Melbourne Cup 2021: 5 Betting Tips And Trends

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Race horses with jockeys on the home straight. Shaving effect.

On Tuesday, November 2 2021, at 3.00 p.m. local time, the Melbourne Cup will kick off at the Flemington Racecourse in Victoria. This is one of the most famous sports events across the world. Indeed, more than a million fans are expected at the stadium, in addition to another 1.4 to 2.7 million viewers from different countries. (1)

If you don’t make it to the stadium, you’d want to participate virtually by betting. This way, you’ll have the requisite psyche and energy to cheer your favourites to the finish line, and that’s essentially how you enjoy sports. 

Use the following betting tips and trends for the Melbourne Cup 2021 to stand a higher chance of making more accurate predictions:

  1. Watch the key lead-up races

Many punters count on the several races that precede the Melbourne Cup as a source of inspiration to predict the winners. In essence, the horses that perform exceptionally well in these lead-up races have a high probability of winning the Melbourne Cup. 

Here are some of the races you’d want to consider watching:

  • The Caulfield Cup (2,400m): The race took place on Saturday, October 16 2021, at the Caulfield Racecourse, and Incentivise emerged as the winner. (2)
  • Cox Plate (2,040m): This is set to take place on Saturday, October 23 2021, at Moonee Valley racecourse
  • Geelong Cup (2,400 m): It’ll be run on October 20, 2021, at Geelong Racecourse, and the winner is guaranteed a start at the Melbourne Cup. 
  • Bart Cummings (2,500m): This was run on October 2, 2021, at Flemington Racecourse, with Grand promenade, Tralee Rose, Master Of Wine, and Selino leading the pack. (3)

But even so, it’s good to be aware of the Melbourne Cup scratchings that might lead to some popular horses being removed from the final list of runners. 

A startgate full of horses about to start the race.

  1. Consider the weights

In a handicap race, the competing horses are subjected to varying weights to even the playing field. The amount of weight they carry is based on factors such as sex, age, and career performance up to date. The maximum weight is usually 58kg, whereas the minimum weight is 49 kg. (4)

Historically, the following weights have had the most wins in the Melbourne Cup:

  • 5kg: 8 wins
  • 5kg: 7 wins
  • 53kg: 7 wins
  • 5kg: 7 wins

If this trend is anything to go by, you’d want to play safe by betting on those horses with weights that fall within these ranges. The videos here will fill you in more with such analyses.

  1. Don’t capitalise on the favourites 

Every year, a number of horses are proposed as favourites based on their most recent performances. This year’s favourites are Incentivise, Spanish Mission, Delphi, and Twilight Payment. Betting on these horses increases your chances of winning. But even so, history shows that the named favourites don’t always emerge as the winners. 

Here’s a brief outline of the performances of various favourites in the last ten years:

  • In 2020, Surprise Baby finished 13th.
  • In 2019, Finche finished 7th.
  • In 2018, Yucatan finished 11th.
  • In 2017, Marmelo finished 9th.
  • In 2016, Hartnell finished 3rd.
  • In 2015, Fame Game finished 13th.
  • In 2014, Admire Rakti finished 22nd.
  • In 2013, Fiorente finished 1st.
  • In 2012, Dunaden finished 14th.
  • In 2011, Americain finished 5th.

Therefore, you’d want to consider other factors when selecting the winning horse, rather than just choosing the favourites.

  1. Age matters

Consider the following Melbourne Cup statistics: 

  • Three-year-olds have won 23 times
  • Four-year-olds have won 46 times
  • Five-year-olds have won 44 times
  • Six-year-olds have won 33 times
  • Seven-year-olds have won 11 times
  • Eight-year-olds have won only three times

Thus, you’d want to stick to the four and five-year-old horses in line with the past trends. Betting on an eight-year-old horse would be very risky for you.

  1. Consider the jockey

It’s now common knowledge that a good jockey contributes 75% of the win, while the horse contributes 25%. In other words, no matter how experienced and in shape a horse may seem, the rider determines, to a great extent, whether the horse will win the race.

In this sense, you’d want to analyse the past performances of the jockeys. Previous winners like Craig Williams, Michelle Paune, Ryan Moore, Damien Oliver, and Jye McNeil, have a higher chance of scooping the awards provided they’re still in good form. Still, always bet responsibly.


In handicap horse races, it remains the fact that anything can happen in regards to performance. But still, there are past trends that can help you make more accurate predictions. Use the above five-point list as an introductory guide to betting for the Melbourne Cup 2021.


  1. “Premier Daniel Andrews raises hope for crowds at Melbourne Cup with lockdown road map announcement,” 
  2. “Caulfield Cup 2022,” 
  3. “2021 The Bart Cummings: Tips and Race Preview,” 
  4. “What is a Handicap Horse Race?” 
  5. “MELBOURNE CUP WINNERS: 1861 TO 2020,”