A Day At The Races And How to Pick a Melbourne Cup Winner

If you’re heading to Melbourne for the horse races then you’re among many. Serious horse racing punters will have adopted some serious racing strategies in the hope of getting their selections right on Melbourne Cup day in Australia. But what about the casual punter who doesn’t even give horse racing a thought for the rest of the year?


How to pick a Melbourne Cup winner


In this post, we’ll take a look at a few novel ways to try and pick the winner of the great race. These tips should not be considered genuine betting strategies, but just a bit of fun. You just never know though, they could work. Let’s get started.


Choose a Winning Barrier


Each horse is assigned a barrier number before the race gets underway, and over the years some barriers have proven to be more lucrative than others when it comes to the Melbourne Cup. Whatever you do, don’t back any horse starting from barrier number 18. In more than 150 years of the running of the race, no horse has ever won from barrier 18. Instead, try horses starting from barriers 5, 10, 11 and 14. Those are your best bets because these barriers have produced the most winners.


Go For Your Favourite Colour


We all have favorite colors, and it seems that certain colors are also favored by Melbourne Cup winners. Jockeys all wear different colored silks, and the colors that have consistently performed the best are royal blue, navy blue, and black. Take a punt on a jockey wearing any of these colors and you’ll give yourself a better shot of picking the race winner.


Don’t Back the Race Favourite


That’s right, don’t put your money on the favorite. History shows that favorites win the Melbourne Cup only 23% of the time, which is even less than regular horse races. The reason being is so many people bet on this particular race that it skews the odds. There’s no reason to suggest that things will be any different when the Melbourne Cup 2019 horses go round, so instead, choose a horse that’s the second or third favorite.


Let’s Talk Numbers Again – Saddle Numbers


If you’re an inexperienced punter, then choosing a potential winner based on numbers is as good a strategy as any other. Once again, the number 18 is a poor choice. Barrier 18 has never won the race, whereas saddle number 18 has only ever won it once. You’re better off choosing 4, 12 or 1. These numbers might not be guaranteed winners, but at least the odds will be more in your favor based on historical data.


Pick Your Favourite Racehorse Name


Let’s face it, some racehorses have downright stupid sounding names, and then there are others that have really cool sounding names. If you fancy the name of a horse, go for it. Out of the 24 horses running the race, it’ll still be in with a chance as these are all racehorses in form and the cream of the crop. You could go the reverse and choose the horse with the worst sounding name too. It’s all in good fun.


Base Your Bet On the Horse’s Age


Young horses have never fared well in the race that stops a nation. 3-year-olds should be scratched off your list, as well as any horses over the age of 6. 4 and 5-year-old horses have always fared the best, with a total of 92 winners in this age bracket. To be fair though, the majority of horses entered into the Melbourne Cup are around the 4 or 5 year age bracket.


Try Some Foreign Flavour


Each year there are more and more entrants from overseas-based horses and these horses are doing really, really well. Therefore, it might be worth considering putting your money down on a foreign horse for a win or a place. It could even be a half decent strategy to try and pull off a trifecta. Choose 3 overseas horses and hope you get lucky big time.


The Wrap


These are not serious betting strategies, but rather a bit of fun for the once a year punter who only places a bet on the Melbourne Cup. At least you’ll have something to go on even if you know nothing about horse racing and you’ll have can have fun with how to pick a Melbourne Cup winner!

About Nia McKenna

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Nia is an Associate Editor at The Fairytale Traveler and self diagnosed travel junkie. Having traveled to 5 of the 7 continents, her love of good food and culture is a force to be reckoned with. When she isn't off adventuring with her husband, which she writes about on her blog CircaWanderlust, she can be found with a good cup of tea cuddling her pups and taking pictures of her food. She loves black and white movies and could listen to Elvis on repeat.

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