Melbourne Cup Tips 2021

All eyes will be on Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday, November 2, as 24 runners head to post for the race that stops a nation – the Melbourne Cup.

And we’ve got the big race down under covered with all the Melbourne Cup runners, stats, bet types, and of course, those important Melbourne Cup tips.

So read on to make sure you’re ready for this year’s Melbourne Cup but remember to set that alarm clock – the race goes off at 3pm Australian time, that’s 4am in the UK and Ireland.

Tips here

The Melbourne Cup Favourites This Year

The Peter Moody trained Incentivise dominates the ante-post betting for this year’s Melbourne Cup.

This season, he’s proven himself in Group 1 company, winning the Makybe Diva Stakes and the Turnbull Stakes before demolishing the field in the Caulfield Cup.

Incentivise is now a short-price to land the Melbourne Cup as he aims to become the first favourite to win the race since Fiorente in 2013.

The UK-trained Spanish Mission is also on this year’s Melbourne Cup shortlist and he’s no stranger to globetrotting, having already run in Saudi Arabia and Dubai this year.

He chased home Stradivarius in the Lonsdale Cup at York, and the plan was then to head to Australia for the Caulfield Cup but his arrival has been delayed meaning he’ll now head straight to Flemington for a crack at glory.

Realm of Flowers will arrive at Flemington a fresh horse having sealed her spot in the field back in May after success in the Andrew Ramsden.

The Melbourne Cup trip looks perfect for her, and you can be sure that Anthony & Sam Freedman will have her trained to perfection as they hunt down a maiden victory in the race.

The Joseph O’Brien trained Twilight Payment took glory last year, and he’ll be back at Flemington this year as he aims to become the first horse since Makybe Diva to win back-to-back Melbourne Cups.

His last two runs were solid – winning the Irish St Leger Trial and then finishing runner-up in the Irish St Leger itself – he’s sure to have plenty of market support come post time.

Melbourne Cup Runners

Table with Horse, Jockey, Trainer, Weight, Nationality

Melbourne Cup entries are based on a horses handicap rating, and the field is then reduced down to the final 24 through a balloting system, based on factors like prize money earned in the last two years, wins and placed efforts, and the allocated handicap mark.

There are also a number of ‘win and you’re in’ races with horses that have won a specific race exempt from the balloting process.

These races include the Victoria Derby, the Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate, the Irish St Leger, and the Tenno Sho.

Local vs International Horses – Historic Data 

The Melbourne Cup is now the second-richest handicap in the world so it’s no shock that international runners target the race in the hope of landing one of the most famous races and a nice pot of cash.

International runners have an excellent record in the Melbourne Cup in recent times – winning eight of the last 17, including seven of the previous 11.

Raiders from Ireland, France, Germany, and Japan have all been successful in the Melbourne Cup.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions last year, an international runner again took the glory as Twilight Payment won it for Ireland.

With travel restrictions still in place, there are likely only to be a handful of international runners in this year’s Melbourne Cup, giving Australian owners and trainers a chance of keeping the Cup on home turf this time around.

The Melbourne Cup Betting Guide

With 24 runners lining up, the Melbourne Cup is a tricky race to land the winner in, so analysing the stats and form is vital.

We’ve cast our expert eye over both and put together the main Melbourne Cup trends that you should be focusing on when looking to find the winner:

Favourites have struggled – Just three favourites have won the Melbourne Cup since 2020.

Weight is critical – No horse has carried more than 58kg to success in the Melbourne Cup this millennium and, over the past decade, the average weight carried to victory in the Cup is 54.5kg. 

The Caulfield angle – The Caulfield Cup has provided five of the last 21 winners of the Melbourne Cup, including Vow And Declare in 2019 – can Incentivise add to that impressive record this year?

A high barrier helps – 12 of the 21 Melbourne Cup winners since 2000 have come from double-digit barriers, including Twilight Payment who was drawn 12 last year. But you might want to swerve barrier 18 as not a single winner has jumped from there.

Top Bookmakers For The Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is one of the most famous horse races globally so you can be sure that all the top bookmakers will offer betting markets on the big race.

With 24 runners, some bookmakers may offer extra places on the Melbourne Cup so it’s worth taking the time to shop about, especially if you’re looking to have an each-way bet on the race.

Here are some of the top bookmakers to check out for this year’s Melbourne Cup.

SBK are offering a £20 Risk Free Bet for all new customers – meaning you can have a bet on the Melbourne Cup safe in the knowledge that if it’s a loser, you’ll get your money back. 

Sky Sports Racing will show the Melbourne Cup live in the UK and Ireland, and SkyBet have a fantastic offer for new customers – simply join and bet £5 on the Melbourne Cup, and you’ll get £20 in free bets.

New customers can also get £20 in free bets when they join Virgin Bet and bet £10 on the Melbourne Cup.

Melbourne Cup Bet Types?

If you’re in the mood to have a bet on the Melbourne Cup, all the leading UK and Irish bookmakers will be offering a wide range of betting opportunities.

Win singles and each-way singles are the norm, but the Melbourne Cup is also famous for some more elaborate betting opportunities which can see you land a significant return from a small stake.

Known as Exotics, these include bets similar to ones you’ll know from the UK and Ireland and some you may never have heard of.

  • Quinella – This is the same as a reverse forecast, so you’re placing a bet on which two horses you think will finish 1st and 2nd in either order
  • Exacta – This is the same as a straight forecast – you’re picking the first two horses home, but in the correct order
  • Trifecta – This is a combination tricast – you’re looking to pick the first three horses home in any order
  • Straight Trifecta – This one is a straight tricast – you’re aiming to pick the first three horses home, but you need to have them in the correct order
  • First Four – There’s no equivalent to a First Four in the UK and Ireland, but the clue is in the name in this one – you have to pick the first four home, which isn’t the easiest in a Melbourne Cup with 24 runners to choose from.

The Flemington Racecourse – Track Information

Flemington Racecourse is located in Melbourne, and it’s the home to the Melbourne Cup Carnival – the biggest week of racing on the Australian racing calendar.

It’s an anti-clockwise track, measuring 2312m in distance – just under 11.5 furlongs, or 1 mile and 3.5 furlongs.

The straight at Flemington is just over two furlongs long, meaning there is time for horses to make up ground in the closing stages of the Melbourne Cup, especially with the straight being 30m in width.