It’s the race that stops a nation, 3200 metres of hotly contested racing and while everyone loves backing a winner, picking the first past the post is never easy, especially with 24 horses in the race. If you look back at the history of the race and previous winners, there are always statistics showing that some barriers or colours have more luck than others.
According to history the best chance you have to back a winner is to pick a four or five year old bay horse that has drawn barrier 5, is carrying the number 4 or 12 saddle cloth, and is preferably owned by Lloyd Williams. You have even more chance if your jockey is wearing white or yellow, and your horse’s name starts with a T and weighs 54.5 kilograms.
Now the likelihood of finding a horse that matches this description is extremely unlikely, in fact a bookie would probably offer you odds of 100,000 to 1 in finding that combination, although if you did it would be worth a bit of a nibble. However, with those odds against you, here are some much better ways to help you pick the winner of this year’s Cup.
- Pick the favourite
In the history of the race, 34 out of 156 favourites have won with the latest being Fiorente in 2013. While picking a winner is great, claiming your $4 winnings and still not being able to afford that schooner of beer or glass of wine is not much to brag about. Safe but boring.
- Let the dartboard decide
Throw a dart at the board and whatever number it hits, that’s what you should back. This is a great option unless of course numbers 21, 22, 23 or 24 win, or if your aim is that good that you are more likely to hit your friend playing pool than the dartboard. Best left to the professionals.
- Let the silks match your underwear
This tried and tested method is a sure thing, except of course when it’s not. Simply pick the jockey’s silk colours that match your underwear. You might struggle with some of the more creative silk colours or if you don’t wear underwear, in which case pick the favourite.
- Enter a sweep
The advantage of entering a sweep is you don’t have to try and pick a winner, a random draw out of a hat should do it for you. When your nag runs dead last it’s best to take your frustration out on the organiser who gave you the dud ticket, demand it was rigged and you want a redraw.
- Ask a friend
Everyone has that friend who says they have been following the races for months, studying the guide day and night and has developed a secret formula to pick the winner. It’s a sure way to lose your money, unless your friend is horse racing encyclopedia Bruce McAvaney, in which case he might be onto something.
- The red hot tip
You’ve heard it before, a guy knows a guy who knows someone who works for one of the trainers and they said their entry is a sure thing. Ignore it, you’d be better off listening to your expert friend who can at least buy you a drink when it turns out their tip is due to finish the race just before Christmas.
- Take a lucky guess
There is always those lucky punters who say they picked their favourite colour or number, or that their great aunt Betty used to have a dog with the same name, or even that their psychic said that someone dark and handsome would brighten their day (surprisingly they left out the part about the four legs and tail). Of course these people have just had a lucky guess and if it can happen to them, why can’t it happen to you?
- Have fun
At the end of it all the Melbourne Cup is about having fun, catching up with friends and family, possibly having a drink and a bet, and watching history unfold as the best stayers battle it out to be crowned champion. Whether you’re at the track, watching at work or cheering down at your local pub, remember it’s always important to stay safe and if your do have a bet, then gamble responsibly.
Melbourne Cup Statistics
- Most wins by horse: Makybe Diva (3)
- Most wins by age: Tied- four and five year olds (44 wins)
- Most wins by weight: 54.5 kilograms (8 wins)
- Most wins by barrier: Barrier 5 (8 wins)
- Most wins by number: Tied - Number 4 and 12 (11 wins)
- Most wins by first letter of name: T (16)
- Most wins by owner: Lloyd Williams (6)
- Most wins by trainer: Bart Cummings (12)
- Most wins by jockey: Tied - Bobby Lewis and Harry White (4)
- Most wins by silks colour: Tied - White and Yellow (24)
- Most wins by horse colour: Bay (68)