The Melbourne Cup is a race that stops a nation, for a reason.
Each year, on the first Tuesday of November: Crowds unite. Offices close. The world watches as history lives on.
Even money stops moving for six minutes or so. Then cash flows.
Some people make millions the first time around.
So what’s stopping you from joining a pundit’s paradise?
Well, for many, terms like exacta, quinella and trifecta may not even ring a bell. As much as the Melbourne Cup is ingrained in Australian culture and history, you haven’t got the slightest clue what makes this annual event iconic.
You want a crash course, fast.
Good thing luck is on your side on this one. Let this ultimate guide serve you everything you need to:
• Increase your wisdom with fascinating bits of history and horses (to wow others in conversations)
• Understand key horse racing terminologies (other than ‘neigh’)
• Learn how to make an educated bet and enjoy the ride win or lose
No matter your level of cup cluelessness or genius, no one can stop you from learning more and even winning. Beginner’s Luck? You can earn it.
Melbourne Cup History: Knowledge is Power
“THEY COME A hundred-thousand strong, as all the best authorities say, and they pack the spacious grounds and grandstands and make a spectacle such as is never seen in Australasia elsewhere, Cup Day is supreme—it has no rival.”
American writer Mark Twain was wowed back in 1895.
Centuries after his observation, little has changed.
The crowd, the spectacle, the euphoria and the beauty are all part of the rich Melbourne Cup history.
Origins of the Race
Australia’s first horses—a stallion, four mares, a colt and a filly—arrived in 1788 along with Governor Philip and some convicts in a fleet from Cape Town, South Africa.
Thereafter, horse racing cups were then enjoyed by ex-convicts and free settlers on vacant lands until it became well established in and around Sydney by 1810.
It all started with Pride.
By 1850s, the golden years of Victoria saw the rise and superiority of Victorians. Andrew Spencer Chirnside, a wealthy race owner for one claimed no horse could beat his mare Alice Hawthorn.
They challenged other horse owners from New South Wales to a “Championship of the Colonial Turf” to back his boastings.
Unfortunately, George T. Rowe of Liverpool, New South Wales rose to the challenge. His horse Veno beat Alice Hawthorn by two lengths in a time of 6 minutes and 12 seconds.
Fans and racing enthusiasts demanded a rematch and planned a 3-day spring meeting.
History says it was Frederick Standish who proposed the idea to hold a race and call it the Melbourne Cup.
Now, History tends to be boring.
Unless there’s drama.
Stories of courage.
These make all the difference in the first Melbourne Cup. The euphoria was heightened by emotions brought about by a touching tale behind the cup’s first ever winner—Archer.
Remember the race between Veno against Alice Hawthorne?
Veno’s trainer was Etienne de Mestre. He went on to enter three horses in the first Melbourne cup: Inheritor, Exeter and Archer.
The First Race
On Thursday, November 7, 1861, 17 horses ran at the Flemington Racecourse in Victoria with a crowd of 4,000.
“The race attracted a lot of inter-colonial attention even in its first running, as it had a big prize and was the object of a lot of advance betting speculation,” says Cup historian and author Dr. Andrew Lemon to the Australian Graphic.
In the first race, one horse bolted off the course before the start.
Three horses fell during the race and two died. A jockey also broke an arm.
Mormon, a crowd favorite was winning the final turn but Archer caught up and passed him.
Then Archer went on to beat all favorites by six lengths. Archer took a lot of “money” from Mormon and ignited an “interstate rivalry” which only fueled the excitement.
The prize at that time De Mestre received was 710 gold sovereigns (£710) cash and a hand-beaten gold watch.
For the record, Archer competed again in 1862 and won by eight lengths—a record winning margin that has never been beaten.
This carnival atmosphere, level of excitement, intrigues, fascinating tales of defeat and success would soon define the rest of the world’s richest handicap race.
The succeeding years were marked by the entry and success of foreign-trained horses, rise of female jockeys, trainers, and glamour tied to the fashion in the field.
