Melbourne Cup Betting

Australia’s Melbourne Cup is a flat race unlike any other you have ever seen before. At 3,200 metres at Flemington racetrack, it is just shy of two miles in distance with a maximum field of 24 runners.  

There is phenomenal prize-money on offer for this handicap race which attracts a big International entry and it is called the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’ because it truly stops the Australian nation.

Melbourne Cup Betting Odds

The Melbourne Cup is one of the most sought-after trophies in the world.  And despite the two-mile journey being an impossible ask for so many horses, there is always an enormous entry for the race (between 300-400 horses).  Ultimately just 24 will take part which still makes pinpointing runners, let alone identifying the winner, a big ask.

Consequently, the Melbourne Cup betting odds on ante-post propositions can be slow moving but nearer race time there is a feast of betting activities.  In 2017 Australians placed $115 million CAD on the race, a figure that could probably be doubled when adding up international wagers amongst a global viewing audience of more than half a billion.

2018 Melbourne Cup Betting Odds


The major trial race for the Melbourne Cup is the Caulfield Cup staged two weeks before the world-famous marathon. But the ‘cup double’ has not been achieved since 2001. Inevitably this year’s Caulfield Cup winner will head up the 2018 Melbourne Cup betting odds lists but may not start favourite.

It is impossible to predict who will start favourite for the big race as the long-range Melbourne Cup odds show no horse is priced under +1000 and eight horses are currently +2000 or shorter.  What is vital is to shop around for value as there are some enormous variances between online sportsbooks.

Unsurprisingly European-trained horses are shorter odds with European bookmakers and the home defence is more popular in the betting amongst the online betting sites with an Australian customer base.

The current front markers in the betting are Avilius, a former French-trained runner who is now in the care of the legendary Bart Cummings and is unbeaten in three Australian starts.  

In the same ownership, the Dubai ‘Godolphin’ operation, is the British trained Cross Counter, a lightly-raced four-year-old who is an improving Group 3 winner and is also prominent in the Melbourne Cup betting.

Magic Circle, who also hails from England, is another contender for favouritism.  A massive improver since joining his new trainer, Ian Williams, the six-year-old has already won a valuable two-mile-two-furlong handicap and a two-mile Group 2 in 2018.

Melbourne Cup Betting Offers

Just as the Melbourne Cup is a fiercely competitive race so is the competition amongst online bookmakers to attract the business of so many first-time and occasional gamblers.

You can expect plenty of excellent Melbourne Cup betting offers from bet365 who are a global brand with a strong foothold in Australia. On Australian racing, they will give you a choice of odds amongst the Australian Tote pools plus they will give your fixed-odds bet a proviso of ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’.  It makes a lot of sense to bet with bet365.

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Look out for bespoke new customer Melbourne Cup betting offers from Sportingbet and William Hill, both companies became very generous at Melbourne Cup time in 2017.

All Melbourne Cup betting offers are advantageous so if finding your pick is the same price with several bookies look out for concessions such as ‘Money Back as a Free Bet if Finishing Second’ or enhanced place betting terms – some will offer places 1-2-3-4-5.

Melbourne Cup Free Bet

Don’t be afraid to open up new online sports betting account in the weeks leading up to the Melbourne Cup.  This will give you ample time to make your first-time deposit and claim your Melbourne Cup free bets in the days leading up to the Melbourne Cup betting bonanza.

Free bet offers are commonplace on the Melbourne Cup if you can accumulate more than one we recommend you try to identify ways of hedging the free bets alongside those you have placed using cash.

Canada's Top Betting Offers 2018

Melbourne Cup FAQ

The Melbourne Cup is always staged at 3pm local time on the first Tuesday in November. It is a public holiday in the State of Victoria. In 2018 that means November 6th and with the time difference taken into account Canadians should tune in late on Monday night to catch the big race build-up.
There is a sum total of $7.3 million AUD ($6.75 million CAD) in Melbourne Cup prize money. The winner will earn $4 million AUD ($3.7 million CAD), the second $1 million AUD and there is prize money all the way down to twelfth place. All finishers between sixth and twelfth will receive $150,000 AUD ($139,000 CAD).
Melbourne Cup day is a public holiday only in its home State of Victoria and that has been the case since 1877. Many offices throughout the rest of Australia stop work close to race time to watch the race, often staging office parties, competitions and sweepstakes. The race is televised live to an audience of about 650 million people worldwide with more thought to watch the Melbourne Cup via the Internet or listen on the radio.
Ante-post betting markets are available on the Melbourne Cup all year round and there’s no harm in preparing an ante-post betting portfolio as candidates become more likely to take part or perform well in key trial races. Come race day, there will be a wealth of Melbourne Cup betting markets on offer for the great race. Everything from Forecasts to Quinellas, Trifectas and Superfectas. But given the winner is sure to start at a big price, you do not have to get too creative. Numerous online sportsbooks will be offering place-only bets, match-bets and distance specials amongst a host of other markets such as ‘an Irish trained winner’.
14/1 shot (+1400) Rekindling, carrying one of the lightest weights in the race, led home an Irish-trained 1-2-3 horses in 2017. For good measure a Scottish horse finished fifth and another Irish runner took sixth. Eight of the first ten home were foreign visitors. The winner was remarkable for a few reasons: He was the first three-year-old to prevail since Skipton scored in 1941 and his trainer, Joseph O’Brien was just 24 and having his first ever runner in Australia.