Melbourne Cup

Melbourne Cup

Melbourne Cup 2019

The Melbourne Cup - known as ‘the race that stops a nation’ - is one of the most iconic events on the global horse racing calendar.

Run at Flemington Park at 3pm local time on the first Tuesday in November, the 3200-metre (2 miles) handicap race for three-year-olds and above is one of the richest races in racing, with total prize money of AU$7.3m. The prize to the winner in 2018 was a cool AU$4m while even the horses finishing 6th through to 12th netted AU$150,000 each for their owners.

The Melbourne Cup was first run in 1861 and is the showpiece event of the Spring Racing Carnival.

The 2019 race takes place on Tuesday November 5 at 1500 local time (0400 GMT).

Melbourne Cup Tips

The Melbourne Cup ante-post betting market starts to really shape up each year once the weights are announced in September. Entries close in early August and the final field is limited to a maximum of 24 horses.

Top European trainers now see the Australian showpiece as a massive target annually, and amazingly the master of Ballydoyle Aidan O’Brien has still yet to win the race despite a number of attempts.

Often talented horses from the northern hemisphere are prepared specifically all season with the Melbourne Cup as their target, with their trainers hoping to get a favourable weight for the big race Down Under.

The Winners Enclosure always run the rule over every runner in the Melbourne Cup and will give you a fantastic guide to the big race.

You will be able to find our main selections, chosen by our team of betting tipsters on our daily horse racing tips page or in our previews section before the event.

Melbourne Cup Betting

As befits a major handicap in testing conditions, picking the winner of the Melbourne Cup is no easy task. The fact only one odds-on favourite has won the race ever tells its own story.

Four and five-year-olds have the best success rate in the race, with a total of 87 victories while no three-year-old has scored since 1941 (Skipton).

The Caulfield Cup is definitely a prep event to watch with the big race in mind - a total of 11 winners there have then gone on to complete the big-race double on the first Tuesday in November.

Many bookies will be offering free betting offers and extra places on the Melbourne Cup, so keep your eyes peeled and check for any special offers available on our site. Ante-post prices will be available in the UK weeks ahead of the big race.

Previous Melbourne Cup Winners

Only one horse has won three Melbourne Cups - the mighty local mare Makybe Diva triumphing in 2003, 2004 and 2005 under jockey Glen Boss.

Other iconic winners include the legendary Phar Lap, who became the only favourite in history to win at odds-on (8-11) despite criminals attempting to shoot him days before the big race. Several films and books have been produced about the horse since his death in 1932.

Europe waited a long time for a first Melbourne Cup winner, and it took Irish trainer Dermot Weld to finally crack the Flemington code. He notched a first success when Vintage Crop took the spoils under Michael Kinane in 1993, and followed up with Media Puzzle (Damien Oliver) in 2002.

Delta Blues claimed a maiden Japanese victory in 2006, while Americain became the first French-trained winner when Alain de Royer-Dupre sent him out to score under Gerald Mosse in 2010. Protectionist meanwhile became the first German-trained winner when scoring for jockey Ryan Moore in 2014.

While Aidan O’Brien still can’t win the big one Down Under, his son Joseph has had no problem in that regard, becoming the youngest ever trainer to take the prize at the age of just 24 when Rekindling claimed glory in 2017.

Britain finally turned out a Melbourne Cup winner in 2018 when Godolphin’s Cross Counter came home first for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation, Newmarket trainer Charlie Appleby and Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy.

The legendary Australian handler Bart Cummings - he of the trademark bushy eyebrows - holds the record for most Melbourne Cup wins by a trainer with 12, while for the jockeys Bobbie Lewis and Harry White share the record with four victories each.

Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to lift the Melbourne Cup when she partnered Prince Of Penzance to victory in 2015.

Dress Code at the Melbourne Cup

The phrase ‘the race that stops a nation’ sums up the sheer magnitude of the Melbourne Cup, and the day of the race is an annual public holiday in the state of Victoria.

As well as the action on the racetrack, the action off it is just as competitive with Fashions On The Field - held at Flemington annually - having become one of Australia’s most prominent fashion shows and competitions.

In terms of dress code, the Victoria Racing Club decided to allow men to enter the upmarket Members Enclosure and Birdcage sockless for the first time in 2017.

There is no formal code for general admission at Flemington, but there certainly is for corporate areas, the Birdcage and for Victoria Racing Club members and their guests. Men must wear a suit of tailored slacks (chinos included), a sports coat or blazer, dress shoes and a tie. Women must dress appropriately and wear suitable attire. And children must be neatly dressed.

Ladies Day during the Melbourne Cup Carnival takes place on Kennedy Oaks Day - in 2019 that will be on Thursday November 7.

Melbourne Cup TV coverage

Racing fans wanting to watch the Melbourne Cup live in the UK will need to set their alarm clocks. 3pm local time translates to the very early hours of the morning in the UK.

Sky Sports Racing will show the 2019 race, having secured exclusive rights to the Melbourne Cup Carnival in the UK and Ireland.

Locally in Australia, TEN paid AU$100m to secure rights to the four-day Melbourne carnival for five years between 2019 and 2023 inclusive.

Melbourne Cup Results

As trainers from outside Australia target the Melbourne Cup more and more, the roll of honour for the big race becomes more diverse. A look at the last 10 winners shows just how much:

2018: Cross Counter (Charlie Appleby, Great Britain)

2017: Rekindling (Joseph O’Brien, Ireland)

2016: Almandin (Robert Hickmott)

2015: Prince Of Penzance (Darren Weir)

2014: Protectionist (Andreas Wohler, Germany)

2013: Fiorente (Gai Waterhouse)

2012: Green Moon (Robert Hickmott)

2011: Dunaden (Mikel Delzangles, France)

2010: Americain (Alain de Royer-Dupre, France)

2009: Shocking (Mark Kavanagh)

Main Melbourne Cup Races

As already detailed, the Melbourne Cup is the focal point of the annual Spring Racing Carnival.

The Carnival lasts between two and three months annually and features a string of top-class meetings at the four big courses in the Melbourne area - Flemington, Caulfield, Moonee Valley and Sandown.

Apart from the Melbourne Cup itself, the major races in the Spring Carnival include the Cox Plate, the Caulfield Cup, the Manikato Stakes and the Victoria Derby.

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