Since Victoria Turf Club and the Victoria Jockey Club merged to form the Victoria Racing Club in 1864, Australia’s favorite horse race has seen a tremendous rise in fame and fortune.
The rest of the Melbourne Cup is an action-packed history. Breeze through it in the timeline of the most notable events below.
Timeline of the Most Notable Events: 1861-2017
• 1861 – The very first Melbourne Cup was held with 17 runners.
• 1862 – Archer became the first horse to win the race twice.
• 1863 – The smallest ever Melbourne Cup field of only 7 runners. Archer was ruled out of the race on a technicality.
• 1869 – The Victorian Racing Club introduced the four-day Spring Racing Carnival format.
• 1875 – The first time the race was held on the first Tuesday in November.
• 1876 – The youngest jockey in the history of the race Peter St. Albans won on Briseis
• 1877 – The Melbourne Cup was declared a whole day public holiday
• 1888 – The first Gold whip was presented to the winning Cup jockey (Mick O’Brien).
• 1890 – The largest ever Melbourne Cup field of 39 runners contested the race with the champion Carbine (horse)winning and setting a weight carrying record of 10 st 5 lb (66 kg), which is unlikely to ever be beaten. He carried 53 lb (24 kg) more than second placed horse Highborn.
• 1910 – The first foreign bred horse to win was Comedy King
• 1915 – First woman owner to win was Mrs E.A. Widdis with Patrobas.
• 1925 – The first radio broadcast of the Melbourne Cup was made by the Australian Broadcasting Company.
• 1930 – The legendary Phar Lap won his Melbourne Cup
• 1941 – Skipton would be the last 3yo to win the race until 2017.
• 1942–44 – The Melbourne Cup was run on Saturdays during the war years.
• 1958 – The first Cup start from starting stalls.
• 1960 – For the first time the race was televised live to Sydney.
• 1962 – “Fashions on the Field” was first held at the Carnival.
• 1972 – The Melbourne Cup distance was updated to the metric 3,200 metres from the previous imperial distance of 2 miles which meant the race effectively became 18.6 metres shorter.
• 1985 – The first sponsored Melbourne Cup, and the first million dollar Cup, with $650,000 for the winner.
• 1987 – First female jockey to ride in the cup was Maree Lyndon on Argonaut Style.
• 1993 – The Dermot Weld trained Irish gelding Vintage Crop became the first Northern hemisphere trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup and the first Irish horse.
• 2001 – Sheila Laxon was the first woman trainer to officially win the Melbourne Cup.
• 2003 – First Australian female jockey to ride in the cup was Clare Lindop on Debben.
• 2003 – The first Melbourne Cup Tour was conducted around Australia, and the biggest crowd, of 122,736, was recorded at Flemington.
• 2005 – Makybe Diva became the only horse so far to win the Melbourne Cup three times.
• 2008 – The “Cup King”, Bart Cummings, took his 12th win in the Melbourne Cup
• 2010 – 150th anniversary. Americain becomes the first French-trained horse to win the race, and Gerald Mosse the first French jockey.
• 2011 – French based horse Dunaden wins from Red Cadeaux in the closest finish ever.
• 2012 – The first seven finishers in the race were bred in Ireland.
• 2013 – Trainer Gai Waterhouse became the first Australian female trainer to train the winner of the race when Fiorente won.
• 2014 – Two horses died due to racing in the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
• 2015 – First woman jockey to win the cup was Michelle Payne on Prince of Penzance. He became only the 4th horse to win at odds of 100-1. Red Cadeaux, the only horse to finish 2nd in the race on 3 occasions, and a public favorite, did not finish due to a fetlock injury and unfortunately had to be euthanised 2 weeks later.
• 2016 – Businessman Lloyd Williams becomes the first owner to have five Melbourne Cup winners and jockey Kerrin McEvoy the jockey with the greatest time span between his first and second Melbourne Cup winners (16 years between 2000 and 2016) as Almandin wins the cup narrowly over Heartbreak City.
