Production has begun in Melbourne, Australia, on sports drama The Cup starring Brendan Gleeson.

Simon Wincer directs the inspirational true story of the victory of jockey Damien Oliver and racehorse Media Puzzle at Australia’s prestigious Melbourne Cup in 2002.

Gleeson plays the famous trainer Dermot Weld alongside Stephen Curry as Oliver and Australian television stars Daniel McPherson as the jockey’s brother Jason and Jodi Gordon as his wife Trish.

Wincer and Lance Hool of Silver Lion Films are producing and Myriad Pictures CEO and president Kirk D’Amico, who handled pre-sales, serves as executive producer.

Village Roadshow, Screen Australia and Film Victoria are financiers on the project and Village Roadshow will release the film theatrically in Australia and New Zealand. 

Wincer and Eric O’Keefe co-wrote the screenplay about the young jockey who lost his only brother in a racing accident in 2002 weeks before the famous Melbourne Cup.

The tragedy mirrored the manner in which their father died 27 years earlier. With the help of Weld and the support of a nation, Oliver went on to win the race in one of the most thrilling finales in the sport.

Wincer has been shooting coverage of actual Melbourne Cup races over the last two years for use in the feature, but the final race will be staged.

The production coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Melbourne Cup, which is held on the first Tuesday of every November. This year the race will be held on November 2.