Ladbrokes Tip: Favourites have a poor record in the Melbourne Cup over the past 30 years or so
The Melbourne Cup is the biggest race run in Australia each year and the two mile classic takes place on the first Tuesday of November as Flemington Race 7 each spring. The highlight of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, the Group 1 staying showdown attracts a field of genuine turf stars including a host of international raiders.
Offering an incredible $8 million in prize money, the Melbourne Cup is the richest handicap race in the world and is second in prize money only to the $15 million The Everest held in Sydney in October when it comes to flat racing in Australia.
Cross Counter (2018) continued the recent dominance of internationals in the Melbourne Cup results. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.
Key lead-up races into the Melbourne Cup field each season include the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) and the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m). Makybe Diva (2005) was the last horse to take out the Cox Plate – Melbourne Cup double without a run between the two spring majors. She also saluted in the 2003 and 2004 Melbourne Cup results and is the sole triple champion of the ‘race that stops a nation’.
The Geelong Cup – Melbourne Cup double meanwhile was last completed by Dunaden (2011) who was the second French raider in as many years to take out the latter after Americain won the same two races the previous spring.
The Melbourne Cup race runs over 3200m and is one of the few events still contested over this traditional Cups’ distance in Australia. The Melbourne Cup prize money has increased dramatically over the years since the race was first sponsored in 1985 and stakes went up to $1 million.
International horses are making more and more of an impact in the Melbourne Cup results. The first Northern hemisphere-trained Melbourne Cup winners was the Dermot Weld-trained Vintage Crop (1993), while from 2014 – 2020 five of the seven Melbourne Cup winners were from overseas including in 2020 when Twilight Payment defeated fellow raiders Tiger Moth and Prince Of Arran in an all-international Melbourne Cup trifecta.
Shocking (2009) meanwhile was the last Australian-bred Melbourne Cup winner before Vow And Declare (2019) broke the drought saluting for Australia in the 2019 Melbourne Cup Results.
There have been many dual Melbourne Cup champions since the first, inaugural winner Archer going back-to-back in 1861-62, but Makybe Diva (2003-05) remains the only triple Melbourne Cup winner in history.
The Melbourne Cup training record is held by former champion horseman Bart Cummings dubbed the “Cup King”. Cummings celebrated his 12th Melbourne Cup victory in 2008 with Viewed.
The closest ever finish in Melbourne Cup history occurred in 2011 when the French-trained Dunaden narrowly held off Red Cadeuax. Dunaden was also the second French galloper in as many years to win top prize after Americain became the first in 2010 for the 150th anniversary of the Melbourne Cup.
The latest edition of the Melbourne Cup ran on Tuesday November 3, 2020 and and saw Ireland’s Twilight Payment defeat fellow raiders Tiger Moth and Prince Of Arran.
2020 Melbourne Cup Results
- 1st: #6 Twilight Payment
- 2nd: #21 Tiger Moth
- 3rd: #12 Prince Of Arran
- 4th: #17 The Chosen One
The official Melbourne Cup 2020 results revealing the 2020 Melbourne Cup winner will be published right here once the race is run and won on Tuesday November 3, 2020.
The 2020 Melbourne Cup results were dominated by the international raiders, Ireland’s Joseph O’Brien celebrating his second success this time with eight-year-old Twilight Payment ($26) in a big upset thanks to a brilliant front-running ride from young Jye McNeil.
Twilight Payment improved on an eleventh in the Melbourne Cup results last year and held on to defeat the fellow Irish galloper Tiger Moth ($6.50), while Prince Of Arran ($9.50) from the UK incredibly ran his third top three finish in a Melbourne Cup field.
Melbourne Cup Race Info
- Date: Tuesday November 3, 2020
- Track: Flemington Racecourse
- Distance: 3200m
- Conditions: Handicap
- Status: Group 1
- Prize Money: $8 million
- First Run: 1861
Melbourne Cup Betting
Melbourne Cup betting markets are available months in advance of the race and these pre-field odds are also known as ante-post or futures markets.
The Melbourne Cup is not only the biggest race in Australian horse racing, but is arguably the most popular event in the country every single year. Even non-racing fans are looking frantically for the best Melbourne Cup odds come race day, with sweeps also occurring in workplaces across the country.
