Form Guide Melbourne Cup – The Race That Stops a Nation

October 21, 2016 1:52 pm

It’s a shame that each year, punters only get one chance to bet on the Melbourne Cup. It’s a race rooted so deep in horse racing history that every jockey and trainer in the world would love the opportunity to list their name among the greats that have won the race at least once. Unfortunately, it’s a race that due to circumstances, only a lucky few connections ever get the chance to get involved with it.

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The History

Ever since its inaugural running in 1861, the Melbourne Cup has represented everything that is great about Australian horse racing. Through the years, the Melbourne Cup results show some of the greatest thoroughbreds in history have conquered the race’s grueling distance, which contributed to each horse’s legend. Among the true Australian equine heroes to accomplish this feat are Dunlop (1887), Phar Lap (1930), Empire Rose (1988), Kingston Rule (1990), the great race-mare and three-time winner Makybe Diva (2003-2005) and Dunaden (2011). Each year, the race draws close to 105,000 racing fans and punters who come to the Melbourne Cup Spring Carnival to see the finest horse racing on the planet.

When, Where and What

Each year, the Melbourne Cup serves as the centerpiece of the Melbourne Cup Spring Carnival. This year, the race is scheduled to be run in its traditional spot as the feature event on the second day of the Carnival. The Melbourne Cup race is set for November 1, 2016 at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The race is limited to 24 starters that will race 3200 meters (2 miles) on turf for a purse of AUS$6,000,000. At that value, the Melbourne Cup stands alone as the richest grass race in the world. All starters must be 3-years old or older with weights assigned based on handicap conditions.

Betting This Year’s Melbourne Cup

As is the case in most years, this year’s Melbourne Cup field odds indicate the race is wide open. After nominations and first declarations, the remaining list of possible starters sits at 39 horses. Since the barrier limit is 24 horses, preference will be based on predetermined criteria.

With current odds ranging from 4.60-1 all the way up to 601-1, here’s a list of the horses (with odds) that belong on the short list of tips for the Melbourne Cup. Note: the list is presented based on handicapping preference.

Jameka (6.5-1)

Hartnell (4.6-1)

Bondi Beach (11.0-1)

Exospheric (15.0-1)

Wicklow Brave (17.0-1)

While Hartnell stands as the current future book favorite, he faces a tall task this weekend as he lines up with the incomparable race-mare Winx in the W.S. Cox Plate at Moonee Valley Racecourse. Winx has won her last 12 races in a row, including eight Group 1s. Hartnell enters the Cox Plate with three straight wins of his own, including a big victory in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes earlier this month. A good showing should leave him as the Melbourne Cup favorite. Should he fail to fire, there’s a realistic chance favoritism would fall to Jameka. All that 4-year old mare did in her last start was easily beat a representative field in the prestigious Group 1 Caulfield Cup at the Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne. Based on that devastating performance and what appears in the Melbourne Cup Form Guide, Jameka is the pick at attractive odds. This talented mare has the ability to sit right off of a strong pace and still have a strong kick going for the wire. Based on the numbers, this is a race horse that seems to be hitting her best stride at just the right time.

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