How to bet on the Melbourne Cup - the expert opinion

The Melbourne Cup is one of the world’s most prestigious horse racing events, attracting thousands of punters from across the globe. Known as the ‘race that stops a nation’, the Melbourne Cup is a thrilling event that offers bettors the chance to win big. But with so many horses to choose from and so many betting options, it can be tricky to know where to start.

If you’re looking to make the most out of your Melbourne Cup betting, this ultimate guide is for you. We’ve gathered tips and insights from expert punters and racing insiders, all of whom have years of experience in betting on the Melbourne Cup. With their advice, you’ll be able to place smart, calculated bets that have a better chance of winning.

So whether you’re a seasoned punter or a newbie to horse racing betting, read on for everything you need to know about betting on the Melbourne Cup. From understanding the odds to analyzing the form, we’ve got you covered. It’s time to place your bets and get ready for an unforgettable day of racing!

Understanding the Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is one of the most prestigious horse racing events in the world. It is held annually on the first Tuesday of November at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia. The race is a handicap contest of a distance of 3200 meters, and is open to horses that are three years old and above. The total prize money for the race is over AUD$8 million, making it one of the richest 2 mile handicaps in the world.

The race was first held in 1861 and has since become an iconic event in Australia. The Melbourne Cup is not just about horse racing, it is also a cultural and social event that brings people together to celebrate and enjoy the day. The event is attended by over 100,000 people every year, who dress in their finest clothes, enjoy a drink and bet on the races LeoVegas.

Over the years, the Melbourne Cup has produced many notable winners, including Phar Lap, Makybe Diva, and more recently, Prince of Penzance. The race also has many traditions associated with it, such as the playing of 'Waltzing Matilda' before the race, the presentation of a garland of flowers to the winning horse, and the engraving of the names of the winning horses on the perpetual trophy.

Understanding the Melbourne Cup is important if you want to place a bet on the race. You need to know the history of the event, the rules and regulations, and the form of each horse competing. With this knowledge, you can make an informed decision on which horse to bet on and increase your chances of winning big on the day.

Different Types of Bets

When it comes to betting on the Melbourne Cup, there are various types of bets that you can place. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Win Bet: This is perhaps the most straightforward bet. You simply choose the horse you think will win the race, and if it comes in first, you win your bet.
  • Place Bet: With a place bet, you're betting on a horse to finish in the top two or three places (depending on the size of the field). These bets have slightly lower odds than win bets, but they also offer a better chance of winning.
  • Each Way Bet: An each way bet combines a win bet and a place bet. You'll get a return on your bet if your horse wins, or if it places (depending on the bookmaker's terms).
  • Quinella: A quinella is a bet on two horses to finish in the top two places, in any order. So, if you pick horses A and B in a quinella, you'll win the bet if they finish first and second, or second and first.
  • Exacta: An exacta is similar to a quinella, but you need to choose the horses in the exact order they finish. This is a more difficult bet to win, but it also offers higher odds.

There are also other types of bets you can place, such as trifectas, first fours, and more. It's worth doing your research and figuring out which type of bet suits your betting style.

Know the Horses

Research is key

To increase your chance of winning on Melbourne Cup day, it is essential to research the horses beforehand. You need to know the horses, their abilities, form, and jockeys. Keep track of their past performances, their win-loss ratios, and how they go on different track conditions. This information will help you make an informed decision when placing your bet.

Focus on the Favorites

The favorites are usually the horses with the shortest odds, meaning they have the highest chance of winning according to bookmakers. Although it may seem safe to back favorites, they don't always win. However, they do have a higher chance of being placed in the top three. Keep an eye on the favorites, but be aware of their previous form and track record.

Consider the Outsiders

Backing an outsider with long odds can be risky, but it can also be rewarding. If you're looking for a bigger payout, consider backing an outsider. When doing so, make sure you do your research on the horse. Look for an outsider with good form, a quality jockey, and a track record that shows they perform well in races with similar conditions.

Watch the Barrier Draw

The barrier draw is the process of allocating stalls to horses before the race begins. It can have a significant impact on a horse's performance during the race. Horses drawn wider may have to work harder to take the lead, while horses drawn inside may have a better chance at a shorter trip to the finish line. Stay up to date on the barrier draw to help inform your betting decisions.

Horses for Courses

Keep in mind that some horses perform better on specific tracks, and some prefer different race conditions. Look at the horse's history at the Flemington track where the Melbourne Cup is held and take note of how they perform in races with similar conditions. Consider the horse's weight, age, and experience in high-pressure races before placing your bet.

