Melbourne Cup Tips - Who does history point towards winning the Melbourne Cup?

  • Six-year-olds have a great record in the Melbourne Cup
  • Internationals to have had a lead up run in Melbourne perform better than those who haven't
  • Only three favourites have won the Melbourne Cup since 2000
Protectionist defeated Red Cadeaux in the 2014 Melbourne Cup

Australia's most famous horse race, the Melbourne Cup (3200m), is set to run and won on run on Tuesday November 6 and the $7 million race shapes as another classic. 

The Cup has grown into an international event, attracting gallopers from all parts of the world but finding a winner can be tough as it brings together so many and varied formlines from both Australia’s best gallopers as well as the internationals. 

We have had a look through the recent trends in the race in order to take some of the guesswork out for you and there are a few things you should consider when trying to find a winner. 

Since the year 2000, there have been only three favourites to have won the event.  Fiorente was successful in 2013 as a $7 popular elect, whilst the mighty mare, Makybe Diva, looked after punters in both 2004 and 2005 when starting as favourite. 

This year the Herbert Power (2400m) winner, Yucatan, is a $5.50 favourite with sportsbet in early markets, while the U.K galloper, Magic Circle, is at $8. Cross Counter is at $9.50 while the like of Muntahaa ($11), Best Solution ($13, Avilius ($13) and The Cliffsofmoher ($16) head the rest.  

The average price of the winners since 2000 is $17.60 but that figure is inflated somewhat after Prince Of Penzance scored at $101 in 2015. Take Michelle Payne's winner out of the equation and the price since 2000 is $12.50. 


Last year, Rekindling won as a $15 chance. In 2016 it was Almandin at $11 and those two horses are among six winners in the Melbourne Cup for the leviathan owner, Williams. He has Yucatan and The Cliffsofmoher in there race this year. 

Rekindling broke a bit of a hoodoo for international gallopers that had not had a start in Australia before the Melbourne Cup. He was the first of the internationals that was successful in the race that stops the nation without a prior run in Australia. 

This year, Magic Circle, Muntahaa, Marmelo and Cross Counter are four horses that run in the Melbourne Cup without a lead up in Australia. Marmelo raced in the Melbourne Cup last year and finished 9th as favourite. 

One of the key lead up races for the Melbourne Cup is always the Caulfield Cup (2400m). The Caulfield feature has provided four of the past 18 winners of the Melbourne Cup and was taken out by Best Solution this year. The Cliffsofmoher ran 3rd. 

The Cox Plate has also provided four winners. Avilius ran 4th behind Wins in that race this year, while Rostropovich was 5th. 

Other key lead ups include the Geelong Cup and the Hotham Handicap (2500m) . Three winners have come out of the Geelong Cup and two from the Hotham. The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Runaway claimed the Geelong Cup this year, while The Prince Of Arran won the Hotham

For fans of Yucatan, the Aidan O'Brien-trained galloper will be out to follow the path set by Protectionist, who ran in the Herbert Power before claiming the 2014 Melbourne Cup. 

Yucatan is a last start winner after destroying his rivals in that race. Eight of the 18 Melbourne Cup winners since 2000 had won at their previous start. Other last-start winners this year include Magic Circle, Muntahaa, Ventura Storm, A Prince Of Arran and Runaway

The most successful age group in the Cup since 2000 has been the six-year-olds. Gallopers aged six have won nine of the past 18 Melbourne Cups including five of the past eight. Horses aged six this year are Muntahaa, Sound Check, Marmelo, Ventura Storm, A Prince Of Arran and Zacada. 

There have been four horses aged four to have won the cup since 2000 including Rekindling, Shocking (2009), Efficient (2007) and Ethereal (2001). This year, Ace High, Runaway, Youngstar, Cross Counter and Rostropovich belong in that age bracket. 

Youngster is the only mare in the race this year. Ethereal is one of two mares to have won the cup since 2000, with the other being the three-time winner, Makybe Diva. 

The handicap conditions of the race have seen horses with a variety of weights win the Cup. The average weight of the winners has been 53.5kg. No horse carries that this year but a number carry 53kg or 54kg. 

A lot of speculation in the lead up to the race has been how much of a factor the barrier draw will play after Yucatan drew barrier 23. Whilst it is preferable to draw in, winners have come from a variety of positions. Nine of the 18 winners since 2000 have come from double digit barriers including Shocking and Brew, who drew barriers 21 and 22 respectively when they won the cup. 

Last year, Rekindling won from barrier 4, while in 2016 Almandin won from 17. Barrier's 5 and 7 have provided two winners apiece since 2000. This year, Red Cardinal and Ventura Storm occupy those spots. 

The most successful jockeys in the Melbourne Cup since 2000 have been Glen Boss and Damien Oliver. Boss was on Makybe Diva when she won three in a row while Damien Oliver famously rode Media Puzzle to victory in 2002 and was on Fiorente in 2013. This year, Oliver ride the Darren Weir-trained Red Cardinal. 

No trainer has won the race twice since the year 2000 except for Lee Freedman and Robert Hickmott. Freedman trained Makybe Diva in 2004 and 2005. (David Hall was her trainer in 2003). Robert Hickmott trained Rekindling, Almandin and Green Moon in 2012. 

Selection based on trends. 

The Melbourne Cup hasn't been a great one for favourites and on trends, we could overlook Yucatan. Look for something in the $10-$20 price bracket. A Prince Of Arran ticks a number of boxes. An international, he has had experience in Australia and is a last start winner. 



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