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Melbourne Cup Betting: The Top Guide

The Melbourne Cup is the pinnacle of thoroughbred horse racing in the Australian continent. The annual event takes place at the Flemington Racecourse and has been billed by many fans as the richest two-mile handicap in the world. If you’re seeking to get in on the spoils, our Melbourne Cup betting guide is packed full of information to advance your knowledge of this event. Read through each section for a comprehensive overview of the race, or jump immediately to a section of interest using the navigation boxes below.

Page topics: click to go to your favourite topic!
Melbourne Cup
Best bookmakers for the Melbourne Cup

Discover their characteristics


How we choose the bookies

Under Over

Win, Each-Way, Show Bet


Makybe Diva, Think Big & others

Big names

Glen Boss, Damien Oliver & more


Facts, stories and betting


Your questions answered

We are professionals in the game of horse racing betting, and have applied our breadth of knowledge to the sportsbook offerings surrounding the Melbourne Cup. By deploying basic statistical analysis and sampling we have gathered results on various key performance indicators at the many bookmakers covering this event. With our refined list of betting sites below, you’ll have a great place to begin on this journey.

Betting on the Melbourne Cup: The Top 5 Operators

The vast amount of online betting sites covering the Melbourne Cup offer a wide range of features, and quality of service. You can’t be wasting time trying out 50+ bookmakers to find the best one, so don’t worry, we’ve done that for you. Each bookmaker has a generous welcome offer to get started with so you’ll be well on your way to betting on the Melbourne Cup.

The top 5 Melbourne Cup Sportsbooks
Bookmaker Bonus Offer Features Rating Secure Link T&C’s
Up to £30 13+ 94.19% 5/5 Visit Site! Full T&Cs Apply! New customers only. Available to residents of UK or Republic of Ireland using promo code ZBBC01. Place 5 x £10 (or more) single bets on the Sportsbook each at min odds 1/2 (1.5). Get 1 x £20 free bet. Up to five times.
Up to £10 12+ 93.88% 4.5/5 Visit Site! Full T&Cs Apply! *New customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered.
Up to £20 11+ 93.86% 4.5/5 Visit Site! Full T&Cs Apply! 18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned.
Up to x2 ODDS 10+ 94.09% 4.5/5 Visit Site! Full T&Cs Apply! Exclusive to new members. Offer applies to Sport bets only. Maximum total stake is £10. Each way bets are a maximum of £5 each way (£10 total stake). Valid for 60 days after registration. 18+
Up to £30 10+ 93.96% 4/5 Visit Site! Full T&Cs Apply! Under the terms of this Promotion, eligible members will receive £30 in free bets at the Site. In order to receive the welcome offer, members must first place a qualifying bet. A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 with odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater. Bets that are ‘Cashed Out’ do not qualify. First qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of registration. Please gamble responsibly. 18+

How we Chose the Best Bookmakers for the Melbourne Cup

When we choose the sites to recommend to our readership, we take a distinctive look at each member of the list in close detail. Once this has been achieved the process generally relies on our personal experiences with the sportsbook, the feedback we receive from our readers and the objective quality of the unique features available at each sportsbook.

We narrowed down our analysis into four primary categories. With each of the sections in the above navigation element, you’ll be able to quickly identify where to place your bets based of personal preferences. To see each criteria in more detail, follow the links to the appropriate paragraph.

The Importance of Payouts

Payouts have been an important aspect of betting since the beginning of bookmaking. Odds are set by the bookies and choosing the right place to bet can make a significant difference in your returns over a long period of time. If you’re looking for a betting site to give you the best payout possible, you’ll have to remain agile. Being flexible in your approach to betting will always enable you to pick the best market price.

Best Melbourne Cup Betting Offers

One thing that punters are always drawn to is an attractive welcome offer. Exclusive Melbourne Cup betting offers are not overly common, but they do exist. The good news is that you’ll be able to deploy any regular sportsbook welcome bonus on many different markets available at this event.

Live Betting and Streaming

The option of live streaming is available at several sportsbooks in our top 5 entries. With this added functionality you’ll be able to bet, browse markets of future races, and watch the races you’ve got bets on all from the sportsbook dashboard. This incredibly popular feature requires users to make a small deposit and bet on the races, once this has been done, the streams will become live and available for you to bet on.

