This post will be updated with 2018 Melbourne Cup betting information as soon as the final field and barriers are announced.
The biggest race of the year is just around the corner this Tuesday and the final field has been confirmed.
The 2017 Melbourne Cup is the biggest punting race in Australia and everyone loves a go to find the next staying champion.
24 of the best stayers from Australia, New Zealand and Europe have entered for the Flemington feature and we have sorted through the form to pick out our best bet, best each way and best roughie selection.
There are multiple ways to make money when beating the Melbourne Cup, but the best tactic is to pick a few horses and find the best value.
That’s what the strategy we’ve taken here and we’re confident of another big Melbourne Cup result.
Be sure to shop around for the best odds this weekend and we recommend checking out new bookmaker Neds.
Our Best Bets for the 2018 Melbourne Cup
Almandin @ $7 – BET NOW
Best Each Way Bet:
Johannes Vermeer @ $10 – BET NOW
Who Shot Thebarman @ $41 – BET NOW
Melbourne Cup 2018 form guide and tips
Hartnell ($26) – BET NOW
Not many punters thought Hartnell was going to run in the 2017 Melbourne Cup, but Godolphin were desperately seeking a representative.
He finished third in the Melbourne Cup last year, but that’s when he was in much better form and he simply hasn’t been the same horse since.
He’s a talent at his best, but he would need to turn his form right around to figure in the finish once again.
Almandin (Best Bet @ $7) – BET NOW
2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin is our top pick for a myriad of reasons.
The Robert Hickmott-trained runner is in better form entering this year’s Cup than he was last year and that’s a scary thought.
We believe this field is slightly easier than the one he faced last year and his win two starts back was simply sensational.
He has been given a nice freshen up for this and he’s clearly the horse to beat.
Humidor ($9) – BET NOW
Trainer Darren Weir has some concerns about whether Humidor can see out the 3200m distance, but his performance in the Cox Plate was encouraging.
The only problem with Humidor is that he doesn’t settle very well during the run, which will be more of a problem over the two miles.
The former Kiwi runner is a nice each way chance, but he’s too risky for our liking at this stage.
Tiberian ($31) – BET NOW
Six-year-old Tiberian is a French-performed runner and French form should always be respected in Melbourne.
We’ve yet to see it flourish in the Melbourne Cup, but it comes into this with consecutive wins at group level and he had to carry weight in excess of 59.5kg in both starts.
That’s some effort and although he finished 32.8 lengths behind the winner at group one level in July, his group two and group three wins hold him in good stead for the minors.
Marmelo ($9) – BET NOW
Punters showed interest in Marmelo for the Caulfield Cup and he produced a big effort in the run to the line.
He might not have finished in the placings, but he showed a good turn-of-foot from well back in the field and that had punters very excited.
He’s a quality international hope which has been set for the Melbourne Cup and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Marmelo close to in on Almandin’s odds come post time.
Red Cardinal ($16) – BET NOW
The Irish son of Montjeu comes into this having finished fifth at group two level in France last start and we’ve discussed how strong French form is.
His two starts prior included quality wins at group two and group three level and trainer Andreas Wohler has won the Melbourne Cup in the past with Protectionist.
That’s good experience to have and it’s almost certain to get the distance after winning over 3219m in June.
He has had only one run this season, which is the concern, but he’s a class act.
Johannes Vermeer (Best Each Way @ $10) – BET NOW
It was an incredible run from Johannes Vermeer in the Caulfield Cup and it arguably should have won the race.
He was held up approaching the turn, but still kicked on strongly for third and he’s going to take massive improvement from that.
Aidan O’Brien is desperate to win a Melbourne Cup and he has brought a serious charge with him in 2017.
The $12 on offer is a great each way price for a stayer which possesses a good turn-of-foot.
Bondi Beach ($61) – BET NOW
Bondi Beach is now with Robert Hickmott in the hopes to get it to turn around its form, but he’s clearly past his best.
He looked a good chance a few years back when he was racing on the world stage, but that form hasn’t held up well this season.
We’re prepared to risk him at the long odds.
Max Dynamite ($15) – BET NOW
It’s tough not to like Max Dynamite, but how much kicker does the eight-year-old still have?
The Willie Mullins-trained old timer finished second in the Melbourne Cup in 2015 and has raced only four times since. That included a last start win which came by three lengths, but the stake was only $18,000.
That’s not going to be good enough form to better his position from 2015 and we think his odds are a touch short of value.
Ventura Storm ($31) – BET NOW
Punters shouldn’t be too harsh on Ventura Storm’s performance in the Caulfield Cup as he was found to have a problem upon pulling up.
That has affected his odds for the Melbourne Cup negatively and it’s tough to back him with any confidence.
Glen Boss is a multiple winner of the race with Makybe Diva, but he’d need to work some serious magic to overturn its last start.
Who Shot Thebarman (Best Roughie @ $41) – BET NOW
The Chris Waller-trained nine-year-old is looking to become the oldest Melbourne Cup winner in history and we believe he’s got a chance.
