A bay colt by Musket from the Knowsley mare Mersey, Carbine started 43 times for 33 wins, six seconds and three thirds -- running out of a place only once. He was unbeaten in five starts as a two year old in New Zealand before crossing the Tasman to race in Australia where he won nine of 13 starts as a three year old. One highlight was his win in the AJC Sydney Cup of 2 miles (3.22 km) carrying 12 lb (5.5 kg) over weight-for-age. Despite suffering interference at the half mile post and being buffeted back to last place in the running, Carbine stormed home to win by a head in race record time of 3 min 31 s. As a four and five year old Carbine won 17 of his last 18 races.
His win in the 1890 Melbourne Cup was remarkable. He set a weight carrying record of 10 st 5 lb (66 kg) when beating a field of 39 starters and setting a new race record time. He carried 53 lb (24 kg) more than the second placed horse, Highborn. On four occasions Carbine won twice on the same day.
At the end of his fifth season Carbine was retired to stud in Australia before being taken to England where he went on to sire Spearmint, the 1906 Epsom Derby winner. Spearmint left Spion Kop who also won the derby (in record time). Spion Kop sired Felstead who also won the derby before siring The Buzzard who later stood at stud in Australia. The wheel turned full circle there when two of the Buzzard's offspring, Old Rowley (1940) and Rainbird (1945), both won the Melbourne Cup. Carbine was also the grandsire of American champion Johren who won the 1918 Belmont Stakes and was voted United States Horse of the Year honors. A later very notable Carbine descendant was the magnificent New Zealand mare Sunline.