They call the Melbourne Cup the race that stops a nation in Australia. First run in 1861 on Crown Land by the banks of the Maribyrnong River, the Melbourne Cup race is a 3,200m (about two miles) Grade 1 Flat turf handicap for horses aged three and up on the first Tuesday in November.
What is Flemington Racecourse like and how do race terms shape the Melbourne Cup betting? Learn the stats and trends that can help you to find value bets. There are even Melbourne Cup tips for the 2022 race here, plus advice on the owners, trainers and jockeys to follow.
Melbourne Cup tips: What is Flemington Racecourse like
Ahead of studying the Melbourne Cup betting form, it is useful for you to know what the track at Flemington Racecourse is like. This world-famous race begins on the straight course and also includes a full circuit of the round track. Horses pass the winning post twice in the Melbourne Cup, then, and the run-in after they turn for home is only a short one at about 450m. Flemington is a left-handed course, so the horses run counter-clockwise.
Best Melbourne Cup betting sites
Since it is one of the most famous horse races in Australia, there are numerous bookmakers that offer odds for the race. Right underneath we have the top bookies for Melbourne Cup betting. We chose them by checking the payouts, the range of markets and whether ante post betting is available or not.
How do handicaps affect Melbourne Cup betting
As a handicap that attracts entries from racehorses worldwide, the weight allocated to them in the Melbourne Cup can be crucial to their chances. The Victoria Racing Club, the race’s organisers, have the task of trying to equate form from all around the globe. It is the horse that they rate the highest who carries topweight and forms the handicap. In order to incentivise entries from overseas, however, the handicapper could choose to be lenient with foreign runners but often doesn’t.
With a race as competitive as this, the Melbourne Cup betting often favours horses that bookmakers feel may have got in lightly. Progressive and lightly-raced horses may be missed by the handicapper, but seldom are by the bookies. Lighter weights to carry are not necessarily an advantage if horses do not have any further improvement in them. Any horse that is badly handicapped will have odds that reflect that in the Melbourne Cup race betting and well-handicapped ones will be prominent.
Races to follow before the Melbourne Cup race
How horses perform in recognised trials influence the Melbourne Cup betting, so you need to know about those. With the exception of two recent winners, Rekindling and Cross Counter, every other horse to enjoy success in the race has run in Australia beforehand. Here are the key Melbourne Cup race trials:
⦁ Caulfield Cup, Caulfield, 2,400m, mid-October (the horse that wins this receives a ballot exemption which guarantees them a run in the Melbourne Cup itself).
⦁ Geelong Cup, Geelong, 2,400m, mid-October.
⦁ Cox Plate, Moonee Valley, 2,000m, mid-October (again, winning this gives a horse a spot in the Melbourne Cup race).
Which jockeys should I look out for in the Melbourne Cup betting
When it comes to riders, there are a few still active who have won the Melbourne Cup more than once. Kerrin McEvoy has partnered three different horses to victory (Brew, Almandin and Cross Counter) since 2000. Two of those success have come in the last four years. Veteran jockey Glen Boss won three in a row aboard legendary Australian mare Makybe Diva in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Damien Oliver is another three-time winner of the Melbourne Cup thanks to rides on Doriemus, Media Puzzle and Fiorente. Corey Brown has two victories, both since 2009, on board Shocking and Rekindling. In terms of trainers, Lee Freedman (five), Robert Hickmott (two) and Dermot Weld (two) have all had saddled more than one Melbourne Cup race winner, so anything with an entry in this event from any of those stables is always worth taking a closer look at in the market.
Lloyd Williams likes nothing more than winning this race. He has owned six different Melbourne Cup race victors, including three since 2012. Any horse which carries his navy blue and white silks should be respected. This is also reflected in the Melbourne Cup betting market offered by bookmakers. This is because Williams purchases a horse sometimes with the specific aim of running it in the race.
The favourites do not have a good record in this race. Since multiple winner Makybe Diva landed her hat-trick in the Melbourne Cup in 2005, the market leader has justified their position by landing the spoils just once. Horses with double figure starting prices (SPs) have won eight of the 14 subsequent renewals. They include a 100/1 (101.00) shot in 2015! As Melbourne Cup betting favourites have such a terrible recent record, they should be avoided at all costs.
