The Emirates Melbourne Cup 2016 is the most important race on the Australian horse racing calendar. It isn’t called “The Race That Stops A Nation” for nothing – Australia really does come to a halt for an afternoon to watch the Melbourne Cup.
Held each year on the first Tuesday of November, the Melbourne Cup is a real test of staying power. The Melbourne Cup is raced over a distance of 3200 metres, far longer than any other major event in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, so it is certainly not a race that is easy to prepare for. This unusually punishing distance may be why Australians hold the Melbourne Cup so dear, as the winner must race harder than ever before to stay ahead of the pack in the final stretch.
Every year the Melbourne Cup captures the attention of race fans around the country and abroad. It has now become a truly international affair too with nearly half of the 2016 Melbourne Cup field being raiders trained outside of Australia and New Zealand. The Melbourne Cup is also the world’s richest handicap for thoroughbred racehorses and continues to grow in prestige with every edition.
The Melbourne Cup is one of the few remaining genuine, two-mile races held in Australia each year. The only other 3200m race at Flemington Racecourse is the Andrew Ramsden Stakes while in New South Wales the Sydney Cup is the country’s other Group 1 over the distance. Australia isn’t known for breeding genuine stayers and that is one of the reasons why every year the Melbourne Cup field features more and more both internationally-bred and trained horses.
The race goes for roughly three and a half minutes with the Melbourne Cup race record held by the Bart Cummings-trained Kingston Rule who won in 3:16.30 minutes back in 1990.
The 2016 Melbourne Cup will be run on Tuesday 1st November 2016 at 3pm local time.
2016 Melbourne Cup Field
The 2016 Melbourne Cup field is released on Victoria Derby Day, run on the Saturday before Melbourne Cup Day, after the meeting’s racing action. The 2016 Melbourne Cup final acceptances close at 4:30pm (local time) on Saturday October 29, with the field made public and published below soon after.
The Melbourne Cup field is restricted to 24 horses with no emergencies, but the race receives dozens more nominations in the lead up to the event. The final Melbourne Cup field for each year is released on the Saturday evening before the race, after the conclusion of Victoria Derby Day, and punters wait impatiently for this information each year as it allows them to lock in their final bets. Even still, many punters bide their time until the morning of the Melbourne Cup, just in case something gets scratched or odds improve.
Following the release of the Melbourne Cup field on Victoria Derby Day, which kicks off the four-meeting Melbourne Cup Carnival each year, the Melbourne Cup barrier draw is then released live form Flemington Racecourse.
The final acceptors then take their places at the track in three days’ time on Melbourne Cup Day for their shot at the major $3.6 million first prize on offer to the Melbourne Cup winner.
The horses that make up the Melbourne Cup field are decided based on a few different conditions, and lesser horses are balloted out based on prize money earned in the last two years, performance in specific lead up races, and handicap weight. Winners of a few select races are exempt from being balloted out, and these races include:
- Tenno Sho (spring)
- Irish St. Leger
- Lexus Stakes
- Caulfield Cup
- Cox Plate
Some of these are overseas races, and the balloting exemptions provided by wins in these events have drawn many incredible foreign race horses to the Melbourne Cup field in recent years. For larger foreign staying events the ballot exemption is more of an invitation extended to those talented horses to come and race in Australia’s most prestigious staying event.
The Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) runs at Flemington on Derby Day and offers a last chance for horses to sneak into the Melbourne Cup field.
There is always a tense wait as the predicted Melbourne Cup field takes shape the Saturday before the classic with the winner of the Lexus Stakes capable of pushing out the horses sitting 24th on the Melbourne Cup ballot if they are further down the order of entry.
The winner of the Melbourne Cup is invited by the Japanese Racing Association to compete in the following Spring Tenno Sho in Japan, with many expenses covered. If a horse is a final acceptor but is subsequently balloted out of the final field, it will win a $100,000 bonus if it can win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Emirates Stakes Day.
The link between the Melbourne Cup and Japan has been growing since the Japanese-trained stable mates Delta Blues and Pop Rock ran the Melbourne Cup quinella finishing first and second in the great race back in 2006.
That was one year after the three year reign of the magnificent mare Makybe Diva ended following her victories in 2003 – 2005.
Makybe Diva remains the only triple Melbourne Cup winner in history with jockey Glen Boss riding her to victory in all three of her successes.
For the current race field and more on how it is decided, please visit our Melbourne Cup field page.
Melbourne Cup Race Time
Every year the Melbourne Cup runs at the same time, 3:00pm in Melbourne on the first Tuesday in November. Here are the start times for when the Melbourne Cup will jump around the country.
- Melbourne: 3:00pm
- Sydney: 3:00pm
- Brisbane: 2:00pm
- Adelaide: 2:30pm
- Perth: 12:00pm
- Canberra: 3:00pm
- Hobart: 3:00pm
- Darwin: 1:30pm
Wherever you are in the country, make sure you schedule a few minutes aside to watch the spectacle that is the Melbourne Cup.
Make sure also that before the famous Flemington Race 7 jumps on the first Tuesday of November you get a bet down on the classic as is the Aussie tradition. The Melbourne Cup stops the nation, mainly because everyone is waiting to see how their pick goes.
There are more choices now than ever before when it comes to Melbourne Cup betting.
