Melbourne Cup 2021 Odds & Big Favourites

Melbourne Cup Odds

The 2021 Melbourne Cup is fast approaching and all eyes will be on Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday, November 2 for the ‘race that stops a nation’.

Melbourne Cup Odds 2021

Read on below for our expert guide to the latest Melbourne Cup 2021 odds and some analysis on the favourites.

Who are the 2021 Melbourne Cup Favourites?

This year will be the 161st running of the Melbourne Cup – run over 3200-metres, it’s a race full of tradition and history – and it’s now the richest handicap in the world.

Twenty-four horses will line up on the day and be aiming for glory, but we’ve taken a closer look at this year’s Melbourne Cup favourites and those important Melbourne Cup odds.


The Peter Moody trained Incentivise has proven himself at Group 1 level this year, digging deep to win the Makybe Diva Stakes before success in the Turnbull Stakes.

Next on the agenda is the Caulfield Cup – that he’s already a short-priced favourite for – before heading to Flemington for a crack at the Melbourne Cup.

Spanish Mission

Spanish Mission has been clocking up the air miles this year with runs in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and the UK where he is trained by Andrew Balding.

He was last seen running 2nd behind Stradivarius in a thrilling Lonsdale Cup at York and with his arrival into Australia delayed, he’ll miss the Caulfield Cup and now head straight to Melbourne instead.


Formerly trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien, Delphi managed a Group 3 victory before transferring to Australia where he’s shown improvement through each of his four runs.

He’s booked a slot in the Caulfield Cup following victory in the Herbert Power Stakes and a strong running there will see all roads lead to Flemington.

Twilight Payment

Last year’s winner Twilight Payment is set to return to defend his crown on the back of a solid campaign in the UK and Ireland this year.

He was successful in the Group 3 St Leger Trial at the Curragh in August before running 2nd in the Irish St Leger itself. Can he become the first horse since the great Maybe Diva to win back-to-back Melbourne Cups?

Melbourne Cup Odds 2021

Incentivise $2.30
Spanish Mission $6.00
Grand Promenade $11
Away He Goes $13
Tralee Rose $13
Twilight Payment $13
Verry Elleegant $13
Sir Lucan $19
Persan $21
Selino $31
Delphi $34
Explosive Jack $34
Forgot You $34
Pondus $34
The Chosen One $41
Floating Artist $41
Ocean Billy $67
Others Quoted $67+

Odds correct at 3pm on 25/10/2021

Who are this year’s Melbourne Cup Underdogs?

Now that we’ve considered the favourites, and with 24 runners set to head to post for this year’s Melbourne Cup, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the underdogs for this year’s race.

Here are three outsiders in the Melbourne Cup odds that could well outrun their big price on the day – and don’t forget that Prince of Penzance Melbourne Cup odds in 2015 were $101 – that’s 100/1!

Realm of Flowers

Realm of Flowers booked her spot in the Melbourne Cup early after winning the Andrew Ramsden at Flemington back in May.

She’s not had to slog her way through Melbourne Cup qualifying races in recent months and that means that she’ll be fresh and trained to her peak for the big one come November.

Explosive Jack

Explosive Jack exploded onto the scene this year with a trio of excellent runs in three Derbys – winning both the Australian Derby and the South Australian Derby before placing 2nd in the Queensland Derby.

He has since had two spins around Flemington when down the field in the Makybe Diva and the Turnbull Stakes but he’s a horse full of potential stepping up to the Melbourne Cup trip for the first time.


Montefilia is a Randwick specialist whose only experience of Flemington came last year when she ran an excellent 3rd in the Kennedy Oaks.

She won the Group 1 Metropolitan at Randwick earlier this month, outstaying her rivals to seal the victory, and a further step up in trip in the Melbourne Cup could well be next on the cards.

Check out our Melbourne cup tips and predictions page to see who is the current favourite by our tipster

How to Read the Horse Racing Odds & Calculate Payouts

The Melbourne Cup odds are presented to punters as a $ amount – for example, $10.

This means that if you placed a $5 bet on that horse and it won you would receive back $5 multiplied by $10 = $50.

As fractional odds, this would be 9/1 ($45 profit plus your $5 stake returned). So the larger the $ price a specific horse is in the Melbourne Cup, the smaller the chance it has of winning the race… in theory.

The 2020 Melbourne Cup was won by Twilight Payment at $26 – that’s a 25/1 winner in fractional odds.

Type of Bets You Can Place On This Year’s Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is popular with racing fans around the globe and it brings a great range of betting opportunities – from traditional bets such as Win and Place to the more elaborate ones known as Exotics.

Here’s a quick explanation of the most popular types of bets for the Melbourne Cup.

Win Bet – The simplest form of betting, you’re backing a horse to win the race and, if it does, you’ll also be a winner

Place Bet – This is a bet on a horse finishing in the first three places

Each Way Bet – An Each Way bet is essentially a Win and a Place bet combined – if your horse wins the race, you win both bets, but if your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd, your Win part loses but your place part is a winner

Quinella – Here you’re having a bet on which two horses will finish 1st and 2nd, in no particular order

Exacta – Similar to the Quinella, but here you have to pick the first two horses in the correct order

Trifecta – This one is like the Quinella but with a bit more juice – you’re looking to pick the first three horses home in any order

Straight Trifecta – The same as a Trifecta in that you’re looking to select the first three horses home, but in this bet, you need to pick them in the correct order

First Four – If you manage to land a First Four then expect a tasty payout because this bet requires you to pick the first four home – not the easiest in a race with 24 runners

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do Favourites win the Melbourne Cup?

Since 2000, only three favourites have won the Melbourne Cup – Makybe Diva in 2004 and 2005, and Fiorente in 2013.

Last year’s favourite was Surprise Baby who only managed to finish 13th.

Why is the Melbourne Cup always on a Tuesday?

The Melbourne Cup is always held on the first Tuesday in November as it coincides with a public holiday in the state of Victoria when schools and most businesses are closed.

What is the fastest Melbourne Cup time?

The fastest winning time in the Melbourne Cup is 3 minutes and 16.3 seconds which was recorded by Kingston Rule as he won the race in 1990.

Which horse number wins the most?

Horse numbers 4 and 12 are the most successful, boasting 11 Melbourne Cup wins each.

What is the most profitable bet in horse racing?

The most profitable bet in horse racing is a winning bet!

With this in mind, it’s best to pick a bet type that you are confident with. Most punters normally place Win and Each Way bets as their main bets with some Exotics thrown in for the chance of winning big with relatively small stakes.