• 2017 – Rekindling becomes the first three-year-old to win the Melbourne Cup since Skipton in 1941.
Full List of Melbourne Cup Winners
The Melbourne Cup makes history for so many reasons.
Behind the triumph of a horse, a trainer or a jockey is a backstory. Travel back in time to the present and you’ll find some of the most unforgettable stories in horse racing history.
Or simply take a glance at the cream of the crop since 1861.
Year Winner Weight (kg) Jockey Trainer
2017 Rekindling 51.5 Corey Brown Joseph O’Brien
2016 Almandin 52.0 Kerrin McEvoy Robert Hickmott
2015 Prince of Penzance 53.0 Michelle Payne Darren Weir
2014 Protectionist 56.5 Ryan Moore Andreas Wohler
2013 Fiorente 55.0 Damien Oliver Gai Waterhouse
2012 Green Moon 53.5 Brett Pebble Robert Hickmott
2011 Dunaden 54.5 Christophe Lemaire Mikel Delzangles
2010 Americain 54.5 Gerald Mosse Alain de Royer-Dupre
2009 Shocking 51.0 Corey Brown Mark Kavanagh
2008 Viewed 53.0 B Shinn Bart (J.B.) Cummings
2007 Efficient 54.5 Michael Rodd Graeme Rogerson
2006 Delta Blues 56 Yasunari Iwata Katsuhiko Smuii (Japan)
2005 Makybe Diva 58 Glen Boss Lee Freedman
2004 Makybe Diva 55.5 Glen Boss Lee Freedman
2003 Makybe Diva 52 Glen Boss D. J. Hall
2002 Media Puzzle 52.5 D. Oliver D. K. Weld
2001 Etheral 52 S. Seamer Ms. S. Laxon
2000 Brew 55.05 K. McEvoy M. Moroney
1999 Rogan Josh 53.5 J. MARSHALL J.B.CUMMINGS
1998 Jezabeel 53 C. MUNCE B. JENKINS
1997 MIGHT AND POWER 56 J.CASSIDY J.DENHAM
1996 SAINTLY 55.5 D.BEADMAN J.B.CUMMINGS
1995 DORIEMUS 54.5 D.OLIVER D.L.FREEDMAN
1994 JEUNE 56.5 W.HARRIS D.A.HAYES
1993 VINTAGE CROP 55.5 M.KINANE D.WELD
1992 SUBZERO 54.5 G.HALL D.L.FREEDMAN
1991 LET’S ELOPE 51 S.R.KING J.B.CUMMINGS
1990 KINGSTON RULE 53 D.BEADMAN J.B.CUMMINGS
1989 TAWRIFFIC 54 R.S.DYE D.L.FREEDMAN
1988 EMPIRE ROSE 53.5 T.K.ALLAN L.K.LAXON
1987 KENSEI 51.5 L.OLSEN L.J.BRIDGE
1986 AT TALAQ 54.5 M.CLARKE C.S.HAYES
1985 WHAT A NUISANCE 52.5 P.T.HYLAND J.F.MEAGHER
1984 BLACK KNIGHT 50 P.COOK G.M.HANLON
1983 KIWI 52 J.A.CASSIDY E.S.LUPTON
1982 GURNER’S LANE 56 L.DITTMAN G.T.MURPHY
1981 JUST A DASH 53.5 P.COOK T.J.SMITH
1980 BELDALE BALL 49.5 J.LETTS C.S.HAYES
1979 HYPERNO 56 H.WHITE J.B.CUMMINGS
1978 ARWON 50.5 H.WHITE G.M.HANLON
1977 GOLD AND BLACK 57 J.DUGGAN J.B.CUMMINGS
1976 VAN DER HUM 54.5 R.J.SKELTON L.H.ROBINSON