Pre-post betting markets for the Melbourne Cup are available all year round, but the real money is invested in the three days prior to the race. The Melbourne Cup is easily the most popular betting event in Australia and the staggering amount of money wagered on the race means that there is generally great value available for every single runner in the field.
Melbourne Cup favourites have a poor record in the race with the only one to salute for the punters since Makybe Diva (2005) being Fiorente ($7 in 2013). Roughie hopes in Melbourne Cup betting have had plenty of success including most famously in recent years Prince Of Penzance ($101) who scored the upset at triple figures for trainer Darren Weir in 2015.
There were big Melbourne Cup odds on offer for the 2020 winner Twilight Payment who won at 25/1.
2020 Melbourne Cup Odds
The latest Melbourne Cup 2020 odds will be updated below as the count down to the iconic two-mile handicap continues.
Melbourne Cup Field
The Melbourne Cup field has a capacity of 24 horses with no emergencies allowed for the iconic Flemington Race 7 on the first Tuesday of November annually.
In 2020 the Melbourne Cup field ran with just 23 starters following the race day scratching of King Of Leogrance.
Prior to that, he last time the Melbourne Cup field ran under the capacity was in 2017 when Rekindling beat 22 rivals after an early scratching from the field a few days before.
A host of lead-up races off a ballot exemption for the winners into the Melbourne Cup final field including the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup. Runners may also come into the Melbourne Cup field via a start in a race like the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup or Group 3 Geelong Cup.
Melbourne Cup final acceptances close on Victoria Derby Day the Saturday prior, which is the first meeting of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival, while the early Melbourne Cup nominations are taken way bay in August.
2020 Melbourne Cup Acceptance Dates
- 2020 Melbourne Cup Nominations: Closed on Thursday August 27, 2020 attracting 174 stayers
- 2020 Melbourne Cup Weights: Announced on Tuesday September 8, 2020 led by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Anthony Van Dyck (58.5kg)
- 2020 Melbourne Cup First Declarations: Closed on Tuesday September 29, 2020 drawing 94 hopefuls
- 2020 Melbourne Cup Second Declarations: Closed on Tuesday October 13, 2020 leaving 65 stayers
- 2020 Melbourne Cup Third Declarations: Close on Monday October 26, 2020
- 2020 Melbourne Cup Final Field: Announced Saturday October 31, 2020 at 4:30pm (local time)
- 2020 Melbourne Cup Barrier Draw: Took place Saturday October 31, 2020
2020 Melbourne Cup Field
The Melbourne Cup 2020 Field & Barriers will be out the Saturday prior to the big $8 million classic and will be detailed in the section below when it’s made available by Racing Victoria following the VRC Derby Day races.
The official 24-horse Melbourne Cup 2020 final field is locked in with eight internationals including the Caulfield Cup runner-up Anthony Van Dyck carrying the 58.5kg topweight from barrier three.
Last year’s champion Vow And Declare is drawn four as one of four in the race for trainer Danny O’Brien, while the 2019 winning hoop Craig Williams rides last year’s fifth-placed Surprise Baby in 2020.
In-form female jockey Jamie Kah has the ride on two-time placegetter Prince Of Arran from the inside alley, while barrier 24 of 24 was drawn by the Lexus Hotham Stakes winner Ashrun.
- Scratched: #14 King Of Leogrance (18) – lame in the off fore leg
2020 Melbourne Cup Nominations
Early Melbourne Cup 2020 Nominations featuring a huge list of potential runners in the two mile classic close in late August and will be detailed in full below as soon as released.
The official 2020 Melbourne Cup Nominations close on Tuesday August 27, 2020.
The 2020 Melbourne Cup nominations attracted 174 early entries including 30 international raiders and 25 Group 1 winners.
Reigning champion Vow And Declare is in the mix, while other standouts include dual placegetter Prince Of Arran and Chris Waller’s first-up Winx Stakes winner Verry Elleegant.
The 2020 Melbourne Cup weights were subsequently announced on Tuesday September 8 with the Aidan O’Brien-trained Irish raider Anthony Van Dyck (58.5kg) the sole topweight, while last year’s winner Vow And Declare was handicapped 57kg.
2020 Melbourne Cup First Acceptances
The official Melbourne Cup 2020 first acceptances closed on Tuesday September 29 drawing a 10-year record of 94 stayers.
The first acceptances for the 2020 Melbourne Cup feature 82 locals and 12 international raiders led in betting by recent Underwood Stakes winner Russian Camelot for last year’s winning trainer Danny O’Brien.
