What Is the Melbourne Cup?
Known locally as “the race that stops the nation”, the Melbourne Cup is a world-famous horse race that regularly attracts 1.4-2.7 million TV viewers.
The prestigious Melbourne Cup was first held in 1861. The winner’s reward at the time was around A$1,275, but that has since been eclipsed by today’s combined prize money of around A$8 million. The race is held at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria. It’s the most famous race in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, which explains why so many people bet on the Melbourne Cup.
Following a change in 1972, the Melbourne Cup racetrack now stands at 3,200 metres. Horses must be three years or older, with a ballot system in place to help decide the 24 entrants. Winners of other key races, such as the Lexus Stakes, Doncaster Cup and Irish St. Leger, can bypass the ballot.
Once all the Melbourne Cup betting is done and a winner declared, they receive the iconic Melbourne Cup. It was designed by James Steeth in 1919 and is hand-spun using 18-carat gold. The trophy itself is so well-known that there’s even an annual Melbourne Cup Tour, spread across communities around Australia and New Zealand.
Features of the Best Melbourne Cup Betting Sites
There are lots of sites which offer Melbourne Cup betting online, but how do you know which are worth your time?
Our experts have years of experience in Melbourne Cup betting, and we’ve reviewed hundreds of horse racing betting sites to find the top sites for you.
How to Bet on the 2021 Melbourne Cup
The 2021 Melbourne Cup is scheduled for 2nd November and bookies are already taking action. You can place ante-post bets on the Melbourne Cup right now, though it’s worth noting the final field is yet to be confirmed.
If you want to bet on the next Melbourne Cup, your best bet is to do so online. This lets you quickly compare prices and offers from multiple sportsbooks.
Here, we’ll show you exactly how to bet on the Melbourne Cup. Consider this a kind of miniature Melbourne Cup betting guide, leading you through the essential steps required to sign up and place your bet online.
Melbourne Cup Betting Odds Explained
If you’ve never bet on the Melbourne Cup before, the odds may seem confusing. However, they’re not complicated at all. Once you know how odds work, it’s easy to calculate your potential winnings in seconds.
Here are two of the most common odds you’ll see for Melbourne Cup betting:
Decimal odds are extremely easy to understand. The number you see is how much will be returned to a bet of one unit of currency, such as £1 or A$1.
If you’re betting on a horse such as Tarnawa in the Melbourne Cup and it has decimal odds of 18.0, that means you’ll receive A$18.00 for every A$1 wagered.
In decimal odds, 2.0 is evens – i.e. a A$1 bet would see you get your A$1 back plus A$1 profit. Anything below 2.0 is an odds-on favourite. For instance, if your horse has odds of 1.5, you’ll get A$1 profit for every A$2 wagered.
Fractional odds display the profit you can make and are common in the UK. You’ll find them at a lot of the best Melbourne Cup betting sites. The first number is how much profit you’ll win, and the second number is how much you need to bet to win that.
Remember you receive your stake back on top of the win with fractional odds. With decimal odds, your entire win – including stake – is displayed in the odds.
For example, if you want to bet on a horse in the Melbourne Cup such as Prince of Arran Gb at fractional odds of 25/1, that means you’ll get £25 profit for every £1 wagered. In total, a £1 bet on the win would return £26 – £25 profit plus your £1 stake back.
Both decimal and fractional odds are easy to understand and widely available, so choose the odds format which works best for you.
2021 Melbourne Cup Betting Tips & Predictions
Excitement is building for the next Melbourne Cup, and we’re already witnessing the emergence of some top tips. Tiger Moth is a name you can expect to hear a lot. The Aidan O’Brien trained horse is one of the early favourites to win the race.
The Irish trainer has been racking up wins since 1996 when he burst onto the scene with Desert King, the National Stakes winner. Since then, his successes have been numerous, most recently notching up a record 26 Group or Grade 1 winners in the 2017 season.
We’ll bring you more predictions closer to the race. But if you want an overall Melbourne Cup betting strategy, here’s our top four betting tips:
If you’re new to horse racing betting, it might seem bizarre that weights are added to a horse. But the premise of adding weights is to even the playing field, and stop certain horses, quite literally, running away with it. Before you bet on the Melbourne Cup, look at what weight a horse will carry and check how they’ve performed in the past under similar circumstances.
The barrier draw can have a major impact on the outcome of a race. In 2020, Tiger Moth was initially favourite but received a barrier draw for number 23 – a position no horse has won from since 1976. He eventually came second to Twilight Payment. Watch out for the barrier draw ahead of the race and factor this into your Melbourne Cup betting.