1975 THINK BIG 58.5 H.WHITE J.B.CUMMINGS
1974 THINK BIG 53 H.WHITE J.B.CUMMINGS
1973 GALA SUPREME 49 F.REYS R.J.HUTCHINS
1972 PIPING LANE 48 J.LETTS G.M.HANLON
1971 SILVER KNIGHT 8.9 R.B.MARSH E.TEMPERTON
1970 BAGHDAD NOTE 8.7 E.J.DIDHAM R.HEASLEY
1969 RAIN LOVER 9.7 J.JOHNSON M.L.ROBINS
1968 RAIN LOVER 8.2 J.JOHNSON M.L.ROBINS
1967 RED HANDED 8.9 R.HIGGINS J.B.CUMMINGS
1966 GALILEE 8.13 J.MILLER J.B.CUMMINGS
1965 LIGHT FINGERS 8.4 R.HIGGINS J.B.CUMMINGS
1964 POLO PRINCE 8.3 R.TAYLOR J.P.CARTER
1963 GATUM GATUM 7.12 J.JOHNSON H.G.HEAGNEY
1962 EVEN STEVENS 8.5 L.COLES A.McGREGOR
1961 LORD FURY 7.8 R.SELKRIG F.B.LEWIS
1960 HI JINX 7.1 W.A.SMITH T.H.KNOWLES
1959 MACDOUGAL 8.11 P.GLENNON R.W.RODEN
1958 BAYSTONE 8.9 M.SCHUMACHER J.GREEN
1957 STRAIGHT DRAW 8.5 N.McGROWDIE J.M.MITCHELL
1956 EVENING PEAL 8 G.PODMORE E.D.LAWSON
1955 TOPAROA 7.8 N.SELLWOOD T.J.SMITH
1954 RISING FAST 9.5 J.PURTELL I.J.TUCKER
1953 WODALLA 8.4 J.PURTELL R.SINCLAIR
1952 DALRAY 9.8 W.WILLIAMSON C.C.McCARTHY
1951 DELTA 9.5 N.SELLWOOD M.McCARTEN
1950 COMIC COURT 9.5 P.GLENNON J.CUMMINGS
1949 FOXZAMI 8.8 W.FELLOWS D.LEWIS
1948 RIMFIRE 7.2 R.NEVILLE S.BOYDEN
1947 HIRAJI 7.11 J.PURTELL J.W.McCURLEY
1946 RUSSIA 9 D.MUNRO E.HUSH
1945 RAINBIRD 7.7 W.COOK S.EVANS
1944 SIRIUS 8.5 D.MUNRO E.FISHER
1943 DARK FELT 8.4 V.HARTNEY R.WEBSTER
1942 COLONUS 7.2 H.McCLOUD F.MANNING
1941 SKIPTON 7.7 W.COOK J.FRYER
1940 OLD ROWLEY 7.12 A.KNOX J.A.SCULLY
1939 RIVETTE 7.9 E.PRESTON H.BAMBER
1938 CATALOGUE 8.4 F.SHEAN A.McDONALD
1937 THE TRUMP 8.5 A.REED S.W.READ
1936 WOTAN 7.11 O.PHILLIPS J.FRYER
1935 MARABOU 7.11 K.VOITRE L.ROBERTSON
1934 PETER PAN 9.1 D.MUNRO F.McGRATH
1933 HALL MARK 7.8 J.O’SULLIVAN J.HOLT
1932 PETER PAN 7.6 W.DUNCAN F.McGRATH
1931 WHITE NOSE 6.12 N.PERCIVAL E.J.HATWELL
1930 PHAR LAP 9.12 J.E.PIKE H.R.TELFORD
1929 NIGHTMARCH 9.2 R.REED A.McAULAY
1928 STATESMAN 8 J.MUNRO W.KELSO
1927 TRIVALVE 7.6 R.LEWIS J.SCOBIE
1926 SPEARFELT 9.3 H.CAIRNS V.O’NEILL
1925 WINDBAG 9.2 J.MUNRO G.PRICE
1924 BACKWOOD 8.2 P.BROWN R.BRADFIELD
1923 BITALLI 7 A.WILSON J.SCOBIE
1922 KING INGODA 7.1 A.WILSON J.SCOBIE
1921 SISTER OLIVE 6.9 E.O’SULLIVAN J.WILLIAMS
1920 POITREL 10 K.BRACKEN H.J.ROBINSON
1919 ARTILLERYMAN 7.6 R.LEWIS P.T.HEYWOOD
1918 NIGHT WATCH 6.9 W.DUNCAN R.BRADFIELD
1917 WESTCOURT 8.5 W.McLACHLAN J.BURTON
1916 SASANOF 6.12 F.FOLEY M.HOBBS
