2020 Melbourne Cup Betting Tips
We have expert betting tips for the 2020 Melbourne Cup this Tuesday, which features 24 of the best stayers in the world.
The “race that stops a nation” has plenty of international and local talent this year, and punters are getting value odds.
It’s a race every punter loves to bet on and we have our best bets and a full runner-by-runner guide.
2020 Melbourne Cup final field, barrier draw and odds
Our best bets for the Melbourne Cup 2020
Verry Elleegant @ $12
Best Each Way Bet:
Tiger Moth @ $8
Persan @ $46
Melbourne Cup Trifecta Tips
The Melbourne Cup is the best betting race for exotic players. The betting pools are massive and the trifecta always pays a big figure.
We have six runners in our Melbourne Cup trifecta, because it’s always worth adding a few more for safety.
- Verry Elleegant
- Tiger Moth
- Anthony Van Dyck
- Stratum Albion
- Surprise Baby
Melbourne Cup First-Four Tips
The first four in a Melbourne Cup can pay six figures, so it’s always worth having a bet. We have eight selections for our 2020 Melbourne Cup first four.
- Verry Elleegant
- Tiger Moth
- Anthony Van Dyck
- Stratum Albion
- Surprise Baby
- Russian Camelot
- Prince of Arran
Melbourne Cup Form Guide & Tips
1. Anthony Van Dyck ($7.50)
Plenty of money has come for the international, which finished strongly for second at Caulfield last start. That form stacks up well but the $7.50 is a touch short of value.
2. Avilius ($41)
Not in his best form and it would take a huge effort to score. Punters are getting big odds but we wouldn’t be including him in selections.
3. Vow And Declare ($41)
The 2019 Melbourne Cup winner that hasn’t done much since. It’s going to be harder this year and his recent form has been disastrous.
Unlikely to repeat the effort this time around.
4. Master of Reality ($26)
International form has been solid coming into this race, including consecutive placings and a last-start win.
Draws well in barrier 11 and we wouldn’t be leaving him out of calculations at the price.
5. Sir Dragonet ($8)
Made an immediate impression in Australia when winning the Cox Plate. Likely to enjoy the longer distance, providing the wet track run didn’t take its toll.
A risky bet and the odds aren’t overly generous.
6. Twilight Payment ($34)
A consistent type that is always a chance in the big races. 55.5kg on his back is ideal and although at long odds, a win wouldn’t be a huge shock.
Consider for first-four selections.
7. Verry Elleegant (Best Bet – $12)
The Kiwi goes on top after her impressive Caulfield Cup win. She wouldn’t be the first Kiwi to win the Cups double and punters are getting value odds.
Drawing barrier 15 won’t matter over this distance and she has shown her toughness all season. That should be the case again on Tuesday, so she goes on top.
8. Mustajeer ($81)
Not in good form and the odds reflect as much. Draws well but punters might be looking for triple-figure odds given the risk.
9. Stratum Albion ($34)
Willie Mullins is a master trainer and the eight-year-old looked good running second at York in preparation for this race.
That came against a tough field and it came over this distance, so consider at the odds.
10. Dashing Willoughby ($101)
Looked good winning back-to-back races earlier this season, but his form since arriving in Australia hasn’t been good.
The odds are spot on the money and he won’t be troubling them.
11. Finche ($16)
Finche is always a runners chance and he was working to the line impressively last time out. Drawn well and James McDonald takes the ride, so he’s worth including.
We wouldn’t be leaving him out of selections and his odds will likely drift on race day.
12. Prince of Arran ($11)
He is a mighty type in the Melbourne Cup and his performance last year was credit to his toughness.
Punters would want double-figure odds but he could drift out a half-point throughout the week. Prince of Arran is as tough as they come, and he relishes the two-mile journey.
13. Surprise Baby ($9.50)
He has been prepared for this race throughout the entire year and despite an average run at Flemington last start, punters should expect better.
Craig Williams is looking to ride back-to-back Melbourne Cup winners and he goes into the mix.
