Betting on the Melbourne Cup can sometimes be about luck. But for regular punters, it’s about research, background knowledge and making educated decisions.
From trainers & jockeys to weight and barrier numbers, there’s plenty to think about before placing your bet on the Melbourne Cup 2019. But for now, let’s take a look at the last three winners in order to help you make smart bets this year.
Melbourne Cup 2016 Winner
Back in 2016, the winning horse was Amaldin, ridden by then second-time winning jockey, Kerrin McEvoy (who also won back in 2000 with Brew). Almandin was one of four runners entered by owner Lloyd Williams that year and brought him his fifth Melbourne Cup win which was an unprecedented achievement at the time. Trained by Robert Hickmott, the seven year old horse carried a weight of 52kg and ran from barrier 17.
Melbourne Cup 2017 Winner
Rekindling ran to victory in the 157th Melbourne Cup race. Ridden by Corey Brown and trained by Joseph O’Brien, it was the youngest horse in the field that year. Interestingly, he was listed as four years old in Australia but was actually considered only three in his native Northern Hemisphere.
With a weight of 51.5kg this stallion started in barrier number 4 and was wearing saddlecloth number 22. Rekindling was one of six runners entered into the cup that year by owner Lloyd Williams, making this his sixth Melbourne Cup win.
Melbourne Cup 2018 Winner
The winner of last year’s Melbourne Cup was four year old gelding, Cross Counter. Wearing saddlecloth number 23 and starting from barrier 19, this was the first ever British-trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup. Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by Kerrin McEvoy (for his third Melbourne Cup win), Cross Counter was 8-1 at the bookies before the race and carried 52kg.
Although the first ever British-trained horse to win, it’s worth noting that Cross Counter was one of eight European trained horses in the top twelve positions. This shows that the recent trend of internationals outperforming Aussie horses is seemingly ongoing.
So what does all of this tell us?
Of course, there is never any guarantees when it comes to betting or horse-racing. But making educated bets is all about weighing up and considering the information you have. So what have we learnt from the past three winners?
All three horses have carried a weight between 51kg and 52kg. And though it is not the only thing to consider, weight is definitely one of the key factors any self-respecting punter will be looking at. Broadly speaking, the average weight of Melbourne Cup winners in recent history is 54kg. Horses carrying over 56kg generally are not winners. There are of course three exceptions to this in recent years with Protectionist (2014), Makybe Diva (2005) and Jeune (1994) carrying 56.5kg, 58kg and 56.5kg respectively.
Jockeys can also have a big effect on a horse’s performance. Kerrin McEvoy has won two out of the last three Melbourne Cups and is definitely a serious contender for 2019. Other names to look out for are Glen Boss, Hugh Bowman, James McDonald and Damien Oliver. Naturally, Jockey performance is subject to peaks and troughs just like the horses, so make sure that you analyse their most recent statistics in the Melbourne Cup Form Guide before placing any bets.
Trainers and owners are also a huge part of making a winner out of a horse. Breed and genetics can only carry a horse but it requires discipline and nurture from their trainers in order to bring out their full potential. As you will have noticed above, Lloyd Williams is a renowned owner with a record-breaking amount of wins in the Melbourne Cup. Clearly he is doing something right. However, this could also be attributed to the amount of runners he owns and has out in the field every year. International horses, owners, jockeys and trainers have been dominating the race in recent years so it’s worth considering non-Australian horses. Meanwhile, trainers have a significant impact on a horse’s performance and having a look at their form and success rates in the Form Guide is key to making a solid bet.
Ready to make a bet?
Regular Melbourne Cup punters will already know that all bets for the Melbourne Cup are made at the eleventh hour. Although hundreds of horses are nominated every year, only 24 make it to the race. This final field is announced on the Saturday before the race along with the Melbourne Cup Form Guide. To make sure that you make a strong and educated bet, you should read this and take into account all the invaluable information provided.