1915 PATROBAS 7.6 R.LEWIS C.WHEELER
1914 KINGSBURGH 6.12 K.G.MEDDICK I.FOULSHAM
1913 POSINATUS 7.1 A.SHANAHAN J.CHAMBERS
1912 PIASTRE 7.9 A.SHANAHAN R.O’CONNER
1911 THE PARISIAN 8.9 R.CAMERON C.WHEELER
1910 COMEDY KING 7.11 W.McLACHLAN J.LYNCH
1909 PRINCE FOOTE 7.8 W.McLACHLAN F.McGRATH
1908 LORD NOLAN 6.1 J.FLYNN E.A.MAO
1907 APOLOGUE 7.9 W.EVANS I.EARNSHAW
1906 POSEIDON 7.6 T.CLAYTON I.EARNSHAW
1905 BLUE SPEC 8 F.BULLOCK W.HICKENBOTHAM
1904 ACRASIA 7.6 T.CLAYTON A.E.WILLS
1903 LORD CARDIGAN 6.8 N.GODBY A.E.CORNWELL
1902 THE VICTORY 8.12 R.LEWIS R.BRADFIELD
1901 REVENUE 7.1 F.DUNN F.MUNRO
1900 CLEAN SWEEP 7 A.RICHARDSON J.SCOBIE
1899 MERRIWEE 7.6 V.TURNER J.WILSON (JNR)
1898 THE GRAFTER 9.2 J.GOUGH W.FORRESTER
1897 GAULUS 7.8 S.CALLINAN W.FORRESTER
1896 NEWHAVEN 7.13 H.J.GARDINER W.HICKENBOTHAM
1895 AURARIA 7.4 J.STEVENSON J.H.HILL
1894 PATRON 8.3 H.G.DAWES R.BRADFIELD
1893 TARCOOLA 8.4 H.CRIPPS J.CRIPPS
1892 GLENLOTH 7.13 G.ROBSON M.CARMODY
1891 MALVOLIO 8.4 G.REDFEARN J.REDFEARN
1890 CARBINE 10.5 R.RAMAGE W.HICKENBOTHAM
1889 BRAVO 8.7 J.ANWIN T.WILSON
1888 MENTOR 8.3 M.O’BRIEN W.HICKENBOTHAM
1887 DUNLOP 8.3 T.SANDERS J.NICHOLSON
1886 ARSENAL 7.5 W.ENGLISH H.RAYNER
1885 SHEET ANCHOR 7.11 M.O’BRIEN T.WILSON
1884 MALUA 9.9 A.ROBERTSON I.FOULSHAM
1883 MARTINI-HENRI 7.5 J.WILLIAMSON M.FENNELLY
1882 THE ASSYRIAN 7.13 C.HUTCHENS J.E.SAVILL
1881 ZULU 5.1 J.GOUGH T.LAMOND
1880 GRAND FLANEUR 6.1 T.HALES T.BROWN
1879 DARRIWELL 7.4 S.CRACKNELL W.E.DAKIN
1878 CALAMIA 8.2 T.BROWN E.DE MESTRE
1877 CHESTER 6.12 P.PIGOTT E.DE MESTRE
1876 BRISEIS 6.4 P.ST ALBANS J.WILSON
1875 WOLLOMAI 7.8 R.BATTY S.MOON
1874 HARICOT 6.7 P.PIGOTT S.HARDING
1873 DON JUAN 6.12 W.WILSON J.WILSON
1872 THE QUACK 7.1 W.ENDERSON J.TAIT
1871 THE PEARL 7.3 J.CAVANAGH J.TAIT
1870 NIMBLEFOOT 6 J.DAY W.LANG
1869 WARRIOR 8.1 J.MORRISON R.SEVOIR
1868 GLENCOE 9.1 C.STANLEY J.TAIT
1867 TIM WHIFFLER 8.11 J.DRISCOLL E.DE MESTRE
1866 THE BARB 6.9 W.DAVIS J.TAIT
1865 TORYBOY 7 E.CAVANAGH P.MILEY
1864 LANTERN 6.3 S.DAVIS S.MAHON
1863 BANKER 5.4 H.CHIFNEY S.WALDOCK
1862 Archer 10.2 J.CUTTS E.DE MESTRE
1861 Archer 9.7 J.CUTTS E.DE MESTRE
Best of the Beast: Historic Horses
Some horses are legends. We’ve narrowed down our best of the beast in the Melbourne cup’s history with some tails as old as time. Want to take the excitement to the next level?