14. King of Leogrance ($51)
Comes into this race on the back of a tidy third at Geelong. We’re not sure that’s the best form guide for the Melbourne Cup, but Geelong performers have gone well in the past.
$81 is about the right price for the former import.
15. Russian Camelot ($12)
The four-year-old might have been the beaten favourite at his last two starts, but he is a quality stayer in the making.
He is still growing and we believe he has a better chance settling back in the field and running home strongly.
Expect those tactics from a runner that should finish in the top 10.
16. Steel Prince ($46)
A quality stayer that is coming off a win at Geelong. His form prior included consecutive placings at Caulfield and Flemington, so there is plenty to like about his form.
We wouldn’t be ruling him out of calculations.
17. The Chosen One ($51)
It would be foolish to rule out the Kiwi who knows how to win big races. Having 53.5kg on his back is ideal and he could battle strongly down the Flemington straight.
18. Ashrun ($18)
Qualified for the 2020 Melbourne Cup via his win in the Hotham Stakes on Saturday. He didn’t need the run to prepare for the Cup, so he might be tired.
However, he’s an international runner that only needs some luck from barrier 24.
19. Warning ($41)
He hasn’t shown the best form this season but he loves the distance and with only 53kg on his back, his form could improve.
He doesn’t enter calculations but he has a chance of winning.
20. Etah James ($101)
Her only recent winning form came in New Zealand but she returned to form with a four at Moonee Valley last start.
Big odds and she doesn’t enter the fray.
21. Tiger Moth (Best Each Way – $8)
Tiger Moth could be the best of the internationals and we’re happy to take him. The Aidan O’Brien-trained four-year-old owns two wins and two placings from four starts, so he is a quality type.
The well-bred son of Galileo won by four lengths last start and that’s better form than most horses in this race.
22. Oceanex ($81)
Performed much better last time out and that should give connections confidence. However, this is another rise in class and she’s not in the best form.
23. Miami Bound ($35)
An Oaks winner that relished the wet track conditions at The Valley last start. The dry track doesn’t appeal but punters know she will see out the distance.
$35 is a fraction short of value, but if she got out to $41, consider her chances.
24. Persan (Best Roughie – $46)
$41 for a supremely consistent four-year-old is a good price and he has shown an ability to fight all season.
The son of Pierro defeated Sound by a length at Flemington last start and that form was franked in the Hotham Stakes.
51kg on his back is ideal and he is a lovely type in the making.
Melbourne Cup History
The Melbourne Cup is the biggest and most popular thoroughbred race in Australia and is considered “the race that stops a nation”.
Held on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington, the $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup is the premier staying race in Australia and features among the highest-ranked races anywhere in the world.
It’s the feature race during the Melbourne spring carnival which includes a four-day Cup week carnival. The Melbourne Cup is held on the second day of the carnival in between Derby day (Saturday) and Oaks day (Thursday).
Held over 3200m (two miles) the Melbourne is truly an international contest, so much so that the majority of entrants in the modern day are either bred in Europe, Japan or New Zealand – as opposed to Australia.
What makes the Melbourne Cup even more grand is the atmosphere at Flemington on race day. There is a thrilling vide between the casual punters, the more serious punters and those on track which have never seen a horse in their life.
The Cup brings them all together to enjoy a great race and it’s easily the most money spent on one race in Australia.
Melbourne Cup betting markets
Every bookmaker we recommend has betting on the Melbourne Cup.
Markets open for the Melbourne Cup just hours after the running of the previous edition, so there’s no time lost if punters want to get stuck into the action.
Bookmakers provide an all-in market 12 months out from the race, but offer fixed win, fixed place and a range of exotic bets when the field is narrowed down.
Punters often get great value when betting into Melbourne Cup markets because the betting pools are the biggest of the year. The bigger the betting pool the better odds you will get.
Melbourne Cup betting strategies
Punters never really know what the Melbourne Cup is going to throw at them, but favourite punters have had good success in recent years.
The favourite in the Melbourne Cup doesn’t often pay odds-on – in fact the favouritism usually fluctuates around the $5-$6 mark which is great value.
