With only a few weeks to the 162nd run of the Melbourne Cup, horse racing fans from all corners of the globe ask the same burning question: Who will take home the AUD$4.4 million (GBP£2.53 million) grand prize? It’s a question that punters like to answer by placing their wagers on their favourites.
Australia’s most prominent thoroughbred competition, the Melbourne Cup horse race provides the greatest opportunities for punting. Besides residents, overseas bettors can place their wagers through online bookmakers.
Last year, the Victoria Racing Club reported high wagering activities in Hong Kong, the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The VRC also said a total betting turnover of $724.1 million, reflecting a 7.6% hike versus 2020 figures
So, whether a once-a-year punter or a novice bettor, it helps to know how to bet wisely. Here are five tips to help you boost your chances of making the best choices:
1. Wait until the final field is announced
You must keep track of the latest order of entry — the list of candidates ranked according to their abilities and recent performances — to increase your chances of picking the right runner. First released on 06 September, the list will undergo several changes in the coming weeks.
The order of entry will further be narrowed down twice, on 24 and 29 October, to determine the final field for the Melbourne Cup, consisting of 24 runners. This means each horse in the finals has a 4% chance of winning the title.
Following the second declarations on 27 September, 57 gallopers are in the running for the 2022 Melbourne Cup. Point Napean leads the board, followed by Deauville Legend and Gold Trip. Local entries Duais and Montefilia complete the top five of the order of entry as of 01 October.
Melbourne Cup’s 2019 winner, Vow and Declare, is also on the list’s 44th spot. Last year’s third-placer, Spanish Mission, had to bow out due to a tendon injury.
2. Analyse recent race performances
As with the Melbourne Cup order of entry evaluators, it pays to study a horse’s recent performance to determine the most probable winner. Besides the past Melbourne Cup, analysing recent winners from competitions such as the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate, Lexus Stakes, Moonee Valley Cup and Bart Cummings can help predict a thoroughbred’s performance in the Melbourne Cup.
You can study the horse’s past race forms by watching replays on this channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/PuntersAustralia, alongside other reputable platforms. Subscribing to this channel will also provide rookies with racing tips, expert insights and additional valuable wagering information.
3. Study the Cup’s historical results
Besides studying the odds, expert punters also consider the numbers attached to important game elements, including the number of favourites to snag the title, barriers with the most Cup champions, international winners and so on.
Researching past winners can be a frazzling exercise, as the Melbourne Cup is on its 162nd run. You can whittle down your research to a decade or so. Various online resources have done the work so you can get this information easily with just a few clicks.
For instance, historical data has shown the winning chances of a horse carrying the heaviest load in the Cup might be slim. Besides super mare Makybe Diva, the only thoroughbred to win the Cup three times in a row (2003–2005), no recent winner has carried over 55 kilograms of weight on the track. Over the past 10 years, most victors have held an average weight of 54.5 kilograms.
But exceptions do happen. In the 2021 Melbourne Cup winner, another mare named Verry Elleegant became the first horse in 160 years to win from barrier 18.
4. Don’t go for the favourites
If you’re planning to collect a huge payout, betting on favourites might not be the best idea. That’s because the markets’ most preferred horse has rarely won in the Melbourne Cup.
For instance, only 34 predicted winners have won in the Melbourne Cup’s 161 runs. The most recent favourite to win the game was 2013’s Fiorente, following 2005’s Makybe Diva. Meanwhile, 75 favourites had placed in the top three spots in the Cup.
You’d know the preferred runner by looking at the odds assigned by bookmakers. Horses are priced differently, so take time to compare them. Choosing an underrated yet good-performing horse increases your odds.
5. Pick three or more horses
Betting on the winner might give you the best returns, but wagering on different runners proves more lucrative. Instead of straightforward bets like win, place and show, consider exotic wagers like a trifecta, quinella, exacta, etc.
For instance, bettors who’ve chosen the correct trifecta, or the first three placers, received over AUD$61,000 in winnings in 1993. In 2003, a lucky punter won AUD$2.6 million after doing the same and placing the bet several times.
You can also consider Flexi-betting, which lets you receive a dividend percentage when your picks win. If you’re a first-time bettor, you must understand how matched betting optimises welcome offers from online bookmakers.
Betting might seem straightforward on the surface. But you need to consider several factors when picking the horses most likely to win the Melbourne Cup. Its final field of 24 has the most participants in any prestigious race thus far.
Hone your betting skills with the tips in this blog post and increase your chances of choosing the right runners. More importantly, take heed of expert tips and advice and keep track of changes as the odds continuously shift towards the race.