The Melbourne Cup – A Punter’s Paradise Or Not?

It’s a day of partying and expectation all across Australia. No other sporting event – let along with a horse race – has so many people transfixed when it comes race time. For many people, it’s the only time they’ll put some cash down on a race and take a punt.

Many people know absolutely nothing about horse racing in general, yet when it comes to the Melbourne Cup, anyone and everyone are suddenly bitten by the urge to try their luck.

Professional punter or a complete amateur, is the Melbourne Cup a good race to bet on? Or is it actually harder to pick the race winner, or choose the winning combination for an exotic bet?

It Really Depends On Your Goals

How you look at it will depend on what you hope the outcome will be. For the average Aussie who never normally gambles on racehorses, the Melbourne Cup is nothing more than some fun, a bit of frivolity.

Because the race is so hyped, people all over the nation feel the urge to put some money down simply because they’ll be watching the race anyway. And let’s face it, having money on a horse definitely makes the event infinitely more interesting and exciting.

Serious punters love the race too, but does that make it a good race to bet on purely from a profitability point of view? Or is it, in fact, harder to pick a winner on Melbourne Cup day?

Let’s Look At Some Facts About This Great Race

In a number of ways, the Melbourne Cup is one of the most difficult races to predict, compared to all other races throughout the year.

One reason for this is that the odds can get skewed. All the experts in the racing scene will still do their best to offer their most accurate Melbourne Cup tips, but unfortunately winner and place getters are harder to predict than many other races.

So, why do the odds get skewed more in this race than any other?

It’s because of the amount of betting that goes down on this one race. People all over the country who don’t normally bet on the horses will be taking a chance on the Melbourne Cup. A racehorse’s odds of winning are based on how popular that horse is when it comes to betting.

On Cup day you have millions of people placing bets pretty much willy nilly, choosing horses based on the name of the horse, their favourite colour or whatever criteria once a year punter choose to use.

This means that a lot of money could go down on a less fancied horse, making it appear as the race favourite when maybe it shouldn’t be.

It’s one of the reasons less favourites win the Melbourne Cup than other race on the Aussie racing circuit.

You also have a field of 24 horses competing in one of the longest races in the country. That’s a big field. While most of these horses are stayers (long distance racers), not all of them are experienced at a race distance of 3200m, so form over this distance can be harder to predict.

The competing horses are also the best of the best, with many of them peaking in form at Cup time. Much of the field is comprised of horses and teams from overseas. Bringing a team to Australia for a race is expensive, so these owners and syndicates are only going to bring horses they feel have the very best chance of winning.

Another point to consider is the extra pressure of being a part of Australia’s biggest horse race. There’s added pressures on jockeys and everyone involved with the horses. While the horses may not consciously know it’s such an important race, the extra pressure all the people are feeling could also have an affect on the horse’s disposition and ultimately its performance.

Skewed odds and a super quality field might not be concerns of the amateur punter looking to have a bit of fun, but it’s likely only serious punters – those who follow horse racing and dig deeply into the form guides – who are likely to be successful on Melbourne Cup day without simply relying on pure luck.