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5 Pointers When Placing Your Bets For The Melbourne Cup

It’s just a few weeks to that special Tuesday in November when all of Australia literally stops to witness the best horses in the world compete for the AUD$1.5 million prize pool. On the betting side of the race, one of the top Australian betting websites records a turnover of more than AUD$100 million each year. And that’s enough proof of the popularity of this richest race in the world. (1)

As such, you wouldn’t want to lag behind in placing your bet for the 2021 Melbourne Cup. By 3:00 PM Australian Eastern Daylight Time, you should have thoroughly analyzed the race and picked your winners. Use these seven pointers to help you make high-probability predictions for the Melbourne Cup:

Tipster predictions

Some handicappers have been in the game for several decades or years. By now, they’ve perfected their analysis skills and can make informed predictions that have a high probability of winning. So you’d want to take advantage of expert opinions if you’re just getting started in horse race betting. You can use reputable betting sites such as as your starting point.

The Jockey

Word has it that the jockey’s influence on a winning race is 75%, while the horse’s influence is only 25%. Thus, a high-performing horse can fail to win if its rider isn’t an excellent one. Similarly, a seemingly average horse can emerge the winner if the jockey has exceptional riding skills. (2)

Thus, you’d want to scrutinize some of the past winning jockeys and bet on their horses should they take part in the 2021 race at Flemington Racecourse. Make sure to watch the outstanding ones like Kerrin McEvoy, Ryan Moore, Damien Oliver, Brett Prebble, Blake Shinn, and Craig Williams.


The Melbourne Cup is a handicap race, meaning that lead weights are placed on the horses’ saddle cloths to ensure that none of them has an unfair advantage over the others. The weights depend on sex, age, past performance, and more. Generally, a faster and healthier horse carries a heavier weight, and the slower ones carry lighter weights. (3)

The most common weights for Melbourne Cup winners are as follows:

  • 52.5kg: 7 wins
  • 53.0kg: 7 wins
  • 53.5kg: 7 wins
  • 54.5kg: 8 wins

This is an indication that horses with weights ranging from 52.5 kg to 54.5 kg have a higher chance of winning, as opposed to those with the maximum weight of 58 kg or those with the minimum weight of 49 kg. Use this past trend for a higher chance to win.

Performance in lead-up races

The Melbourne Cup isn’t held in total isolation. Several other high-profile horse races take place in the weeks and days before this race that stops a nation. Thus, you’d want to consider the performance of those horses in these lead-up races that’ll also participate in the Melbourne Cup. 

If they perform well in the October races, you can expect them to also excel in the November race, as they’ll still be in good form. And if they perform dismally in the preceding competitions, you wouldn’t risk betting on them in the main event of the year.

Here are some of the lead-up races you must consider:

  • Lexus Hotham Stakes: October 30, 2021, 2,500 m
  • Moonee Valley Cup: October 23, 2021, 2,500 m
  • Cox Plate: October 23, 2021, 2,040 m
  • Caulfield Cup: October 16, 2021, 2,40 0m
  • Geelong Cup: October 20, 2021, 2,400 m
  • Bart Cummings: October 2, 2021, 2,500 m


Ignore the favorites

The Melbourne Cup favorites are named shortly after participating in the 3,200 m feature each year. But as time progresses, the named favorites may change after a close analysis of their form. Historically, only 34 out of 158 favorites emerged as winners. You’re looking at a 21.5% probability of winning if you bet on the proposed favorite. Furthermore, the last favorite to make it to position one was 2013’s Fiorente. (4)

Other favorites performed as follows:

  • 2020’s Surprise Baby finished13th.
  • 2019’s Finche finished 7th.
  • 2018’s Yucatan finished 11th.
  • 2017’s Marmelo finished 9th.
  • 2016’s Hartnell finished 3rd.
  • 2015’s Fame Game finished 13th.
  • 2014’s Admire Rakti finished 22nd.
  • 2012’s Dunaden finished 14th.
  • 2011’s Americain finished 5th.

Therefore, you must look into other performance factors before betting on the favorite horse—at least if you want to have higher winning chances.


The forthcoming Melbourne Cup is overly exciting, and you can join the thrill by betting on your preferred horse and jockey. The five tips in this post should adequately guide you in picking the winning horse. But you need to understand that anything can happen in horse races, and no human can always be 100% correct in predictions. So place your wager on the amount of money you’re willing to lose. 

  1. “TAB’s turnover on the Melbourne Cup continues to drop”, Source: 
  3. “Explained: What does a handicap mean in horse racing?” Source: 
  4. “Melbourne Cup: Race winners of last decade”, Source: 

Thanks for reading! Let us know what your thoughts are on the article!