Melbourne Cup Betting Sites

The history that surrounds “the race that stops the nation” without doubt makes the Melbourne Cup the most important horse race in the Australian racing calendar. 

So with so much interest from all forms of racing enthusiasts from the jockey, trainer, owner and punter, creative offerings from the bookmakers are sure to follow, making it Australia´s most popular horse race betting event.  

The 64,000 dollar question, is “what is the best bet” to make? 

Best Melbourne Cup Betting Sites

Betting Site
Best App
Best Fixed Odds, Playup Playbook
AUS Licensed
Best Handicap
New Pick
Highly competitive betting odds
AUS Licensed
Bet Right Discord
A new way of betting on Racing and Sports
AUS Licensed
Copy Bets & Follow other punters
Popular Choice
Australia's Newest Bookie with Great Racing Promos
AUS Licensed
competitive odds
Most well known bookmaker – always a solid experience
AUS Licensed
Best Bet Builder
Best For Racing
New Modern Bookmaker with a racing focus
AUS Licensed
Opening Specials
Best For Racing
New and improved website with a mobile app
AUS Licensed
Racing specialists
Best App
Bluey’s Best Bets!
AUS Licensed
Same Race & Game Multis
Great features coupled with amazing odds! Sets their own odds!
AUS Licensed
Great Customer Service

Melbourne Cup Odds

Money is starting to pour into the Melbourne Cup runners, odds are starting to change and this could be an exciting time for you to get involved. 

You certainly need to be prepared and you should signup, if you have not already, to a number of online bookmaker/betting web sites. The more bookies where you have an online account, the greater your chance of placing a bet with the best odds. 

In fact, there is a good chance that during the build up to Melbourne Cup race day, bookmakers may be offering incentives and promotions to sign up with them, so it’s worth giving them a look. Visit our page on betting site bonuses and promotions to explore potential bonuses currently available.
It only takes a few minutes to sign up and all the bookmaker reviews on our website, show you a great deal of information about each online bookmaker. Once you´ve joined you may even get a new punter incentive. 

Popular bets in general are Win and Place. If you want to look for current Win and Place odds take a look at our Melbourne Cup 2023 - Predictions, Odds & Tips . As you become more experienced you may want to take advantage of a number of exotic bets which may take a little more research to understand. With the great nationwide interest in the Melbourne Cup, Win and Place bets are still the most favoured bets.  

Melbourne Cup Common Betting Types 

  • Win Bet – this is the most popular Melbourne Cup betting type. Anyone winning can then truly say that they bet on the winner of the Melbourne Cup
  • Place Bet – Spreading the chance of a Melbourne Cup winning bet by hoping a horse that places in the first 3 of the race.  A win is still a win.
  • Cup Double – a slightly riskier bet in that the horse needs to win 2 races. Popular Cup Double Bets with the Melbourne Cup are the W S Cox Plate (28 October 2023, 2,040m) and the longer Caulfield Cup (21 October 2023, 2400m). Get this right and the winnings are more than worth the effort.  

Melbourne Cup Other accepted betting options, especially the exotics 

It is worth taking a look at the runners in the Melbourne Cup and of course their recent race results to see if there are any betting strategies that could pull off a big windfall. 