His win at Moonee Valley last start was a good enough indication that he’s back to his best and his past performances in the Melbourne Cup have been good.
This will likely be his past attempt at the Cup and we’ll be shouting for the former Kiwi at long odds.
Wicklow Brave ($61) – BET NOW
Wicklow Brave will have plenty of supporters on the day, but he doesn’t have a realistic chance of winning.
Another nine-year-old, the Mullins-trained hurdler is best known for his jumping prowess and his effort for 12th in the Caulfield Cup wasn’t inspiring.
We’d look to others.
Big Duke ($19) – BET NOW
Big Duke has been a favourite of ours for a while now, but the Melbourne Cup might be too tough for him.
He struggles to settle during the run and he’s best suited to a smaller field around a tighter track in Sydney.
He knows how to win, which is a good trait to have, but you need to have a real staying mentality to win the Cup and he might be too brilliant over the shorter distances.
U.S Army Ranger ($67) – BET NOW
Love the name, but his form is close to being good enough here.
The five-year-old is bred to be a stayer, but he finished last at Leopardstown last start and that’s not great form going forward.
His best form has come over 4000+ metres and that’s where we would be following him.
Boom Time ($26) – BET NOW
It might have been a big upset win, but Caulfield Cup winners should always be respected in the Melbourne Cup.
The Lindsay Park-trained stayer loves to grind away and that could happen next Tuesday. If the pace is on up front, which it could be, expect Boom Time to be sitting just off the pace and ready to strike approaching the turn.
We’re expecting his odds to drift on the day so punters should wait for a better betting opportunity.
Gallante ($101) – BET NOW
We’re struggling to find any reason to back Gallante, apart from the fact that jockey Michael Dee is in good form.
It’s simply not up to this level of racing and he’s lucky to be in the race.
Libran ($41) – BET NOW
Libran isn’t the most consistent runner and it would likely need some moisture in the surface to be a winning chance.
The weather doesn’t look ideal for the Chris Waller-trained stayer, but it should get the distance and that inconsistency could play in its favour.
Not the worst at big odds.
Nakeeta ($34) – BET NOW
Nakeeta is a chance at $21 and he brings in winning form from the Ebor.
It’s a good form guide for the Melbourne Cup and although he didn’t have top quality form leading into that race where he won as a $13 chance, he might have the confidence up now.
There’s a sense of confidence in the camp and the light weight is going to give him every chance of winning.
Single Gaze ($41) – BET NOW
It was an incredible run for Single Gaze in the Caulfield Cup where she led the chasing pack up to the leader.
Single Gaze was able to kick on well for second and almost win the race, whereas the leader punctured and finished well down the track.
Hopefully that run didn’t take too much out of the mare because she’s an honest type which could run close to a top four finish.
Wall of Fire ($13) – BET NOW
There have been some big bets for Wall of Fire, which comes into this with a Herbert Power placing to his name.
That was some effort first-up in Australia and although his form overseas hasn’t been flash, there is supreme confidence in this runner.
His last run in Europe came in September 2016 and that lack of winning experience is important, but he should be in the thick of the finish based on his last start effort.
Thomas Hobson ($15) – BET NOW
He gets into the race due to the scratching of Jon Snow, but the eight-year-old is coming off a last start placing at group two level and that form could be good enough.
Willie Mullins lines up another talented type which doesn’t know how to give up, but we can’t have it in our selections.
His best form is over 4000m and despite having Joao Moreira in the saddle, who finished second last year on Heartbreak City, this looks a test too far.
Rekindling ($16) – BET NOW
Four-year-olds have a good record in the Melbourne Cup and Rekindling has a nice career record to date.
The Joseph O’Brien-trained runner has had nine starts for three wins and two placings. His run for fourth in the St Leger last start was classy and if he can handle the travel, he could be a serious threat.
It could pay to wait for any race day betting moves, but he looks a nice type in the making.
Amelie’s Star ($17) – BET NOW
She has real staying credentials, but was given a shocking ride in the Caulfield Cup.
The jockey went forward when she usually settles at the back, so expect a change in tactics this time around.
If the pace is on up front, expect Amelie’s Star to be finishing strongly down the outside into a top 10 position.
Cismontane ($41) – BET NOW
Cismontane gets into the field via its win in the Lexus Stakes, but it’s not up to this level.
He’s looking to replicate the likes of Shocking and Brew and Lexus/Cup double winners, but he’s a touch below that level and it would be a shock to see him winning.
About the Melbourne Cup
The Melbourne Cup is the biggest and most popular thoroughbred race in Australia and is considered “the race that stops a nation”.
Held on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington, the $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup is the premier staying race in Australia and features among the highest-ranked races anywhere in the world.
It’s the feature race during the Melbourne spring carnival which includes a four-day Cup week carnival. The Melbourne Cup is held on the second day of the carnival in between Derby day (Saturday) and Oaks day (Thursday).
