Run each year on the first Tuesday in November the Melbourne Cup is dubbed as ‘the race that stops a nation’. Run over 2m it’s the richest handicap run over that distance in the world.
Staged at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne, Australia the race always attracts runners from all corners of the globe, but there are also many key pointers on ‘how to bet on the Melbourne Cup’.
Being a big-field handicap the bookmakers will offer standard places of one, two, three and four if you are having each-way bets. However, with 20+ runners most years then it’s always a good idea to shop around with the bookmakers as many will offer enhanced place terms that can sometimes stretch down to paying out each-way on the top six or seven finishers.
In 2017, young Irish trainer, Joseph O’Brien won the lucrative £2.5 million first prize to win the race for the first time, while he, in fact, led home and Irish 1-2-3 as dad – Aidan O’Brien – trained the second (Johannes Vermeer), with the Willie Mullins-trained Max Dynamite in third.
While in 2018 we saw the ‘boys in blue’ of Godolphin win the race with Cross Counter. Ridden by Aussie jockey, Kerrin McEvoy and trained by Charlie Appleby. The 3 year-old also led home a UK-trained 1-2-3 in the race as the Hughie Morrison-trained Marmelo filled second and Prince Of Arran, from the Charlie Fellowes camp, took third.
In 2019, we saw the Danny O'Brien-trained Vow And Declare win the race at betting odds of 10/1, with Prince Of Arran, who was third in 2018, second and placed in the race yet again.
However, it’s generally the Australian-based yards that hold sway in the race – they’ve won 10 of the last 16 runnings.
There are several other key Melbourne Cup trends and stats to take into the race when trying to find the winner. When the final runners are out (normally a few days before the race) you can use these trends to narrow down the big field and highlight the best profiles of recent winners.
For example, ALL of the last 16 Melbourne Cup winners had at won Group Class level in the past, while a massive 14 of the last 16 winners had raced in the last four weeks. Plus, if you want to take this trend a bit further then 11 of the last 16 winners raced in the last two weeks.
Also note horses that had their prep runs at the Aussie tracks of Flemington, Geelong, Caufield or Moon Valley last time out – 14 of the last 16 winners raced at one of those four tracks before winning the Melbourne Cup.
Despite being run over two miles the draw has played a big role too. 14 of the last 16 winners came from stalls 5 or higher. Taking the draw stat a bit further then 10 of the last 16 winners came from stalls 9 or higher.
Next up is to note the age of your fancy. Why? Well, even though we saw a 3 year-old winner in 2017 and 2018, it’s actually worth noting that 10 of the last 16 winners were aged 5 or older.
Considering the competitive nature of the race the market leaders haven’t done too bad, with three on the last 16 favourites winning (19%) – with the most recent being Fiorente back in 2013. The jollies also have a fair record of being placed with 7 of the last 16 finishing in the top four.
Finally, look for horses that finished in the top three in their most recent race (11 of the last 16), plus had won at the Flemington track in the past – 7 of the last 16 winners had tasted success at the Aussie course previously.
Recent Melbourne Cup Winners
2019 – VOW AND DECLARE (10/1)
2018 – CROSS COUNTER (8/1)
2017 – REKINDLING (14/1)
2016 – ALMANDIN (10/1)
2015 – PRINCE OF PENZANCE (100/1)
2014 – PROTECTIONIST (7/1)
2013 – FIORENTE (6/1 fav)
2012 – GREEN MOON (19/1)
2011 – DUNADEN (15/2)
2010 – AMERICAIN (12/1)
2009 – SHOCKING (9/1)
2008 – VIEWED (40/1)
2007 – EFFICIENT (16/1)
2006 – DELTA BLUES (17/1)
2005 – MAKYBE DIVA (17/5 fav)
2004 – MAKYBE DIVA (13/5 fav)
Key Melbourne Cup Betting Trends and Stats
16/16 – Had won a Group class race before
14/16 – Had raced within the last 4 weeks
14/16 – Raced at either Geelong (2), Flemington (3), Caulfield (4) or Moon Valley (5) last time
14/16 – Won 8 or fewer races before
14/16 – Winners from stall 5 or higher
14/16 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or less
11/16 – Had raced within the last 2 weeks
11/16 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
10/16 – Won by a AUS-based horse
10/16 – Aged 5 or older
10/16 – Drawn in stall 9 or higher
10/16 – Had raced at Flemington Park before (7 won there)
10/16 – Returned 12/1 or shorter in the betting
9/16 – Horses from stall 10 or 11 placed
9/16 – Aged 6 or older
8/16 – Won by a 6 year-old
8/16 – Had won over 1m7f or further before
7/16 – Placed favourites
4/16 – Had won just once before
4/16 – Won last time out
3/16 – Winning favourites
3/16 – Had raced in a previous Melbourne Cup
2/16 – French-trained winners
2/16 – English/Irish winners
The average winning SP in the last 16 runnings is 18/1