Modern racing pundits can easily slip into the error of dismissing Malua’s extreme race record because he raced such a long time ago. Times were different then, folks say. A quick look at the betting trends for the Adelaide Cup of 1884 tells quite a different story – punters back in 1884 were just as surprised at Malua’s ability to stay as modern punters would be today.

Malua (St. Albans-Edella, by Peter Wilkins) was bred by Mr John Field in 1879, whose farm Calstock was located near Deloraine in Tasmania. According to an 1888 newspaper report in The Australasian, Malua was sold for “very small sum, something under 100 guineas” as a yearling to the former Premier of Tasmania, Thomas Reibey.