Surprise Baby, fifth in the event last year on the back of a ballot free ride into the race via The Bart Cummings, is the other standout Melbourne Cup first acceptor and races second-up in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on October 3.
2020 Melbourne Cup Second Acceptances
The Lexus Melbourne Cup 2020 second acceptances were taken on Tuesday October 13, 2020 attracting 65 stayers – one up on the same stage last year.
Among the 65 Melbourne Cup second acceptances are a dozen internationals, nine of which sit inside the Top 24 on the order of entry.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Irish raider Tiger Moth heads updated Melbourne Cup odds just ahead of Russian Camelot for last year’s winning trainer Danny O’Brien.
Melbourne Cup Facts & Statistics
Below we have a look at some of the key Melbourne Cup facts and statistics ahead of the next edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’.
- The three of the past four Melbourne Cup winners all carried under 53kg to victory
- The most successful weight with eight wins overall is 54.5kg
- Makybe Diva (2005) is the only Melbourne Cup winner to carry 58kgs or more to victory in the past 35 years
- Since 1924 only 10 Melbourne Cup winners had a first name beginning with a vowel (A = 4, E = 5 and 0 = 1)
- Since 1924 only four Melbourne Cup winners had a name starting with ‘A’ (Almandin, Americain, Arwon and At Talaq)
- The only Melbourne Cup winner in history to have a name starting with ‘O’ was Old Rowley (1940)
- The five Melbourne Cup winners since 1924 to have a name starting with ‘E’ are: Efficient, Ethereal, Empire Rose, Even Stevens and Evening Deal
- Only 34 Melbourne Cup favourites have won throughout history for a strike rate of just under 21%
- Four-year-olds have the best strike rate (46 wins) followed by five-year-olds (44 wins)
- Saddlecloth numbers 4 and 12 have both produced 11 Melbourne Cup winners
- The most successful Melbourne Cup saddlecloth number in the last 35 years with 5 wins in Number 6
- 10 of the past 13 Melbourne Cup winners were coloured bay
- There has only been 16 female Melbourne Cup winners (13 mares) with Makybe Diva (2005) the last
2020 Melbourne Cup Horses: As The Field Takes Shape
Read more on the 2020 Melbourne Cup Horses.
The Melbourne Cup 2020 horses will be detailed on the dedicated Melbourne Cup Horses page accessible above as we draw closer to the great race.
Melbourne Cup Favourites
- From 2006 – 2020 just one favourite in Melbourne Cup betting saluted for the punters with Fiorente ($7 in 2013)
- Makybe Diva (2004-05) was the last back-to-back Melbourne Cup favourite to salute; she also won her first ‘Loving Trophy’ as an $8 chance in 2003
- Before Makybe Diva the last time Melbourne Cup favourites won back-to-back was Might And Power (1997) and Jezabeel (1998)
- Since 2006 the worst result from a beaten Melbourne Cup favourite was the ill-fated Admire Rakti (22nd of 22 horses) in 2014
- Since 2006 only three Melbourne Cup favourites have finished in the money: So You Think (3rd in 2010), Fiorente (1st in 2013) and Hartnell (3rd in 2016)
Melbourne Cup Tips
General Melbourne Cup betting tips include looking for international performers, proven two mile horses and gallopers coming off a top four run last start.
From 2009 – 2020 all but one of the Melbourne Cup winners finished first four in their lead-up run including four coming off a victory.
Melbourne Cup tips can be found everywhere in the lead-up to the race, but the big field, handicap conditions and distance of the race make it very difficult to back the winner. The presence of a number of international horses and a variety of different form lines make it even more difficult to back the winner of the Melbourne Cup, which his why upsets Melbourne Cup results are not uncommon.
Other tips for Melbourne Cup punters is to look at several key lead up races that are considered good guides for Melbourne Cup performance. Pay attention to strong runs in races like the Cox Plate and the Caulfield Cup. Fiorente (2013) was the last Melbourne Cup winner to back-up off a Cox Plate run (3rd), while Vow And Declare (2nd) was the last Melbourne Cup winner out of the Caulfield Cup.
Another tip for people who are looking to have some fun with different bets on the day need not fear the exotics. Picking the Melbourne Cup trifecta pays extremely well along with other exotic bets including the quinella and first four. For instance this year there is plenty of value in horses that have genuine chances at double figure odds.
