Your Guide to Winning Large at the Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is described as the 'Race that stops a nation' and here's a guide to picking the winner from 24 entries gunning for a share of the $6 million prize money

Described as the ‘Race that stops a nation,’ the Melbourne Cup is one of the premier Australian sporting events of the year. This year promises to be another thrilling race with 24 of the world’s top long-distance thoroughbreds going head-to-head for a share of the $6 million purse.

Understandably, Melbourne Cup betting is a big part of the event. Before your select your horse for this year’s event, we have produced an extensive guide to give you a great chance of winning big on November 4th.

Damien Oliver chasing fourth victory

The three-time Melbourne Cup winner will be bidding for his record equalling fourth victory with Irish raider Mutual Regard. The 5-year-old won the Betfred Ebor at York in England earlier this year and will arrive in Australia without a prep run, and is priced at about $13.00.

The Johnny Murtagh trained gelding heads into the race with a record of seven victories, four second-places and three third place finishes from his 17 races, giving the Irish guest a win percentage of 41.18%.

Oliver, meanwhile, moved level with Glen Boss with his third Melbourne Cup victory last year with a win on the Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente. It was his first win in the race since victory in 2002 with Media Puzzle. And his first win came 19-years-ago with Doriemus.

Victory in the 154th Melbourne Cup would see the 42-year-old join Bobby Lewis and Harry White on four wins and he has a great chance with Mutual Respect.

Trainer Murtagh, meanwhile, has won all over the world with victories in the Breeders Cup in the USA along with wins in the UAE, Germany, Hong Kong and Canada but has never experienced victory in Australia.

Failing favourites

Admire Rakti will head into the 2014 race as the bookies favourite, priced at about 4.60, but favourites have struggled in the event in recent years.

Fiorente was the 6/1 favourite last year and became the 34rd favourite to win the Melbourne Cup in 153 races. Before Oliver’s win last year, however, Makybe Diva in 2004 and 2005 was the last favourite to win the big race.

In the six-years prior to Fiorente’s victory, the favourite has finished no higher than third. Japanese galloper Admire Rakti, meanwhile, will also be the heaviest horse since Think Big in 1975 to win the Melbourne Cup if the bookmakers favourite can deliver in Melbourne.

The Caulfield Cup winner has been given a top weight of 58.5kg and weighed 58kg when he defeated New Zealand’s Rising Romance in Victoria. The last time two different favourites won the race back-to-back, however, was in 1997 and 1998 when Might and Power’s victory was followed by Jezabeel.

And there have been 11 horses that have done the double, winning the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup, the last one being Ethereal in 2001.

At the other end of the market, meanwhile, there have only been three winners who entered the race with odds of 100/1 or higher. The last of the trio being Old Rowley in 1940.

Six-Year-Old’s a Sure Bet?

Four and five-year-old’s hold the record for the most victories in the Melbourne Cup, with 43 each from 153 races but it is six-year-old’s who have dominated the race over the past decade, which will give favourite backers confidence.

Six of the last 10 winners have all been six-year-old’s, including the last four going back to 2010. There has been just one five-year-old winner in the last 10-years, Viewed in 2008, while Shocking (2009) and Efficient (2007) have been the only two four-year-olds to win the race since 2004. And there has been only two eight-year-old winners in Melbourne Cup history, the last one being Catalogue in 1938.

Another stat to consider, meanwhile, is the fact that 18th barrier is the only barrier which has never produced a winner in the Melbourne Cup while barrier number five has produced the last two winners, Fiorente and Green Moon. And finally saddlecloths number four and 12 have produced the most winners, 11 each, with number one producing nine winners and eight claiming eight victories.

Will six-year-old, Caulfield Cup winner, Admire Rakti become the 12th horse to complete the Caulfield Melbourne double? Who is your money on?