The Age has done a beautiful job in reimagining how the most powerful horses of the cup stack up against each other in an exhibition race.
Archer – The first and two-time title holder in 1861 and 1862.
Briseis – One of the greatest mares ever foaled in Australia. She won the Victoria Derby, Melbourne Cup, and Oaks in six days
Carbine – In 1890, Carbine carried the heaviest weight ever to win at 66 kilograms
Comic Court – Trained by Jim Cummings, this bay stallion won 28 races from 54 starts and is perhaps the most versatile horse ever
Dalray – The 1952 Melbourne Cup winner started slow then excelled fast on the racetrack
Galilee – This New Zealand bred thoroughbred racehorse was the first and is the only the horse to win the Caulfield, Melbourne and Sydney Cups in one season. –
Grand Flaneur – He won the cup in 1880 and won nine successive races including the AJC Derby, the Victoria Derby, and the Melbourne Cup.
Hall Mark – Even with an infected hoof that burst and bled in the last 100 meters of the race, Hall Mark surged on and made a courageous, powerful win in 1933.
Maykbe Diva – The only horse and Mare to win three Melbourne cups in a row from 2003 to 2005.
Malua – The most versatile Tasmanian racehorse in history, Malua won over short and long distances ranging from 5 ½ furlongs to 3 ¼ miles.
Phar Lap – Arguably, the most legendary horse in the history of Melbourne Cup. Phar Lap had an impressively big heart and powerful stamina that won him 37 out of 51 races he entered. In his 4-year racing career, he captured the hearts of the people during the Great Depression.
Rising Fast – The New Zealand-bred racehorse became the only horse in history to win the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate races in the same season.
Fast Fascinating Facts
By now you already know Phar Lap and Archer and Maykbe Diva makes an unforgettable horse too. As for the rest of the cup’s in-depth history, there might not be a time or occasion to show them all off.
For instant impressions, these fascinating facts and figures from the New Daily and the Guardian are enough to make you sound like an entertaining expert.
• Only 3 Black Horses have ever won the Cup
• No horse was ever won the Melbourne Cup from barrier 18
• World War I and II stopped most major sport in Australia, but never the Melbourne Cup
• Numbers four and 12 are the most successful saddlecloth numbers with 11 wins a piece
• Runners starting with the letter ‘T’ have the most wins (16 times) followed by ‘M’ and ‘S’
• Bart Cummings was known as “The Cups King” with 12 Melbourne Cup wins in 7 decades. In his tireless contribution to Australian horse racing from 1965 and 2008, he might as well be the greatest trainer in Australian history.
Melbourne Cup: Records to Remember
Iconic figures equal iconic wins. The Melbourne Cup doesn’t fall short of dominating performance and milestones.
