Run each year on the first Tuesday in November (2nd) 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 layers, as many will offer enhanced place terms that can sometimes stretch down to paying out each-way on the top five, six or even 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 – was responsible for 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.
It also gave jockey McEvoy his third win in the Melbourne Cup.
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 also third in 2018, second and placed in the race yet again – he should be back for more this year.
Twelve months ago it was the turn of Joseph O’Brien again as the Irish handler pulled off another historic win in this race - his second - this time with a horse called Twilight Payment, beating his father’s Tiger Moth into second.
However, it’s generally the Australian-based yards that hold sway in the race – they’ve won 10 of the last 17 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 17 Melbourne Cup winners had won at Group Class level in the past, while a massive 14 of the last 17 winners had raced in the last four weeks. Plus, if you want to take this trend a bit further then 11 of the last 17 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 17 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. 15 of the last 17 winners came from stalls 5 or higher. While, taking the draw stat a bit further, it could pay to note that 11 of the last 17 winners came from stalls 9 or higher - the 2020 winner, Twilight Payment, was drawn in stall 12.
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, then a 4 year-old take the race in 2019 - it’s actually worth noting that 11 of the last 17 winners were aged 5 or older, backed up again in 2020 with a 7 year-old winner.
Considering the competitive nature of the race the market leaders haven’t done too bad, with three on the last 17 favourites winning (18%) – with the most recent being Fiorente back in 2013. The jollies also have a fair record of being placed with 7 of the last 17 finishing in the top four.
Finally, look for horses that finished in the top three in their most recent race (12 of the last 17), plus had won at the Flemington track in the past – 7 of the last 17 winners had tasted success at the Aussie course previously.
Good luck and G’day!
Recent Melbourne Cup Winners
2020 - TWILIGHT PAYMENT (25/1)
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
17/17 – Had won a Group class race before
15/17 – Won 8 or fewer races before
15/17 – Winners from stall 5 or higher
15/17 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or less
14/17 – Had raced within the last 4 weeks
14/17 – Raced at Geelong (2), Flemington (3), Caulfield (4) or Moon Valley (5) last time
12/17 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
11/17 – Had raced within the last 2 weeks
11/17 – Aged 5 or older
11/17 – Drawn in stall 9 or higher
11/17 – Had raced at Flemington Park before (7 won there)
10/17 – Returned 12/1 or shorter in the betting
10/17 – Won by a AUS-based horse
10/17 – Aged 6 or older
9/17 – Horses from stall 10 or 11 placed
9/17 – Had won over 1m7f or further before
8/17 – Won by a 6 year-old
7/17 – Placed favourites
4/17 – Had won just once before
4/17 – Won last time out
4/17 – Had raced in a previous Melbourne Cup
3/17 – Winning favourites
3/17 – English/Irish winners
2/17 – French-trained winners
The average winning SP in the last 17 runnings is 18/1