The 2019 Melbourne Cup is setting up to be one of the biggest, best and most competitive races in the Cup’s long history. Not only is it the race that stops a nation, it’s also a race that even non-punters will place a bet on.

Everyone would like to pick a winner on race day, and in this post we’ll be looking at some logical and random ways to help you do just that.


#1 – Back a Foreign Horse

While it’s not guaranteed that a horse brought in from overseas is going to be the winner, there is a good chance it will be as each year more and more horses from other countries are gaining entry into the great race. And with the costs involved in bringing horses and a team to Australian shores, you can be certain they only bring the absolute best.


#2 – Don’t Choose a Horse Name, Pick a Number

A saddle number that is. Whatever you do, don’t pick number 18, as it’s only ever won the race once. But then again, it’s probably overdue for a win. The best numbers to bet on – the numbers that have had the most wins – are 4 and 12, as they’ve amassed 11 wins each. You could also try number 1, as it’s had 10 wins.


#3 – Take a Punt On An Older Horse

Horses that are 4 or 5 years old have proven they can handle the Melbourne Cup distance far better than younger horses. A total of 92 winners have come from this age bracket, with 6 year olds coming in next. The last time a 3 year old won the race was way back in 1941.


#4 – Don’t Back a Long Shot

While the race day favourite doesn’t always win the Cup, generally the winning horse will be amongst one of the favourites. Eliminate all horses that have odds of 20-1 or more in the last few days leading up to the race. Or maybe get more ruthless and scratch anything over 10-1.


#5 – The Barriers Have It

The barriers, or starting gates from which the horses emerge, are picked at random. With a race that’s so long, and with a home straight of more than 1000 metres, barriers really shouldn’t play any role in the final result. However, statistics tell us otherwise. Since 1925, no horse starting in barrier 18 has ever gone on to win the Melbourne Cup. Barrier 5 is the one to pick, with a total of 8 wins, followed by barriers 10, 11 and 14, with 6 wins apiece.


#6 – Pick a Jockey On a Lucky Streak

Like participants involved in any sport, jockeys will experience purple patches during their career. Whether it’s lady luck on their side or something else, it doesn’t matter. What you want to do as a punter on Melbourne Cup day is put your money on a jockey that’s had a winning run in the month or two leading up to the big race. There’s a very good chance their lucky streak will continue.


#7 – Track Conditions Are a Huge Factor

Even if you’re an amateur punter, or someone who only places a wager on Melbourne Cup day, it’s not hard to check the form guide for each horse and see which track conditions they perform best on. There’s little point choosing a horse that performs well on a dry surface if a muddy track is predicted for the first Tuesday in November.


#8 – Don’t Choose a Horse On Form, Just Pick Your Favourite Colour

Of course a horse’s form leading into the race is important to consider, but so is the colour of the jockey’s silks. Did you know that blue is the champion’s colour? Both royal blue and navy blue have won the cup an impressive 18 times. Black has done really well too, with a total of 17 wins.


The Takeaway

There are many options for picking a winner of the 2019 Melbourne Cup. How you go about it will depend on your experience and your punting style. While burying yourself in form guides might be informative, it’s not much fun.

Take a more off the cuff approach, apply a few of the tips mentioned above and you might just have a winning formula.