Factors That Affect Betting

When you place a bet on the Melbourne Cup, there are several factors that can impact the outcome of your wager:

  • Horse form: How a horse has performed in its most recent races is an important consideration when placing a bet. Look at the horse's finishes, times, and any other relevant information that could impact its performance on race day.
  • Jockey: The jockey who is riding the horse can also have a significant impact on the outcome of the race. Look at the jockey's experience, past success, and how well they have performed on the specific horse they are riding.
  • Track conditions: The condition of the track can also play a role in the success of a horse. Wet or dry conditions can impact horse performance, so be sure to factor this into your betting decisions.
  • Handicap weight: The amount of weight a horse is carrying can also affect its performance. Look at the handicap weight assigned to each horse and consider how it could impact their ability to run at their best.
  • Betting market: The betting market can also be a factor to consider. Look at the odds and how they have shifted over time to get an idea of which horses are being heavily favored by other bettors.

By taking all of these factors into account, you can make a more informed decision when placing your bets on the Melbourne Cup.

Follow the Form Guide

One of the most important things to do when betting on the Melbourne Cup is to follow the form guide. A form guide is a statistical analysis of how horses have performed in their previous races. By looking at a horse's form guide, you can get a sense of their recent performance and how they might perform in the upcoming race.

When you're looking at a form guide, it's important to pay attention to a few key factors. Firstly, look at the horse's recent form - have they won any races recently or are they on a losing streak? This can be an indicator of their current form and their chances of winning the Melbourne Cup.

Next, look at the horse's distance record. Have they run well at the Melbourne Cup distance of 3200 metres before? This can be a good indication of their ability to handle the race distance.

You should also look at the horse's jockey and trainer. Have they had success at the Melbourne Cup before? A jockey and trainer who have a good track record in the race can be a good sign.

Ultimately, following the form guide can help you make informed bets on the Melbourne Cup. By understanding a horse's recent form, distance record, and the track record of their jockey and trainer, you can make better predictions about how well they will perform in the race.

Betting Strategies

When it comes to betting on the Melbourne Cup, there are a few strategies you can employ to increase your chances of winning:

  • Do your research: Make sure to research the horses and jockeys before placing your bets. Look at their past performances, recent form, and track record at the Melbourne Cup.
  • Spread your bets: Don't put all your eggs in one basket and bet on just one horse. Spread your bets across a few horses to increase your chances of winning.
  • Consider the odds: The odds of a horse winning can give you an idea of their chances of winning. However, don't just bet on the favorite because they have the lowest odds. Look for horses with decent odds and a good track record.
  • Set a budget: Before placing any bets, set aside a budget for yourself. Don't bet more than you can afford to lose.
  • Watch the weather: Weather can play a big role in horse racing, especially on turf tracks. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and consider how it might impact the performance of your chosen horses.

Remember, there's always an element of chance involved in betting, so it's important to gamble responsibly and only bet what you can afford to lose.

Budgeting for Betting

Before placing bets on the Melbourne Cup, it is important to create a budget and stick to it. Gambling can be an addictive activity, and it is easy to get carried away without a plan in place. Determine how much money you are willing to spend on betting, and divide it into smaller amounts for each race.

One helpful strategy is to only bet with money that you can afford to lose. Do not use funds that are needed for living expenses or other important financial obligations. It is also important to avoid chasing losses by placing larger bets in an attempt to win back the money.

Another tip for budgeting is to wager on multiple races rather than putting all of your money on one race. This spreads out the risk and can increase the overall chances of winning. However, be sure to carefully research each race and make informed decisions when placing bets.

  • Tip: Use a spreadsheet or budgeting app to keep track of your bets and winnings. This can help to keep you accountable and on track with your budget.

Place Your Bets Early

One of the most important tips when it comes to betting on the Melbourne Cup is to place your bets early. With millions of people placing bets on the race, the odds can change quickly, and those who wait until the last minute might miss out on favorable odds. By placing your bets early, you have more time to study the form of the contenders and make an informed decision.

Placing your bets early also ensures that you have a spot reserved in the bookmaker's queue. If you wait until the day of the race, you might find yourself standing in long lines and potentially missing out on the opportunity to place a bet altogether.

Another benefit of placing your bets early is that many bookmakers offer early-bird promotions, such as bonuses or enhanced odds, to entice customers to place their bets ahead of time. Take advantage of these promotions to increase your potential winnings.

  • Tip: It's important to set a budget for your betting and stick to it. Don't let the excitement of the Melbourne Cup tempt you to bet more than you can afford to lose.

