Roy Henry Higgins MBE is a former Australian jockey who rode in the late 1960s and the 1970s. He grew up in the southern New South Wales town of Deniliquin where he was apprenticed to local horse trainer Jim Watters...
rode Light Fingers in the majority of her big wins. The mare had the ability to win over 1000m (five furlongs) first-up after a spell, but could run out a strong 3200m (two miles). Roy "the professor" Higgins was quoted as saying after her Melbourne Cup victory, that as Light fingers and her stablemate Ziema worked together leading up to the 65 Cup, Higgins felt that when the mare ranged up along side the big striding Ziema, he seemed to take a look at her and turn it up.
Although Ziema took two lengths off Light Fingers in the last furlong of the Melbourne Cup, he couldn't pass the mare. Higgins went on to state. "In the last few strides, however, she seemed to sense that something extra was needed. I could feel her gathering herself and she fairly dived for the winning post. I only had to wave the whip at her. I didn't want to hit her. She was giving all she had."
Following her Melbourne Cup win, Light Fingers ran second to stablemate Galilee
Galilee, was a bay Thoroughbred gelding who was foaled in 1963 at Trelawney Stud, Cambridge, New Zealand. He later became one of the most successful racehorses in Australia. Galilee was sired by the very good racehorse and sire, Alcimedes*, from the mare Galston by Balloch*...
, one of the great stayers of the decade, in that race the following year.
Light Finger's feature wins were.
Edward Manifold Stakes,
St. George Stakes.