  • Each Way Bet – A Melbourne Cup each way bet is a bet in which you select a runner to finish 1st or to place in a race by finishing 2nd or 3rd. Ideally you want your runner to finish 1st in which case you win both the Win Dividend together with the Place Dividend, which is the fallback win if your runner comes in the placings of 2nd or 3rd.
  • Quinella – A Melbourne Cup Quinella can be seen as the first of the exotics and is a bet that allows you to predict the first two horses past the post, and this can either be in an order (unboxed) or it can be in no particular order (boxed). If there are two horses in the race that are evenly matched that you think are going to finish strongly then a boxed Quinella could be the bet to place. 
  • Exacta – A Melbourne Cup Exacta is similar but not exactly the same as a Quinella in that you select two horses to run first and second, however, this must be in exact finishing order, and because of this, payouts are typically (but not always) better than what you would see with a Quinella.
  • Trifecta – A Melbourne Cup Trifecta is similar to an Exacta except that it requires you to select runners to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd. You can include a number of runners in your bet and this can either in order (unboxed) or with no order (boxed). 
  • First Four Bet – Try finding the Melbourne Cup First Four past the winning post and you will be in with a chance of a big win. If you are looking at Melbourne Cup First Four payouts history, look no further than 2022 when the Melbourne First Four winnings were over 100K, very impressive. You can include any number of runners in your betting slip and this can be boxed, in no specific order, or be unboxed, in a specific order.  
  • Quadrella – A Melbourne Cup Quadrella (‘Quaddie’) is the last of exotic bets, with a twist, in that it requires you to pick the winners of four nominated races from the Melbourne Cup race meeting. So you will need to see what the bookmaker has chosen for the four races. You can use any number of selections per leg, but your winnings will grow the fewer your selection. In addition, to attract a large Quadrella prize pool, races with the biggest punter interest are likely to be the chosen races. 

Melbourne Cup Other less common betting options 

  • Odds v Evens – A Melbourne Cup Odds v Evens offers the chance to look at the runners’ numbers and if you think the horses with Even race numbers look a stronger field than those with Odd race numbers then place an Odds v Evens Bet in favour of the Evens. Of course, if you think the Odd numbers look stronger place a bet in favour of the Odds. Note, the bookies should also be looking at the top horses in the betting and adjust their Odds v Evens odds accordingly, but you never know that may be slow in their calculations allowing a window of opportunity. 
  • Head-to-Head – A Melbourne Cup head-to-head bet allows you to simply choose two horses and bet on the one which you think will finish the race ahead of the other.  A simple bet and it is worth looking at the odds as money starts to flow in the betting.
  • Live Betting – In the Head-to-Head item above I mentioned, “as money starts to flow” (in the betting) and it reminded me that if you want to react to odds changing DURING the race, numerous bookmakers offer Melbourne Cup live betting once the race has actually started. As the horses are jockeying for, or losing, position so the odds change. Just look for the bookmakers who offer a phone number to call for live betting.
  • Mystery Bet – To encourage a Melbourne Cup Mystery bet there are bookmakers who technically take the guesswork out of betting and offer computer generated randomly selected popular bets mentioned earlier, including exacta, trifecta, quinella, even first four and quadrella. I am a little uncomfortable with the bookmaker making the suggestions.

Melbourne Cup betting offers a whole range of options, that are most likely far more extensive than any other horse race in Australia to attract as many punters as possible. 

Top 4 Melbourne Cup Strategies

1. The weight to carry for all of the 3,200 metres of the Melbourne Cup is an important factor to remember. Look out for the weight penalties that are handed out and compare these with the weight the horses carried in their more recent wins and races.  

A huge number of horses try to make the Melbourne Cup field. Winning recent races, having won a large amount of prize money, success in well-known Group 1 or International racing all help ballot exemption, but they can also mean an additional weight penalty.  

Other factors that can influence the weight penalty include age and sex as a mare will automatically receive a 2kg allowance over its male rivals. 

Also, winning any of the following important races all allow Melbourne Cup ballot exemption: 

  • Lexus Stakes (Group 3, 2,500m 4 November 2023) 
  • W S Cox Plate (Group 1, 2,040m, 28 October 2023) 
  • Caulfield Cup (Group 1, 2,400m, 21 October 2023) 
  • The Bart Cummings (Group 3, 2,500m, 7 October 2023) 
  • Roy Higgins Quality (Listed, 2,600m, 25 March 2023 – winner Goldman) 
  • Andrew Ramsden Stakes (Listed, 2,800m, 13 May 2023 - winner Lunar Flare)  
  • Ebor Handicap (Class 2, 1mile 6 furlongs, 26 August 2023 – winner Absurde (Frankie Dettori!) 

The thing to look out for here is the date of the race, how close that is to the Melbourne Cup date and whether these winnings horses are maintaining or losing form. 