Consider Multiple Bookies

One of the most crucial aspects of successful betting on the Melbourne Cup is to consider multiple bookies. This will allow you to compare odds and select the best offer. Different bookies may have different odds based on their perception of the horses' chances of winning. Hence, comparing odds offered by different bookies is essential to increase your chances of winning.

It is recommended to have accounts with multiple bookies to avail of the best odds. Also, signing up with various bookies will give you access to different promotions and bonuses, which you can use to your advantage. However, don't forget to read the terms and conditions of each bookie thoroughly before signing up to ensure you understand any restrictions or requirements.

  • Compare odds offered by different bookies to select the best offer
  • Sign up with multiple bookies to increase your chances of winning
  • Avail of different promotions and bonuses offered by various bookies

By considering multiple bookies, you can improve your chances of success and potentially increase your winnings. Remember to keep track of your bets and stay within your budget to ensure responsible and enjoyable betting during the Melbourne Cup season.

Don't Overlook Longshots

While it may be tempting to only focus on the favorites when placing your bets on the Melbourne Cup, don't forget about the longshots. These underdogs may have lower odds of winning, but they also come with potentially higher payouts.

Do your research and look for horses with promising pedigree or those who have shown strong performances in recent races. Keep in mind that upsets can and do happen, so don't discount a longshot entirely based on their odds.

One strategy for including longshots in your betting is to place small bets on several underdogs instead of putting all your money on one favorite. This can increase your chances of getting a payout while also minimizing your losses if any of the longshots don't perform well.

However, don't go overboard with your longshot bets and make sure to stay within your budget. It's important to have a balanced betting strategy that includes favorites and longshots, but don't let the allure of a big payout lead you to overspending or making risky bets.

Avoid Chasing Losses When Betting on Melbourne Cup

Don't Let Emotions Get the Best of You

When betting on the Melbourne Cup, it is important to keep your emotions in check. It's easy to get carried away and try to recoup losses by placing larger bets. However, this is a surefire way to lose even more money. Stick to your betting strategy and set a budget for each race.

Manage Your Bankroll

Another key aspect of avoiding chasing losses is managing your bankroll. Before you start betting, decide how much money you are willing to risk. Divide this budget into smaller amounts for each race. This will help you avoid placing impulsive bets in an attempt to win back your losses.

Stick to Your Betting Strategy

Developing a solid betting strategy is crucial when it comes to avoiding chasing losses. Determine your preferred bet types, odds range, and number of bets per race. Once you have created your betting strategy, stick with it and don't deviate from it based on emotions or past losses.

Take Breaks and Reevaluate

If you find yourself on a losing streak, take a step back and reevaluate your strategy. It may be time to adjust your approach or take a break from betting altogether. Remember, the Melbourne Cup is just one day out of the year, and it's important to maintain a healthy perspective and not get too caught up in the excitement of it all.


By avoiding the temptation to chase losses, you can enjoy betting on the Melbourne Cup while reducing your risk of losing large amounts of money. Stick to a solid betting strategy, manage your bankroll, and take breaks when necessary to improve your chances of success.

Watch the Weather: An Essential Melbourne Cup Betting Tip

When betting on the Melbourne Cup, one of the most crucial factors to consider is the weather. The weather conditions can significantly affect the race, making it essential to keep an eye on the forecast in the lead up to the race.

If there is heavy rainfall, it can make the track muddy and slippery, impacting the performance of the horses. Some horses won't cope with the wet conditions and may struggle to maintain their speed and stamina, making them a risky bet.

On the other hand, if the weather is sunny and dry, the track will be firmer, providing better track conditions for the horses. Horses that have a good record on dry tracks will likely perform well in these conditions, making them a good bet to consider.

It's also essential to consider how the weather could impact the jockey's race tactics. If the track is wet, jockeys may choose to ride differently, avoiding the inside rail or taking a wider line. Similarly, if the track is dry and firm, jockeys may be more aggressive in their tactics, looking to take an inside run or lead from the front.

Overall, keeping an eye on the weather is a crucial factor when betting on the Melbourne Cup. Be sure to check the forecast in the days leading up to the race and use this information to make informed betting decisions.

Understand Jockey and Trainer Combinations

When it comes to horse racing, the jockey and trainer combinations play a crucial role in the performance of the horse. A skilled jockey can make all the difference in a race, but it's also important to consider who the horse's trainer is.

A successful trainer knows how to choose the right jockey for their horse, and they also understand how to train the horse to perform at its best. As a punter, it's important to research the history of the jockey-trainer combinations for each horse in the Melbourne Cup. Look for horses with a combination of a skilled jockey and a successful trainer.