2020 Melbourne Cup Tips
Our expert team of tipsters will provide the 2020 Melbourne Cup betting tips below closer to Melbourne Cup Day so stay tuned for the stayers to back and sack for the two mile classic this spring.
Once the final field has been accepted and finalised we will be placing our top tips and selections for the Melbourne Cup here.
What Time Does The Melbourne Cup Run?
All times are for the first Tuesday of November and are local.
- Queensland: 2:00pm
- New South Wales: 3:00pm
- Victoria: 3:00pm
- Tasmania: 3:00pm
- Northern Territory: 1:30pm
- ACT: 3:00pm
- Western Australia: 12:00pm
- UK & Ireland: 4:00am
- New Zealand: 5:00pm
- Japan: 1:00pm
- Hong Kong: 12:00pm
- Dubai: 8:00am
Melbourne Cup Form Guide
The Melbourne Cup form guide is poured over by punters right around Australia and the world in the lead-up to the race. The Caulfield Cup is generally considered the major lead-up race to the Melbourne Cup, but no horse has completed the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double since Ethereal in 2001. The Cox Plate continues to grow as a Melbourne Cup form guide despite the notable difference in distances between the two spring features. Other races that have produced the Melbourne Cup winner in recent years include the Herbert Power Stakes, the Geelong Cup and the Lexus Stakes.
The Melbourne Cup each year attracts an incredible amount of betting activity and people are always looking out for the best tips to give them the winning edge. The Ladbrokes blog provides in depth racing tips and analysis on a daily basis.
Melbourne Cup Form Facts
- From 2010 – 2020 six internationally-trained raiders saluted in the Melbourne Cup most recently Cross Counter (2018) from Godolphin
- Trainer Robert Hickmott for prolific owner Lloyd Williams prepared three Melbourne Cup winners between 2012 – 2019
- In 2020 Lloyd Williams celebrated his record seventh Melbourne Cup success as a trainer
- Fiorente ($7 in 2013) was the last favourite in Melbourne Cup betting to salute
- Upset Melbourne Cup results are common with blow-out odds on offer for the likes of Viewed ($41 in 2008), Prince Of Penzance ($101 in 2015) and Twilight Payment ($26 in 2020)
- Barrier 11 has been the most successful Melbourne Cup gate in the past 30 years
- Triple champion Makybe Diva (2003-05) was the last mare to win the Melbourne Cup
- Six-year-olds have an outstanding recent record in the Melbourne Cup results with five winning between 2010 – 2020
2020 Melbourne Cup Form Guide
A link to the official Melbourne Cup 2020 Form Guide will be provided below as soon as the final Melbourne Cup field is announced on the Saturday before the race.
Melbourne Cup Bet Types
Win – The most basic type of bet. Put your money straight up on the runner that you think will win the Melbourne Cup.
Place – Pick the horse that you think will finish in the top three positions but at lower odds.
Each-Way – Put equal amounts on a horse for the win and a place, the equivalent of two bets and you get paid out for both if it wins.
Quinella – Bet on the horses you think will finish first and second in either order. You can also pick for example one horse to finish 1st and then a combination The fewer horses you pick the greater the dividend.
Exacta – An exacta also involves choosing horses that you think will finish first and second but it differs from a quinella in that it has to be the exact order you specify in the bet.
Trifecta – Very similar to an Exacta, but for the first, second and third placings in the correct finishing order. You can also Box Trifecta to finish in any of the first 3 combinations.
First Four – A First Four bet works the same as an Exacta and Trifecta but for the first four runners in finishing order.
Prince of Penzance winning the 2015 Melbourne Cup. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos
Melbourne Cup Results
The Melbourne Cup results will be available at just after 3pm (AEDT) on the first Tuesday of November every year. The first three horses across the line draw the largest amount of interest from most punters, but due to the popularity of sweeps there is always interest in the final finishing position of all 24 runners.