Number of Markets Available

The number of betting markets is not such a pressing issue at horse racing sportsbooks, due to the limited nature of the betting. The biggest presence that any punter can make on number of markets available is limited usually to winners and multiples bets. There are of course many methods one can take to extend the odds levels of a high-profile race, customising the criteria to give the greatest chance at success.

The Type of Melbourne Cup Markets

In this section we will now go into detail on the type of markets and bets you can place on the race. This can range from the simpler ‘straight bets’, to the ‘exotic bets’ that require more knowledge and luck! Below, you will find a description of some of the betting markets for this race, if you want a general overview of the sport, check out or dedicated horse racing page. Otherwise, keep on reading!

Straight Bets

When working out which markets you’d like to gamble on, it’s a good idea to have a thorough representation of the full options in your head before proceeding. Horse racing can usually be defined into two separate camps, the straight bets make up the simple win bets and each-ways that customers love to deploy as an insurance mechanism against their horse getting pipped at the post.

Easy to claim welcome offer For new customers only To use on all horse races
Bonus up to £20
Full T&Cs Apply! 18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned.

The Win Bet

The horse who wins the race takes all the glory. Punters betting on this market will be used to making bets of long odds, and you can take a favorite to win in a large field of horses for approximately 5/1 on average. With these kinds of odds you need to behave yourself and not go to excessive on the stake as the likeliness of you losing is particularly high. A great deal of expertise and a dash of luck is required when making this bet.

The Place Bet

Placing horses correctly on your bet slip is no easy task. In fact it is a terribly difficult thing to do. Very much the same statistical principles as the win bet, the place bet you are calling a single horse to finish in a specific place. With this action you’ll receive a massive payment if your bet returns true and you win. But in the rare occasion that you don’t succeed with the bet and need to find and alternative more conservative strategy, look below at our description of the each-way bet.

The Each-Way Bet

The each-way bet at any horse race, including Melbourne, is a split between a win and places bet. Depending on the race in question will depend on how many horses qualify in the winning places, the larger the field the more places this will be. In the Grand National for example the top 6 horses will qualify for the each way rewards. Your stake is the same for both the win and places portions of the each-way bet. If your horse wins, both these bets will win – if he finishes in the winning places only, then your each-way bet will win and you’ll be paid at ¼ of the odds for him winning.

Exotic bets on the Melbourne Cup

The name really does suggest these bets are somehow inaccessible and undertaken by mavericks of the horse racing betting world. Whilst that is somewhat true, they are easy to understand and can be incredibly rewarding if implemented well. Below you’ll find primary examples of each of the exotic markets available at Melbourne Cup betting sites.

The Tricast Bet

Three horses running The tricast bet is the most popular type of bet in this category. It allows punters the exclusive opportunity to bet on a very long-range outcome, one that will see huge returns if it lands. These bets cannot be made lightly, and you’ll need to successfully predict the horses placing in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, to land it. No easy task by any means. It’s one that really separates the wheat from the chaff, and if it comes in you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. It’s a great little bet and one that gets the heart pounding.

The Forecast Bet

Two horses running If you thought the tricast bet was tricky, then you should have a closer look at the forecast bet. This bet is very much similar in concept to the aforementioned, but you’ll only need to land the first 2 horses for the bet to win. Those are decent odds by anybody’s standards, and the signature to success is taking two horses you think are capable of winning the race outright. This is easier to think about, as often there are two clear favourites in the field. However, keep in mind you still need to get the exact finishing order correct too!

Superfecta bet

Four horses running The Superfecta bet really is one of the most ambitious bets you can make in horse racing. The massive combination requires you to pick the horses that will finish in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th! The odds for such a bet, as you can imagine, are astronomical. You will need to make plenty of these bets with various combinations if you want to give yourself a realistic chance of landing one. It is notoriously difficult to be successful, and if you do win one of these, you should expect that you will make the evening news with tales of your success!