Horses with most wins
Maykbe Diva, 3 wins (2003, 2004, 2005)
Archer, 2 wins (1861, 1862)
Think Big, 2 wins (1974, 1975)
Rain Lover, 2 wins (1968, 1969)
Peter Pan, 2 wins (1932, 1934)
Trainers with most wins
Bart Cummings, 12 wins (1965, 1966, 1967, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2008)
Etienne de Mestre, five wins (1861, 1862, 1867, 1877, 1878)
Lee Freedman, five wins (1989, 1992, 1995, 2004, 2005)
Owners with most wins
Lloyd Williamns six wins (1981, 1985, 2007, 2012, 2016, 2017)
John Tait four wins (1866, 1868, 1871, 1872)
Etienne de Mestre four wins (1861, 1862, 1867, 1878)
Dato Tan Chin Nam four wins (1974, 1975, 1996, 2008)
Other Winning Figures
Record winning time: Kingston Rule (1990) – 3 minutes 16.3 seconds
Biggest winning margin: Archer (1862), Rain Lover (1968), Eight lengths
Heaviest winning weight: Carbine (1890), 66kg
Heaviest weight carried: Phar Lap (68kg) in 1931
Betting for Beginners: How to Bet on the Melbourne Cup
If you have to gamble only once a year, do it at the Melbourne Cup.
The last cup saw Australians punting in almost $90 million with the Tab.
Afterall, the Melbourne Cup 2017 was worth a $6,200 in prize money plus trophies valued at $175,000.
One Melbourne man even scored $1 million after spending $5 from a TAB promotion.
It’s fair to say, there’s a lot at stake in one annual race.
Some first-time betters however, get lost in the hype and feel intimidated by all the process, the jargons, and the sources. When in fact, the walkthrough can be as simple as what we’ve lined up here. Let’s break it down from the simplest to the most complicated questions.
Read more: How to fill out a betting slip horses?
Where is the Melbourne Cup held?
The Melbourne Cup happens at the picturesque Flemington race track, home of the Victoria Racing Club, and can house up to 120,000 spectators.
The pear-shaped track is the most popular racecourse in Australia with a track width of 30m, distance range of up 3200m and straight length of up to 450 meters.
The length of the home stretch has decided Melbourne Cup races throughout history.
Where can you Place your Bets?
Just like with anything in this world today, placing your bets can be a matter of minutes and there’s no excuse not to have fun wagering when options are convenient as these:
Stop in at your Local Tab
Old school punters prefer betting from a physical tab.
With over 4,000 venues around Australia, Tabcorp. is one of the world’s largest gaming companies, worth entrusting your bet.
You should also have no trouble finding UBET with thousands of locations all throughout Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania. Once you’ve found your TAB, place your bet with the attendant or go direct using the Electronic Betting Terminals (EBTs). TABS across Australia usually open from 7 am.
Bet at the Track
On-course bookmakers (bookie) are everywhere on the day of the race. For some, joining the spectacle is the most thrilling way to go.
Tech-savvy punters can book on TAB’s desktop and mobile apps. For the sake of avoiding queues, the easiest route to bet on the big day is to bet online.
Considering online bookmakers are heavily regulated, payment systems can be secured as online banking.
The fierce competition online can also give you bonuses, depending on your chosen online bookie. The biggest names today include: Sportsbet, Palmerbet, Ladbrokes and Crownbet
What Kinds of Bet can be placed on the Melbourne Cup?
“When it comes to betting on the horses, the only real limitation these days is your own imagination.” – Bettingsite.com.au
Betting slips have become so personalized, you’ll never run out of styles to try when betting.
Want to limit your budget? Go ahead.
Want to bet on multiple horses or gamble on one? Either way.
You need someone to make a pick for you? Not a problem too.
Options can be endless. For novice punters, filling out standard info in your betting slip can now be an easy feat with the easy-to-follow prompts.
The tricky part is not just about choosing your horse (or horses) but choosing the right bet for you. Let’s make it fun.
Here are the simplified options you can choose.
WIN or PLACE?
If you want to choose just one contender to win the race, choose WIN. Because it’s that easy, this is perhaps the most popular bet type.
Let’s say you bet $20 on a horse at 15$ odd. If you get lucky you’ll take home $300.