The top weighted horse must carry at least 57kg or more whilst the lowest weight is 49kg. 

2. Once you´ve looked at the horse, the next is the trainer, once the full list of runners is announced (or beforehand look at the ballot exempt horses) take a look at the trainers with big race winners. 

This does not necessarily mean recent Melbourne Cup wins as few trainers have won more than once. Australian winning Melbourne Cup trainers of note are, Gai Waterhourse (2013) Chris Waller (2021) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace (2022), Joe O´Brien (2017, 2020), Danny O´Brien (2018) and Robert Hickmott (2012,2016). 

The racing savviness these trainers have in the way they set up their horse(s) for long races is usually a factor in high profile races like the Melbourne Cup. 

3. If there was to be a fairy tale ending with the jockey, I would have to go with Frankie Dettori, what an unbelievable career this man has undertaken with over 280 group 1 wins. Frankie is due to retire in later November 2023 after the Melbourne Cup. 

4. Watch the bookmakers and be ready to pounce. Having an account with more than one bookmaker is highly recommended as it allows you the freedom to place your bet where it will be of the most financial benefit. Bookmakers do not always offer the same odds as each other, therefore the betting site offering the highest odds (Win, Place, Exotics or whatever your fancy) will give you the maximum Melbourne Cup profits! If your horse wins! The key is the more sites you can peruse, the more odds you have available and the more choices you can give yourself, the better! 

Bookmakers are so important for the Melbourne Cup, I cannot street how important this race is to their business. Two other webpages that are worth reviewing are New betting Sites and Small Betting sites, those who are new will really want to earn your business and those who are small (at present) may be nimble enough to do something different from the big players. 
Good Luck! 

Melbourne Cup Betting Tips

A tip even before the race is whether you like to bet via an App on your mobile phone or via the website. Websites offer bigger screen to see more information all at once, but Apps allow for access wherever you may be. If you favour using an App, then Best Betting Apps is a good place to review the top Apps available at present. 

So, once you´re signed up here´s the steps to place a bet. 

If you´re looking for Melbourne Cup horses that are favourites to win, the following horses appear to be (considered) in form and have odds starting to move: 

  • Vauban – qualified by winning the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes (2,414m) at Naas, Ireland in early August 2023, trained by Willie Mullins – allocated 55kg 
  • Soulcome – winner of the Heatherlie Stakes (1,700m) at Caulfield on 2 September 2023, trained by Chris Waller. Fourth in the Underwood Stakes (1,800m) on 23 September 2023 – allocated 53.5kg 
  • Absurde – qualified by winner the Ebor Handicap at York (2,787m) on 23 August 2023, trained by Willie Mullins – allocated 53kg

This is looking like a competitive race to just gain a starting gate, even Just Fine, the winner of the Group 1 Metropolitan (2,400m) at Randwick on 30 September 2023, trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, did not pass the first ballot, but they still have 6 other horses who are participating up to the First declaration on 3rd October. 

It is also worth taking a look at Melbourne Cup 2023 - Predictions, Odds & Tips for tips as time progresses towards the big day. 

So you´re ready, when and what is the best way to bet on the Melbourne Cup? But on what horse? Here are some straightforward steps to help with how to bet on the Melbourne Cup online: 

  1. We´ve discussed this already, but sign up to online bookmaker(s) to create an account(s) 
  2. Deposit funds, be ready to bet at anytime rather than possibly add time delays , some deposit methods can be instant (eg credit card) whereas others (bank transfer) can take a little longer. Betting Sites Payment Methods has a section discussing the Deposit (and Withdrawal) pros and cons for each bookmaker which depending on your financial capability may be of help. 
  3. Pick a horse. It´s easier said than done, there are tools available, use a form guide or review commentary on the bookmakers’ websites/Apps.  
  4. Navigate to race 7, the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on the bookmaker website or app and find the horse that you want to bet on.  
  5. Click the Melbourne Cup horse odds. This places that horse into what is called a betslip (kind of like a shopping cart from e-commerce websites). 
  6. Submit your bet. Click the button at the end of the betslip that will be called something like "place bets".