All you Need to Know about the Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup info
Flemington racecourse
Nome: The Melbourne Cup
Headquarters: Melbourne, Victoria
Year of foundation: 1861
Sponsor: Lexus
Website: www.flemington.com.au
Race Type: Grade I Stakes Race
Surface: Turf
Prize Money: $5.6 million

The Melbourne Cup is a traditional thoroughbred race taking place in Australia on the 1st Tuesday of each November. The race has become the elite cup for horse racing on the continent, with it being billed as the richest two-mile handicap event in horse racing, with many considering it one of the richest races on the general racing circuit. But with the race going for nearly 2 centuries, there are many that consider it a pinnacle event in the annual racing calendar.

The total prize money for this event is around $8,000,000 – and corporate boxes in the grand stand go from $20,000 – numbers that truly demonstrate the authority this event has. If you’re looking for a surefire way to enjoy horse racing in the Southern hemisphere then the Melbourne Cup is the perfect event for you. In the sun baked city of Melbourne, you can truly enjoy the horses at the height of summer.

In the Australian racing scene, there is nothing better than this. It’s the pinnacle that every jockey and trainer wants to reach. Due to its popularity it has also begun to see interest worldwide and many now watch or bet on the race from afar. There is nothing better than seeing the best Australian’s do their thing, and that is why the punters love it.

The official channel of the Melbourne Cup

All the info on the Horses of the Melbourne Cup

The race is the true home of thoroughbred horses in Australia, but the immediate impact is a diverse range of horses and jockeys from all over the world. Although the race is primarily run by Australian runners and horses, many great incumbents from the international scene join in for the festivities of this event.

The Past 5 Placed Winners

There have been some great names to run at this event over the years. Some of the best in the business race from Australia and they feature heavily on the race card at the festivities of the Melbourne Cup. But unless you’re there as a passive fan you’ll undoubtedly be inundated with a star-studded lineup featuring horses trained by the world’s most elite training camps ensuring that this event is packed full of quality runners.

Placed finisher for Melbourne Cup in the past 5 years
Year 1st (Horse, Trainer) 2nd (Horse, Trainer) 3rd (Horse, Trainer)
2018 Cross Counter, Charlie Appleby Marmelo, Hughie Morrison A Prince of Arran, Charlie Fellowes
2017 Rekindling, Joseph O’Brien Johannes Vermeer, Aidan O’Brien Max Dynamite, William Mullins
2016 Almandin, Robert Hickmott Heartbreak City, Tony Martin Hartnell, John O’Shea
2015 Prince of Penzance, Darren Weir Max Dynamite, William Mullins Criterion, David & Ben Hayes
2014 Protectionist, Andreas Wohler Red Cadeaux, Ed Dunlop Who Shot Thebarman, Chris Waller

Who are the Best Trainers?

Some of the world’s most elite trainers including Charlie Appleby and the legendary Joseph O’Brien regularly send horses to the podium at events all over the world. With such a high-caliber of trainer taking center stage at this classic event, there will be plenty of races you can look forward to.

The Best Horses of Melbourne Cup

With so many amazing horses taking part in the Melbourne Cup year on year, you’ll be sure to recognize a few of the runners in the all-star lineup. Below is a quick roundup of the best performers from the last years at the Melbourne Cup. Each of these horses have a unique story to tell. Learn more about them in more detail below.

  • Jaameh

    Jaameh is the most successful horse to compete at Flemington, scoring 3 career wins in just 5 starts, giving a huge 60% win rate to this horse.

  • Order of Command
    Order of Command

    Order of Command is a great horse in the Melbourne Cup. The young mare has torn across the turf at breakneck speed scoring 3 wins out of 6.

  • Amphitrite

    The young mare Amphitrite has enjoyed much success at Flemington in a short time. Racing is 7 races and notching up 3 victories at a 43%-win rate.

Legends of the Past

This is a race that harbors a lot of legendary talent from all corners of the horse racing world. From top-class jockeys to the highest quality thoroughbred horses, the Melbourne Cup is home to elite level horse racing. Past legends of the Melbourne include the likes of 4-time winning jockey: Bobby Lewis and 12-time winning trainer: Bart Cummings. With these legends at the helm the sport grew and the Melbourne Cup became the fantastic event that it is to this day.

The Horses with the Most Prize Money Won

There have been many winners at the Melbourne Cup, and below you can see a detailed list of the exact earnings of the top performing horses from the entire history of this event. Keep in mind that the Melbourne Cup has drastically increased prize money in recent years, so the horses you see on this list don’t necessarily represent the best, just those that were lucky enough to earn big with their career.