What Melbourne Cup betting trends do I need to know
There are some key Melbourne Cup betting trends you should think about when studying the market. For example, only one successful horse since 2011 has come into the race on the back of a win, although from 2013 onwards all have finished no worse than fourth in their prep run. You should be looking at horses that ran well without necessarily winning last time out, then. Here are some of other important stats:
⏩ The last four Melbourne Cup race winners carried 8st 3lb or less to victory, so looking at horses towards the bottom of the weights could pay off.
⏩ Three of the last four winners have had high gate draws. Seven of the previous 11 victors jumped out from stall 10 or above.
⏩ Since 2001, six horses that ran in the Caulfield Cup have gone on to win this race.
⏩ Three of the last five horses to finish first were trained Down Under.
⏩ Six of the last eight Australian winners had enjoyed previous success at Flemington in a black type race.
⏩ Between 2002 and 2011, three winners of the Geelong Cup went on to double up in Melbourne.
⏩ From 2005 to 2013, four horses that ran in the Cox Plate taste victory at Flemington.
Other important stats
As any good Melbourne Cup betting guide should tell you, it can pay to look at international runners. A horse trained in Britain has at least placed in the race every year since 2011; so, although only one based in the UK has ever tasted glory to date (Cross Counter), there is each way value in looking at those raiders. Horses from Ireland have a fine record of hitting the frame too.
Constructing an age profile for this is tricky because the Southern Hemisphere uses a different system to determine how old a horse is than in Europe and North America. Broadly speaking, however, the recent trend is for a younger horse with the last three victors aged three and/or four depending on the classification.
Melbourne Cup tips 2022: Which horses should I back
If you are looking for Melbourne Cup tips, then our experts can oblige. They have looked at the many acceptors and the ante post market in search of value bets for you. There is so much to consider, but that is what our pro tipsters are there to do. If you want to know which horses we recommend in the Melbourne Cup betting, check these two fancies out:
Russian Camelot: the ante post win punt
The Danny O’Brien trained three-year-old colt Russian Camelot is a beautifully bred horse with placed black type form at the track as a juvenile. He has since built on that with a decisive victory in the South Australia Derby at Morphettville. Connections have him in the key trials. If he goes well in those, his price in the ante post Melbourne Cup betting will contract.
Prince Of Arran: each way value
Some horses run well in this without ever winning it. British raider Prince Of Arran may fall into that category. He has been third past the post in both of the last two renewals. With just half-a-kilo more weight allotted to him than in 2019, Charlie Fellowes’ charge will be primed to give his best running again, even if there are more prominent contenders in the Melbourne Cup betting this year.
Should I bet ante post in the Melbourne Cup
You’ve read our Melbourne Cup predictions and seen which horses are recommended. Now, it is just a matter of deciding when to get your bets on. Besides the Melbourne Cup tips given above, there is also whether to put your wagers on ante post or not. Given the size of the field being 20 plus, you have to weigh up better place terms once the race has declared against better odds that are likely to only be available in advance. This is the balance which lies at the heart of betting on a handicap.
The benefits of ante post Melbourne Cup betting are tempered by the fact that you aren’t guaranteed a run for your money. If bookmakers offer better place terms on the day of the race, then a compromise is to split your intended stake across two bets. Half of the total amount wagered goes on an ante post bet which has standard handicap place terms. If your fancy does get declared, then the remaining half can go on at a shorter price with the insurance of extra places.
As horses come from all over the world to take part in the Melbourne Cup, there is certainly value out there. It is tricky to find a long while in advance, though. Your fancied horse needs to be entered and then come through the ballot in order to get a run. There are ways in which horses can gain exemptions. These include winning the Caulfield Cup, but the bookies won’t miss such a performance. The good prices will dry up.
Going halfway around the world to run which is something European horses do here carries plenty of risks. They may not adapt to conditions in Australia. There are plenty of stats, trends and Melbourne Cup tips we have given. Although taking the plunge in the ante post market needs doing carefully. You want to get a run for your money and each way value at the same time. But betting big and early sees you risking too many unknowns.