Notable Past Melbourne Cup Results
1862: Archer became a back-to-back Melbourne Cup winner defending his title from the inaugural Melbourne Cup of 1861
1930: Phar Lap won the Melbourne Cup – the shortest priced favourite to salute at 8/11 ($1.70)
1941: Skipton saluted in the Melbourne Cup as a three-year-old
1990: Kingston Town set the current Melbourne Cup record time of 3:16.3
1993: Vintage Crop prepared in Ireland by Dermot Weld became the first Northern hemisphere-trained Melbourne Cup winner
2005: Makybe Diva became the first three-time Melbourne Cup winner
2011: Dunaden won in the closest Melbourne Cup result in history defeating fellow international Red Cadeaux
2017: Rekindling became the first international Melbourne Cup winner to salute first-up without a lead-up run in Australia since Vintage Crop (1993)
2019: Vow And Declare (Danny O’Brien) became the first Australian-bred Melbourne Cup winner since Shocking in 2009
2020: Twilight Payment (Joseph O’Brien) handed owner Lloyd Williams with his seventh success
Melbourne Cup Winners
||Vow And Declare
||Prince of Penzance
||Alain de Royer Dupre
||Dermot K. Weld
Melbourne Cup Quick Facts
Makybe Diva has recorded a record 3 consecutive Melbourne Cup wins.
- The Melbourne Cup was first contested in 1861 and was won by the Etienne de Mestre-trained Archer, who successfully defended his crown the following year.
- Alongside Archer, only four other horses have won the Melbourne Cup more than once; Peter Pan (1932,34), Rain Lover (1968,69), Think Big (1974,75) and Makybe Diva (2003,04,05).
- The Melbourne Cup was originally contested over a distance of two miles (3219m) but was shortened to 3200m in 1972 when Australia adopted the metric system.
- Kingston Rule holds the record for the fastest time in Melbourne Cup; taking out the race’s 1990 edition in 3:16.30.
- The 2015 edition of the Melbourne Cup was won by the Darren Weir-trained Prince Of Penzance; a rank outsider having left at odds of $101 for success. The race also figured as the first time a female jockey was triumphant, in the form of Michelle Payne.
Melbourne Cup Trainer Profiles
Several trainers from around the world have enjoyed success in the Melbourne Cup throughout its rich history and their names have been etched into Australian race history and folklore as a result.
Bart Cummings is the most successful Melbourne Cup trainer.
Undoubtedly the name most synonymous with the Melbourne Cup is that of the late, great Bart Cummings, who secured a record and incredible 12 wins in the race over a long and illustrious career. Cummings saddled his first Cup winner through Light Fingers in 1964 and it fast became clear the trainer was on his way to stardom when defending his crown with Galilee and Red Handed in 1965 and 1966 respectively. Cummings’ record will likely never been eclipsed and he will always be the toast of the Race That Stops a Nation.
Prominent Australian trainer Lee Freedman has won the second-most amount of Melbourne Cups having so-far saddled five winners. The trainer’s first triumph came when Tawriffic won in 1989, but his biggest impact on the race undoubtedly came in preparing equine superstar Makybe Diva to two of her three-consecutive successes in 2004 and 2005. Freedman currently trains in partnership with brother Anthony and the pair prepared Our Ivanhowe in the 2015 edition of the race, who was unlucky to be hampered for a run in the final straight.
A number of international trainers have made their mark in Australia on the first Tuesday of November, but perhaps none more than two-time winner Dermot Weld. Weld claimed his first Melbourne Cup success via popular stayer Vintage Crop in 1993 but is most famous for preparing Media Puzzle in 2002; partnered by champion hoop Damien Oliver in the wake of his brother Jason’s sudden passing from a fall in track work.
Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival
Undoubtedly considered Australia’s major series, the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival as the name suggests runs through the season of spring each year; officially beginning in early August and concluding in the late stages of November.
The Melbourne Spring Carnival boasts black type racing each weekend and often through the week and is headlined by the Group 1 races that take place over four days during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
There are also what are known as the ‘Big 3’ Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival races or majors.
The Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) is the first of these contested over a mile-and-a-half (2400m) in mid-October. Won by some of the country’s best staying horses, the Caulfield Cup often figures as the final turning point for horses both local and international ahead of the Melbourne Cup.
The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) is the country’s premiere weight-for-age race and boasts an impressive $5 million purse. Contested just over a week prior to the Melbourne Cup, the Cox Plate has been won by everything from locals to internationals and even three-year-olds since the turn of the century. Winx is the most famous Cox Plate champion winning a record four straight editions of the WFA feature from 2015-18.
The ‘Big 3’ spring majors finish with the Melbourne Cup over the two miles run as Flemington Race 7 on the first Tuesday of November annually.