Melbourne Cup Useful Information

Without fail, the Melbourne Cup aims to be held at 3pm (usually race 7) on the first Tuesday in November each year at Melbourne’s most famous Flemington racecourse. 

One uniqueness of the Melbourne Cup is the distance, it is one of the few races in Australia run over 3,200m, almost 2 miles. Notable other races over 3,200m are the Group 2 Adelaide Cup and the Group 1 Sydney Cup. 

If you take a look overseas there are far more races of 3,200m or longer. 

  • The UK Ascot Gold Cup is a Group 1 race over approx. 4,014m, 2023 winner Courage Mon Ami, trainer pair John & Thady Gosden with jockey Frankie Dettori (only saying, he´s only gone and won the race 9 times😊) 
  • Longchamp in France holds the Group 1 Prix du Cadran over 4,000m (you know who has won that too) and the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak over 3,100m 
  • Germany even hold a Group 2 race over 3,200m, the Oleander-Rennen 

There are so few stayer races of the distance of the Melbourne Cup in Australia that it could be worth looking at the overseas entries for possible clues, Ireland has a long history of thoroughbred racing and even though the Irish St Leger (yes FT has won it twice!) is a mere 1 mile 6 furlongs (2,816m) a winner from Ireland would not be a surprise. 

The late Australian trainer Bart Cummings between 1965 and 2008 won the Melbourne Cup a record 12 times and became known as the “Cups King”. 

Lee Freedman has trained 5 winners and together with his brothers Anthony, Michael, and Richard, it could be worth looking for a Freedman in the list of trainers on Melbourne Cup day. Even Anthony´s son Sam is starting to have racing success with his father. 

Female jockeys have had less success in the Melbourne Cup with the one successful female jockey in the 2015 Melbourne Cup being Michelle Payne on $100 underdog, Prince of Penzance. 

Makybe Diva is the most successful horse in Melbourne Cup history with 3 back-to-back wins (2003, 2004 & 2005). At least 3 other horses have won back-to-back the most recent being 1974-75 in Think Big. So, if you too want to Think Big maybe look out for 2023 winner Gold Trip with Mark Kahra on board. 

If you want to know more about past winners then just look at the list below of the last 15 Melbourne Cup races, where if not the horse, the jockey and trainer may give clues if they are present in the 2023 Melbourne Cup race: 

YearWinner Jockey Barrier Trainer
2022Gold TripM. Zahra14C. Maher & D. Eustace 
2021Verry ElleegantJ. McDonald19C. Waller
2020Twilight PaymentJ. McNeil12J. O’Brien
2019Vow And DeclareC. Williams21D. O’Brien
2018Cross CounterK. McEvoy19C. Appleby
2017RekindlingC. Brown4J. O’Brien
2016AlmandinK. McEvoy17R. Hickmott
2015Prince of PenzanceM. Payne1D. Weir
2014ProtectionistR. Moore11A. Wohler
2013FiorenteD. Oliver5G. Waterhouse
2012Green MoonB. Prebble5R Hickmott
2011DunadenC. Lemaire13M. Delzangles
2010AmericainG. Mossé12A. Royer-Dupré
2009ShockingC. Brown22M. Kavanagh
2008ViewedB. Shinn9B. Cummings    

International Runners at the Melbourne Cup

I touched on this earlier subject regarding International connections, while the Melbourne Cup is Australia´s most famous race, it is also one of the most prominent races in the world, which gains an enormous amount of interest from the international racing community. Of course, the horse winning the Ebor Handicap in York, UK gains automatic entry but there are many other entries from international horses all entering with the hope of securing a place at the starting gates 

To date there have been 40 Melbourne Cup winners from closest neighbour New Zealand, 5 from the UK, 4 from the USA and Ireland and two from Germany as well as France. A truly International affair. 

The Melbourne Cup prize money alone totalling $8.4 million is cool enough to attract any entry wherever they may come from.  