Horses With the Most Prize Money at Melbourne Cup
Horse Prize Money Age, Sex Owner Years Active
Cross Counter $4,537,285 4yoG Godolphin 2017 – Present
Mystic Journey $2,855,000 3yoF W G Roser 2017 – Present
Latrobe $1,862,678 4yoH N C Williams 2017 – Present
Extra Brut $1,491,200 3yoF B J Spicer 2017 – Present
Sunlight $1,432,000 5yoG Mrs L Fung 2017 – Present
Trap For Fools $1,352,500 6yoH G W Evans 2017 – Present

Melbourne Cup Records

It’s always interesting to keep an eye on the records that come with each famous horse race. Some of the greatest participants of thoroughbred horse racing have been in the last few years, but below we have delved a bit deeper and offer you some interesting records held by competitors of this contest.

  • Darren Weir
    Most Wins by a Trainer

    Darren Weir is a massive figure in Australian horse racing. The elite trainer has successfully trained horses that have a combined total of 23 wins.

  • Fashion show
    Melbourne Fashion and Horses

    Every year at the Melbourne Cup, the spectators take part in a fun day of horse racing and witness at premium fashion show on the main lawn.

  • Craig Williams
    Craig Williams Champion Jockey

    The true Champion of Flemington is indeed Craig Williams, this beast of a Jockey has won 22 races at Melbourne Cup.

History of the Melbourne Cup and Betting

This is a race that is packed full of historical moments, the tale of Australian racing is truly embedded into the fabric of this event. The sport of horse racing is definitely one that is made better by this annual spectatle, see some of the key milestones below.

The history of the Melbourne Cup infographic

Discover the Best Bookies for the Melbourne Cup

Melbourne Cup and Bookmakers Sponsorship

The Melbourne Cup is an annual event that captures the attention of the entire sporting world. Punters from across the world flock to see the horses race across the turf, and witness some of the best jockeys and trainers flaunt their expertise. Sponsorship plays a heavy part in horse racing, and the Melbourne Cup has built partnerships with several successful brands to further their ambitions of becoming the biggest event in the horse racing calendar. The likes of Lexus and Emirates currently sit at the top of sponsorship for this event. Partnership deals also extend to Melbourne Cup bookmakers such as Ladbrokes, with the firm playing an important role at the track on race day.

Which Bookies You Should Avoid?

There are of course a few obvious answers to this question. The sport of horse racing is one that has been corruptible for some time, many of the participants compete on a fair basis, but many do not. If you want to advance to greatness in the sport of horse racing, then do so by playing the markets correctly and at fully licensed and regulated betting sites only. By doing this you can be sure that you’re going to have a pleasurable gaming experience.

Facts and Anecdotes about Betting on Melbourne Cup

As we are drawing this review to a conclusion it is about time that we took a closer look into this events best moments from the previous decade. Whether you’re more interested in discovering the best places for this course or want more info on the luxury packages you can book with these guys, you’ll find some details of that in the boxes below.

  • November calender
    First Tuesday of November

    The Melbourne Cup takes place in the start of Australian summer, on the first Tuesday of November traditionally.

  • A horse and odds
    Massive Outsider Win

    A good start for all the bookies occurred in 2002, when a huge 100-1 outsider took the first victory of the day, one of the biggest shock wins on the track.

  • A view of Flemington from the Hill Stand
    Watch the Race in Luxury

    The Melbourne Cup has always enjoyed elements of extreme luxury. The Hill Stand Corporate Suites starting at around $20k are the best place to fulfill that urge!

Mark Twain

Nowhere in the world have I encountered a festival of people that has such a magnificent appeal to the whole nation. The Melbourne Cup astonishes me.

Mark Twain


Now we have finished with our look at the Melbourne Cup, we have covered everything that is of importance. If you still have some questions, please read the FAQ below or feel free to send us an email at info@bestbettingsites.com.

Can I bet on the Melbourne Cup from the UK?

Betting on the Melbourne Cup is possible from the UK. You'll just have to account for the time difference with this race taking place in a different part of the world.

Can I find dedicated promotions for the race?

There are many promotions available on this race, but the important consideration to remember is all bookie welcome offers are applicable to these races.