Held over 3200m (two miles) the Melbourne is truly an international contest, so much so that the majority of entrants in the modern day are either bred in Europe, Japan or New Zealand – as opposed to Australia.
What makes the Melbourne Cup even more grand is the atmosphere at Flemington on race day. There is a thrilling vide between the casual punters, the more serious punters and those on track which have never seen a horse in their life.
The Cup brings them all together to enjoy a great race and it’s easily the most money spent on one race in Australia.
Melbourne Cup betting
Every bookmaker we recommend has betting on the Melbourne Cup.
Markets open for the Melbourne Cup just hours after the running of the previous edition, so there’s no time lost if punters want to get stuck into the action.
Bookmakers provide an all-in market 12 months out from the race, but offer fixed win, fixed place and a range of exotic bets when the field is narrowed down.
Punters often get great value when betting into Melbourne Cup markets because the betting pools are the biggest of the year. The bigger the betting pool the better odds you will get.
Melbourne Cup betting tips
Punters never really know what the Melbourne Cup is going to throw at them, but favourite punters have had good success in recent years.
The favourite in the Melbourne Cup doesn’t often pay odds-on – in fact the favouritism usually fluctuates around the $5-$6 mark which is great value.
Because of the extreme staying distance of the race, punters have found that they can put a line through most of the field that won’t see out the distance, making punting on the Cup more appealing to both recreational and professional punters.
Melbourne Cup field
The Melbourne Cup field consists of 24 horses and no emergencies. If a runner is scratched then there is no replacement runner to make up the field.
The field consists of horses that have qualified with various results. Some runners qualify because of their good race record at the top level (wins, prize money etc) and some have to qualify by winning a qualifying race.
The winner of the following races is exempt from ballot into the Melbourne Cup:
Doncaster Cup (UK)
Irish St. Leger (UK)
Tenno Sho (Japan)
Sankei Sho All Comers (Japan)
Arlington Million (USA)
San Juan Capistrano Handicap (USA)
Australian Stayers Challenge
Melbourne Cup barrier draw
One of the most exciting aspects of Cup week is the Melbourne Cup barrier draw.
The connections test their luck at the conclusion of Derby day to see what barrier their runner will jump from.
The race can be won and lost at the barrier draw so it’s taken very seriously and it concludes at around 5:30pm that night.
Assessing the international horses
One of the hardest things to figure out when betting the Melbourne Cup is the form of the international horses.
The Cup field has seen everything from New Zealand runners, Japan and even European hurdle jumpers, but they’re all in with a chance.
Punters should follow the betting when it comes to assessing the international runners. Do they have previous form in Australia? Will they handle the temperatures on a hot day in Melbourne?
One thing is for sure – the overseas contingent will see out the distance and that’s always a big positive when investing into this race.
Fashions on the field
We might not be able to bet on the fashion, but it’s an integral part of the Melbourne Cup culture.
The best dressed men and ladies compete for big prizes throughout the Cup carnival and it’s always good to attract the young crowd to the race.
Best Melbourne Cup jockeys
The best current jockeys to bet on are Damien Oliver and Kerrin McEvoy.
Oliver won the Melbourne Cup in 1995 aboard Doriemus, which was made famous by the recent passing of his brother.
He also won in 2002 when riding Media Puzzle to victory for European trainer Dermot Weld and again in 2013 when giving Gai Waterhouse her first Cup victory with Fiorente.
Kerrin McEvoy still has a baby face, but he won the Cup back in 2000 when riding New Zealand stayer Brew. The Michael Moroney-trained gelding was the lesser-fancied of his stable runners with Second Coming attracting big interest, but Brew caused the upset.
McEvoy was back at it in 2016 with Almandin. The European import gave owner Lloyd Willians yet another Melbourne Cup win in a tight tussle with the aptly-named Heartbreak City.
Best Melbourne Cup trainers
Robert Hickmott is one of the most successful current trainer in Melbourne Cup history.
The man who doesn’t speak to the media trains for Lloyd Williams and has won two of the last five Melbourne Cup races.
Lee Freedman has won five times – two with Makybe Diva and one with both Doriemus, Subzero and Tawrrific.
Neither trainer has a record like the great Bart Cummings, however, who trained a record of 12 winners, which will most likely never be beaten.
Notable Melbourne Cup records
Makybe Diva is the only horse to have won three Melbourne Cups and she did them consecutively.
The champion mare won in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and is considered one of the greatest champions of the Australian turf.
There have been four thoroughbreds to win the Cup on two occasions. Think Big (1974, 75), Rain Lover (1968, 69), Peter Pan (1932, 34) and Archer (1861, 62).
The quickest race time was recorded by Kingston Rule in 1990 when it ran 3.16.30 and the biggest winning margin was from Archer and Rain Lover which scorched the field by eight lengths.
Four horses have won at triple figure odds, with the most recent coming in 2015 when female jockey Michelle Payne won aboard Prince of Penzance.
The shortest priced winner was Phar Lap which won in 1930 paying $1.73.