The Melbourne Cup is often occupied by similar names over several years, as is the case in many major races – like Tiger Roll constantly being among the favourites for the Grand National and winning the race back-to-back in 2018 and 2019. In the 2021 Melbourne Cup, we’ve already seen this with Tiger Moth as the early favourite after a near miss in 2020. Look at the record of the favourites for an idea of how they might perform.
Whatever sport you’re betting on, form is important – and that’s no different with the Melbourne Cup. Bet on horses, jockeys and trainers who have pedigree, with a proven track record in this or other major races. But also look at recent form to see if you can spot a horse who has shown continual improvement in recent months. The Caulfield Cup is always a good place to start your research, as it takes place just a couple of weeks before the Melbourne Cup.
Recent Melbourne Cup Winners
Winning the Melbourne Cup is a prestigious accolade, with champion horses and jockeys going into the history books. The race dates back to 1861, and has continually grown in status ever since to become one of the world’s most famous races today.
Here’s some key information on recent winners of the Melbourne Cup:
|2020||Twilight Payment||27.0||Jye McNeil||Joseph Patrick O’Brien||3:17.34|
|2019||Vow and Declare||11.0||Craig Williams||Danny O’Brien||3:24.76|
|2018||Cross Counter||10.0||Kerrin McEvoy||Charlie Appleby||3:21.17|
|2017||Rekindling||15.0||Corey Brown||Joseph Patrick O’Brien||3:21.29|
|2016||Almandin||11.0||Kerrin McEvoy||Robert Hickmott||3:20.58|
|2015||Prince of Penzance||101.0||Michelle Payne||Darren Weir||3:23.15|
|2014||Protectionist||8.0||Ryan Moore||Andreas Wöhler||3:17.71|
|2013||Fiorente||7.0||Damien Oliver||Gai Waterhouse||3:20.30|
|2012||Green Moon||20.0||Brett Prebble||Robert Hickmott||3:20.45|
|2011||Dunaden||8.5||Christophe Lemaire||Mikel Delzangles||3:20.84|
|2010||Americain||13.0||Gérald Mossé||Alain de Royer-Dupré||3:26.87|
Melbourne Cup Records
Given it has existed for over 150 years, it’s no surprise that the Melbourne Cup has thrown up some memorable races. That includes Prince of Penzance taking first place at incredible odds of 101.00 in 2015!
Here, we’ll walk you through some of the most impressive Melbourne Cup records.
The fastest time is an interesting record in the Melbourne Cup. Rain Lover set the record in 1968 with a brilliant time of 3:19.1, but in 1972 the length of the race was reduced by over 18.6 metres. Rather than strip Rain Lover of his record, his time was adjusted to 3:17.9, though this was later beaten by 1990 Melbourne Cup winner Kingston Rule, coming in at 3:16.3.
Most Barrier Wins
We mentioned how important the barrier position can be in Melbourne Cup betting, and we’ve got some stats to back it up. The most successful starting position is barrier number five, which has racked up eight wins to date. Conversely, barrier 18 has zero wins, and barrier 15 just one.
Most Successful Trainer
No trainer even comes close to Bart Cummings, whose exceptional record in the Melbourne Cup spans from 1965 – 2008. Cummings has amassed a remarkable 12 wins, with his closest competitor managing five. This proves how important a trainer can be when considering your next Melbourne Cup bet.
Most Successful Jockey
Unlike the best trainer, the most successful jockey is a much more closely fought affair. Joint top are Bobby Lewis and Harry White with four wins each. More recently, Glen Boss famously notched three wins on the trot from 2003 to 2005, all while riding Makybe Diva – the most successful horse in the competition’s history.
You can place your bets for the next Melbourne Cup right now. Betting on the Melbourne Cup begins months in advance. If you want some Melbourne Cup betting tips, you can take some inspiration from our ‘2021 Melbourne Cup Betting Tips & Predictions’ section on this page.
The 2021 Melbourne Cup will take place on Tuesday 2nd November 2021. It’s held in Melbourne, Victoria at the Flemington Racecourse and is hosted by the Victoria Racing Club. The race dates to 1861.
In the modern era, there are ‘only’ 24 horses in the Melbourne Cup. In 1890, the number of participants was a record-high of 39. It has since been reduced for health and safety reasons, and a ballot takes place to help decide who is eligible to race.
One of the early favourites for the 2021 Melbourne Cup is Tiger Moth. The horse came close to victory at its last outing when it finished second to Twilight Payment. That was after a poor barrier draw, and our experts expect Tiger Moth to return as a strong competitor in the next Melbourne Cup.