Because of the extreme staying distance of the race, punters have found that they can put a line through most of the field that won’t see out the distance, making punting on the Cup more appealing to both recreational and professional punters.
Melbourne Cup field
The Melbourne Cup field consists of 24 horses and no emergencies. If a runner is scratched then there is no replacement runner to make up the field.
The field consists of horses that have qualified with various results. Some runners qualify because of their good race record at the top level (wins, prize money etc) and some have to qualify by winning a qualifying race.
The winner of the following races is exempt from ballot into the Melbourne Cup:
Doncaster Cup (UK)
Irish St. Leger (UK)
Tenno Sho (Japan)
Sankei Sho All Comers (Japan)
Arlington Million (USA)
San Juan Capistrano Handicap (USA)
Australian Stayers Challenge
When does the Melbourne Cup barrier draw take place?
The Melbourne Cup can be won and lost at the barrier draw so it’s taken very seriously and it concludes at around 5:30pm after the races on Derby Day.
It’s one of the most exciting aspects of Cup week where connections test their luck to see what barrier their runner will jump from.
International horses in the Melbourne Cup
One of the hardest things to figure out when betting the Melbourne Cup is the form of the international horses.
The Cup field has seen everything from New Zealand runners, Japan and even European hurdle jumpers, but they’re all in with a chance.
Punters should follow the betting when it comes to assessing the international runners. Do they have previous form in Australia? Will they handle the temperatures on a hot day in Melbourne?
One thing is for sure – the overseas contingent will see out the distance and that’s always a big positive when investing into this race.
Fashions on the field
We might not be able to bet on the fashion, but it’s an integral part of the Melbourne Cup culture.
The best dressed men and ladies compete for big prizes throughout the Cup carnival and it’s always good to attract the young crowd to the race.
Who are the best Melbourne Cup jockeys?
The best current jockeys to bet on are Damien Oliver and Kerrin McEvoy.
Oliver won the Melbourne Cup in 1995 aboard Doriemus, which was made famous by the recent passing of his brother.
He also won in 2002 when riding Media Puzzle to victory for European trainer Dermot Weld and again in 2013 when giving Gai Waterhouse her first Cup victory with Fiorente.
Kerrin McEvoy still has a baby face, but he won the Cup back in 2000 when riding New Zealand stayer Brew. The Michael Moroney-trained gelding was the lesser-fancied of his stable runners with Second Coming attracting big interest, but Brew caused the upset.
McEvoy was back at it in 2016 with Almandin. The European import gave owner Lloyd Willians yet another Melbourne Cup win in a tight tussle with the aptly-named Heartbreak City.
Who are the best Melbourne Cup trainers?
Robert Hickmott is one of the most successful current trainer in Melbourne Cup history.
The man who doesn’t speak to the media trains for Lloyd Williams and has won two of the last five Melbourne Cup races.
Lee Freedman has won five times – two with Makybe Diva and one with both Doriemus, Subzero and Tawrrific.
Neither trainer has a record like the great Bart Cummings, however, who trained a record of 12 winners, which will most likely never be beaten.
Notable Melbourne Cup records
Makybe Diva is the only horse to have won three Melbourne Cups and she did them consecutively.
The champion mare won in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and is considered one of the greatest champions of the Australian turf.
There have been four thoroughbreds to win the Cup on two occasions. Think Big (1974, 75), Rain Lover (1968, 69), Peter Pan (1932, 34) and Archer (1861, 62).
The quickest race time was recorded by Kingston Rule in 1990 when it ran 3.16.30 and the biggest winning margin was from Archer and Rain Lover which scorched the field by eight lengths.
Four horses have won at triple figure odds, with the most recent coming in 2015 when female jockey Michelle Payne won aboard Prince of Penzance.
The shortest priced winner was Phar Lap which won in 1930 paying $1.73.
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. Coupled with his love of US sport, Daryl’s picks have been featured on various websites around the world and viewed by millions of readers. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NBA, NFL, and college sports. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.