The most recent foreign winners include Protectionist (2014, Germany), Fiorente (2013 Italy) and Delta Blues (2006 Japan). 

The Melbourne Cup is now a worldwide event with the race televised in numerous countries. At the racetrack the record attendance was over 123,000 in 2003, but there have regularly been over 100,000 at the racetrack on raceday and over 300,000 at the racetrack during the four days of the Melbourne Cup carnival.

Fun Facts about the Melbourne Cup

It is truly the race that stops the nation! Everyone and their dog stop what they are doing to watch this magical event, and who could blame them! This is an iconic event that occurs annually, and with this in mind – let’s take a look at some fun facts when it comes to the Melbourne Cup! 

  • The most horses ever in a Melbourne Cup race was 39 and this was way back in 1890! 
  • Makybe Diva is not only the first horse to have ever won the Melbourne Cup 3 times, but also the first horse to win it 3 years in a row! 
  • Trainer Bart Cummings is known to hold the record for most Melbourne Cup wins. He has had a whopping 12 wins from horses he has trained over the years. 
  • No horse has ever won the race from Barrier 18! 
  • The 1985 Melbourne Cup was the first race in Australia with prize money of $1m 
  • Australia´s great (some say greatest) horse Phar Lap had to carry 68kgs in 1931 and came 8th 
  • The 1st prize has been a golf watch, a silver punch bowl and even a golden horseshoe 
  • The average bet by punters in New South Wales is $1,200 and this is a striking 22% above the national average!

2024 Melbourne Cup Key Dates

2023 Melbourne Cup Field and Nomination Announcement dates: 

  1. Nominations: Closed on Tuesday 5th September 
    132 horses were nominated with 117 local & 15 international horses from Japan, UK, & Ireland 
  2. Weights to be declared Tuesday 19 September  
    Melbourne Cup winner Gold Trip is the top weight at 58.5kg, the lowest weight is 50kg 
  3. Late Nominations close Tuesday 12th September. Fee $5,500  
  4. 1st Acceptances close Tuesday 3rd October. Fee $2,000  
         (all times above by noon local time) 
  5. Final Field: Announced Saturday 4th November 
  6. Barrier Draw: Takes place later on Saturday 4th November 

As you see the The Final Field will be published as soon Racing Victoria confirm the 24 horses on the Saturday immediately before the race ie, Saturday 4th November.  

Melbourne Cup FAQs

BettingTop10’s recommended betting sites have all been reviewed by our unbiased panel of experts for your Melbourne Cup betting convenience. 

Yes! All the top betting sites have betting markets on the Caulfield Cup, W.S. Cox Plate, MacKinnon Stakes, Victoria Derby, Victoria Oaks, VRC Stakes and of course, the Melbourne Cup.

This is purely my opinion but bet too early especially before the declarations and your horse:  

  1. May not even pass the ballot  
  2. May be pulled out of the race by the owner/trainer.  

It is also good to look at the Melbourne weather as 3,200m is a long slog in wet weather and can favour real stayers. I usually bet in the days leading up to the race, after the barrier draw and additionally, in the excitement I almost always place a Melbourne Cup bet online on race day.

If you are looking for a lucky number there are a few interesting facts regarding the Melbourne Cup barrier draw which was first introduced in 1924, 99 years ago:

  • Barrier 18 has never produced a Melbourne Cup winner.  
  • Barrier 5 has produced the most winners with 8. 
  • Barrier 13 was a lucky draw including Phar Lap back in 1930.   

On the one hand it is worth noting that over 30 favourites have won the Melbourne Cup since 1861 but recently favourites have only been in the top 3 four times since 2006, with a winner (Fiorente in 2013), a second and 2 third places. One the other hand maybe this is the year 😊.

Again, this is personal opinion, I think you should be at Flemington on race day to soak up the whole occasion at least once in your life, especially if you live in/near Melbourne. OK, not everyone will be lucky enough to be in receipt of a corporate invitation, but for us ordinary folk, having done it once and experienced everything including onsite betting, food, drink, entertainment, even the transport to and from Flemington, only then can you decide if once was enough.