You are a first-time punter and want to get involved in the Melbourne Cup but know nothing about it. We are not sure how that’s even possible if you live in Australia, but we won’t judge you. Even if it’s just the public holiday you’re enjoying away from work (for all you Melburnians), you might decide you want to take the plunge this year and get involved in a bet or two. We want you to bet competently, so we have lined up a guide to get you started. But first things first, let’s take a quick look at some facts.
What Is The Melbourne Cup?
We really are getting down to the basics here, but quite simply the Melbourne Cup is a horse race that includes 24 horses (sometimes less if a horse or two is scratched) running 3,200 meters trying to be the fastest. The winner receives around $4 million to $7 million, which is shared among the owner, trainer, and jockey.
Each horse has odds placed against it based on how likely the betting community and bookmakers believe it will win. Horses tagged the most likely to win have the smallest odds. For example, if you bet $1 on the favorite, you might only receive a payout of a few dollars.
Where Can You Place Your Bets?
Just like most things in today’s technological world, placing your bets can be done in a matter of minutes. Let’s take a look at just how convenient it is.
At Your Local Bookmaker
With so many bookmakers throughout Australia, you will have no trouble finding a gaming company with which to entrust your bet. You can place your bet with the attendant or go straight to the Electronic Betting Terminal (EBT).
Bet At The Track
If you are brave enough to fight the crowds at Flemington Racecourse on Cup Day you will find bookies everywhere.
If you want to avoid anything that resembles a queue go online or use a mobile app and bet that way. Online bookmakers are highly secure with their payment systems.
Pick Your Horse
Now comes the fun part. There are a few ways you can pick your Melbourne Cup 2019 horse. You might look at the colors and names and pick your favorites. Maybe a horse’s jockey looks like he’s playing for your footy team. Or you could have a crack at studying the form guide. You won’t be the only one who thinks the guide is confusing but try not to get too overwhelmed. Here are some useful terms to look out for:
- Weight – on average, the winner has carried 54kg
- Trainer – trainers have reputations based on their history and techniques. These are well worth looking into.
- Performance – before betting on a horse, check out its performance in its last six to ten races.
- Barrier – Some barriers or gates have historically performed better than others. For instance, barriers nine, 11 and 12 have been lucky while barrier 18 has never produced a win.
Each year, around 300 horses are nominated to run in the Melbourne Cup but only 24 are chosen for the final race. The Melbourne Cup 2019 horses will be announced on the Saturday before the big day, so you have three and a half days to do your research.
Your options here are endless. For first-time punters, filling out the standard information will be no easy feat. So, we have simplified the options for you.
If you are opting for just one contender to win the race, choose Win. This is the easiest and most popular bet type. Say you bet $20 on a horse with 15c odds, you will take away $300.
If you are not confident that your horse will win but will be among the forerunners, you can choose Place. So, if your contender comes in first, second or third you will collect money, but the payout will be lower than with a Win.
Choose Either Way
When you choose an ‘each way’ bet you will receive a payout whether your horse finishes first, second or third. If your horse comes first, a good payout awaits you.
This is where betting gets more complex. And no, exotic betting does not mean you’ll be putting on the most colorful horses or those with the most eccentric names. There are plenty of different exotic bets with the most common being quinella, exacta, trifecta and first four.
If you think you can pick the two top horses in any order, try the quinella. If you are feeling lucky why not try the exacta bet and pick the first two horses in the correct order? You can expect high returns if you get it right. For a triple winning treat, try picking the first three horses. If you are not sure which order your top three horses will come in, you can go for the box trifecta. Whether your horses finish in the first, second or third spot you will still receive a portion of the dividend.
Then you have the first four. If you are feeling extra lucky try your hand at selecting the horses in the exact order. Imagine winning a perfect! You can always box your selections, but you will receive a lower percentage of the dividend.
Got Any Tips?
Pick the fastest!
No, seriously, doing your research is the best form of advice we can offer you. As mentioned earlier, take a look at the jockey, weight, barrier, and performance. Because the Melbourne Cup is a handicap race (having horses of varying weights regulates and equalizes the playing field) the horses seen to be in top form are given extra weight.
Your best bet, overall, is to read the Melbourne Cup Form Guide and do extensive research. And with a little luck on your side, here’s hoping you make a killing selecting the right horses!
About the Author:
Helen Cartwright is a writer who has a way with words. She likes to write about anything and everything under the sun, but themes like sports, home improvement, business, and technology interest her more. You can get in touch with her on Facebook, and Twitter.