If you’re not sure your horse isn’t going to win but is likely to be among the forerunners, you can ensure your winnings by choosing ‘Place’.
Whether your runner ends up first, second or third, you’ll collect money. However, the payout will be lower compared to your ‘Win” dividend.
How about choosing both WIN AND PLACE?
Choose Either Way
When you make an ‘each way’ bet you’ll get returns whether your horse finishes first, second or third.
Good money awaits if your horse wins first place! For the succeeding spots, you can still take home some cash, depending on the dividend.
Win, Place and Either Way or Basic Betting practices ideal for novice punters. If you want to take your punting skills to the next level, try the Exotics. Risks may be higher but so are the rewards. Here are the betting types under the Exotics:
Quinella (2 horses in any order)
If you’re a master of choosing champions might as well pick two top horses. If they clock in at first and second (in any order), you’re as good as a champion too.
Exacta (2 horses in exact order)
If your precision is perfect, place an exacta bet and get the first two horses in the race right. High returns will also be in order.
Trifecta (3 horses in exact order)
For a triple winning treat, you can try selecting the first three horses that win the race. If you’re not sure about your choices “box” your selections so you win ‘in any order’. Whether your horses land in any spot, you still get a portion of the dividend.
As the TAB says: ‘Winning a trifecta is like winning that really, really big teddy bear when you play carnival games – it’s hard to do, but you’ll be the envy of everyone if you manage it.’
First Four (4 horses in exact order)
It’s tough enough to get one horse right so if you get the first four horses in exact order, imagine a fourfect win.
However, you can still “box” your selections for a more lenient order albeit a lesser percentage of the dividend.
You may also like: 5 Best Australian Sports Betting Sites !
How to Beat the Odds in the Melbourne Cup 2018
The Melbourne Cup 2018 will offer the biggest prize in history with a staggering amount of $7.3 million in prize money. This ensures the Cup’s status as the world’s richest handicap race.
Beginner, expert or just someone out to enjoy, you might as well increase your chances of winning. These tips can help.
Check the Form Guide
As Nina shares to Huffington Post: “The form guide lets you know how your horse has performed prior to the race and what kind of ground it likes to run on.”
“So if the guide (found in a newspaper or available at the track) has lots of ones, twos or threes on the left-hand side next to your horse’s name that tells you where it’s placed in previous races. Lots of ones = a good bet.”
Know your Horse
Professional punters take horse tactics seriously. Some horses like to swoop in late for a surprise win or some like to win the entire way. A horse’s style of racing is a good factor when taking your pick.
You might as well track the trend too and be on the lookout for track ratings. Some horses do well on firm tracks while some love to gallop on softer tracks. Conditions vary so wait for announcements on the race day.
Does History Have Betting Tips to Offer?
If we can learn anything from history it’s that leaders or winners share similar traits.
ABC fact-checked the figures since 1861 and these statistics are worth considering too when placing your bet.
Favorites do better than random picks
Not all the time of course. But statistics say, a favorite horse has bagged the Melbourne Cup 34 times out of 154 races. That gives your bet a 22% chance of winning.
Jockeys wearing Blue wins more
This would explain why blue was the most common silk color in the previous race. In other words, punters who don’t want to learn about horses can bet on jockey’s silks.
Bay horses have more wins
Statistics say reddish brown coat, black mane, and tail in bay horses are the colors of success. They’ve won 43% of the Melbourne Cup.
Melbourne Cup: It’s More than a Horse Race
One study found that when a punter wins a bet, they become likely to succeed after each win.
That’s because the participants know better to select bets with higher odds.
But of course, in everything, no one is always guaranteed to win. The guessing game is what makes every gamble more exciting.
The bottom line is no one should stop you from trying to win or having fun in the process.
Especially at the Melbourne Cup. It’s a day to celebrate everything Melbourne. While it’s been best known as a race that stops a nation, it’s also rightful to say that it’s a race that has changed so many lives. Yours could be next.
Also read: Melbourne Cup 2018