Additionally, you should pay attention to recent performances of the jockey-trainer pairing. Have they worked together before? Have they had any recent successes? By considering these factors, you can gain a better understanding of how the horse may perform in the Melbourne Cup.

  • Tip: Look for horses with a jockey and trainer combination that have a proven track record of success and work well together as a team.
James McDonaldChris Waller2
Damian LaneJoseph O'Brien1
William BuickCharlie Appleby1

Bet Responsibly

When it comes to betting on the Melbourne Cup, it's important to remember to always bet responsibly. Gambling should be seen as a fun and enjoyable activity, but it's essential to ensure you're not risking more than you can afford to lose.

Start by setting yourself a budget before placing any bets, and stick to it. Don't be tempted to chase losses by betting larger amounts or increasing your wager frequency. It's also essential to avoid betting when under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as this can cloud your judgement and lead to irresponsible betting decisions.

Another way to bet responsibly is to only use reputable and trusted betting sites and bookmakers. Do your research beforehand and check for any relevant licenses or certifications, as well as reading reviews and feedback from other users.

Finally, if you feel like your gambling has become problematic, or you're struggling to stay in control, seek help immediately. There are numerous resources available, such as gambling support hotlines and self-exclusion programs, that can help you regain control over your betting habits and prevent them from becoming dangerous or damaging.

Enjoy the Race Day Experience

While betting on the Melbourne Cup can be exciting, it's important to remember that the race day experience is about more than just gambling. The Melbourne Cup is an iconic event in Australia and is attended by thousands of people every year. So, take the time to enjoy the day and soak up the atmosphere.

Dress up in your finest race day attire and immerse yourself in the festivities. Take a stroll around the grounds, sample some of the delicious food and drinks on offer and watch the exciting horse races leading up to the main event.

Make sure to also check out the entertainment on offer, from live music to thrilling carnival rides. And don't forget to place a bet or two on the big race – after all, it's the highlight of the day!

  • Dress up in your finest race day attire
  • Take a stroll around the grounds
  • Check out the entertainment on offer
  • Place a few bets on the big race

By enjoying the full race day experience, you'll create memories that will last a lifetime. And who knows – you might even get lucky with your bets and walk away with a hefty payout!

Biggest Upsets in Melbourne Cup History

One of the most thrilling aspects of the Melbourne Cup is the potential for upsets. The race has a rich history of surprising finishes, with long shots and underdogs taking home the trophy. Here are some of the biggest upsets in Melbourne Cup history:

  • Prince of Penzance (2015) - Ridden by the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, Prince of Penzance shocked the world by winning at odds of 100-1.
  • Ethereal (2001) - The New Zealand mare came from behind to win the race at odds of 80-1, despite having never before raced in Australia.
  • Viewed (2008) - Viewed was the longest-priced winner in Melbourne Cup history, winning at odds of 40-1 after a photo finish.
  • Rogan Josh (1999) - The Irish-bred horse won the Melbourne Cup at odds of 33-1, with trainer Bart Cummings calling it the "greatest day of his life".

These upsets demonstrate that even the most experienced punters can be caught off guard in the Melbourne Cup. However, with careful analysis and a bit of luck, anyone can strike gold on race day.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Melbourne Cup?

The Melbourne Cup is a prestigious horse race held annually in Melbourne, Australia. It is considered one of the most important horse races in the world and attracts spectators from all over the globe. The race is held on the first Tuesday of November at the Flemington Racecourse.

How can I bet on the Melbourne Cup?

There are several ways to bet on the Melbourne Cup, including online sports betting sites, bookmakers, and at the racecourse itself. It's important to do your research and compare odds before placing your bet. Also, be sure to set a budget and only bet what you can afford to lose.

What are some tips for winning at Melbourne Cup betting?

One tip is to study the form guide and statistics of the horses before making your bet. Another is to consider the track conditions on race day and the jockey's past performances. It's also important to manage your bankroll wisely and not get swept up in the excitement of the event. Finally, remember that betting on horse racing is a game of chance and there are no guarantees.

Can I bet on more than one horse in the Melbourne Cup?

Yes, you can place bets on multiple horses, either by placing separate bets or through exotic bets such as exactas or trifectas. However, keep in mind that the more bets you place, the higher your risk of losing money. Be sure to only bet what you can comfortably afford to lose.

Is it legal to bet on the Melbourne Cup?

Yes, betting on the Melbourne Cup is legal in Australia and other countries that allow sports betting. However, it's important to ensure you are betting with a reputable provider and following any applicable laws and regulations in your jurisdiction.