Whether you are a once a year punter picking the Melbourne Cup winner based on a gut feeling or lucky number, a seasoned professional taking advantage of the generous Melbourne Cup odds available at the online bookmakers or you just pick a horse in your office Melbourne Cup sweep – there really is a way for everyone to get in on this iconic race.
2016 Melbourne Cup Second Acceptances
The Melbourne Cup second acceptances are the second round of declarations taken the Monday before the final field is released on the Saturday before Melbourne Cup Day. The Melbourne Cup second acceptances stage is the final step in the process before the announcement of the final field on Victoria Derby Day and traditionally attract around 30 – 40 hopefuls.
The 2016 Melbourne Cup Second Acceptances were released on Monday October 24. View a detailed preview of the 2016 Melbourne Cup Second Acceptances by following the link.
View the official Melbourne Cup Second Acceptances 2016 on our Melbourne Cup field page.
2016 Melbourne Cup First Acceptances
Melbourne Cup first acceptances are the first round of declarations helping narrow down the original bumper crop of nominees for the classic ahead of the official Melbourne Cup final field of 24 being released on the Saturday before Melbourne Cup Day.
The 2016 Melbourne Cup first acceptances were released on Tuesday October 4.
The 2016 Melbourne Cup first acceptances can be viewed on our Melbourne Cup field page.
2016 Melbourne Cup Nominations & Weights
The 2016 Melbourne Cup Nominations were taken on August 30 and feature 124 early entries.
The Melbourne Cup truly is a global event, and horses from the great racing nations from around the world make the long journey to Australia to participate. The enormous range of nations represented in the Melbourne Cup nominations include Japan, Great Britain, Germany, New Zealand, Ireland, France and the USA.
Get a good look at the 2016 Melbourne Cup nominations, because the impressive amount of talent nominated for this year’s edition will surely make picking the winner a challenging task. Not long after, the Melbourne Cup weights are also released. First Declarations will be announced in early October. Second Declarations will occur in late October.
The final Melbourne Cup field will be declared on Victoria Derby Day.
Each year of Melbourne Cup nominations feature more international competitors than previous editions, the race being “internationalised” in 1993 when Dermot Weld won with Irish raider Vintage Crop.
Vintage Crop remains the only international from over 60 who have tried to win the Melbourne Cup first-up without a previous run down under proving that even if a horse is bred for the distance, having previous form in Australia is key to their chances.
The 2016 Melbourne Cup nominations and weights can be viewed on the Melbourne Cup field page.
Melbourne Cup Barrier Draw
An interesting statistic that can affect betting is the 2016 Melbourne Cup barrier draw. While theoretically the distance of the race should make the Melbourne Cup barrier draw meaningless to the overall result, there have historically been a few barriers that have done particularly well and barriers that have performed poorly.
Every year the Melbourne Cup barrier draw is conducted live from the home of the great race, Flemington Racecourse, which is Victoria’s premier race track.
The Melbourne Cup barrier draw is an event in itself with the connections of the 24 horses engaged in the Melbourne Cup field invited up to select a gate for their runner to jump from the following Tuesday afternoon.
Barrier 11 is historically the most successful Melbourne Cup barrier producing seven wins over the years.
Other barriers with good numbers producing six winners each are five, 10 and 14.
Barrier 18 meanwhile is yet to produce a Melbourne Cup winner since the current starting system was introduced in 1925.
Most recently barrier five has been the best barrier producing back-to-back winners with Green Moon (2012) and Fiorente (2013).
That said, the wider gates have not been a total disadvantage either with the three runners before that jumping from double figure barriers with Shocking (21 in 2009), Americain (11 in 2010), Dunaden (13 in 2011) and Protectionist (10 in 2014).
To find out all about how the barrier draw can affect your betting, be sure to read our Melbourne Cup barrier draw page.
Melbourne Cup Odds
The Melbourne Cup odds are not just drawn from thin air. They are initially posted based on statistical information on each of the runners and then adjusted to balance out the sides of the betting.
When looking for the best Melbourne Cup 2016 odds, it is best to start early when the first nominations for the race come out. Online betting sites like bookmaker.com.au put out early odds on the Melbourne Cup soon after, and you can sometimes pick up very strong contenders at double-digit odds.
If you prefer to leave your betting until later, then you can boost the lower Melbourne Cup odds you receive by taking exotic bets. The highest Melbourne Cup odds always entail an element of risk, but you will feel much better getting paid $1000 for a winning $5 bet than you would getting paid $6.50 just betting on a short Melbourne Cup favourite.
For more information on analysing the odds as well as the latest odds on the Melbourne Cup, please visit our dedicated Melbourne Cup odds page.
Melbourne Cup Tips
Everyone looks for good Melbourne Cup tips in the lead up to the race, but few people know good places to get them from.
One myth about Melbourne Cup tips is that you should never take them from bookies. It’s based on a notion that bookies benefit more from people losing, which isn’t the case – they make money by balancing the odds to profit regardless of the outcome.
Sometimes the best Melbourne Cup tips are offered in the bonus sections of online betting sites like Ladbrokes.com.au. You can also formulate your own Melbourne Cup 2016 tips by looking through the detailed Melbourne Cup form guide on offer at your favourite betting site, which are usually much better than those found in a newspaper.
To read our best tips, please visit our dedicated Melbourne Cup tips page.
Melbourne Cup Form Guide
While the big 2016 Melbourne Cup form guide you find in newspapers has become somewhat enticing with all its colour and focus on pleasant visual design, it isn’t that useful to punters. You are much better off with the Melbourne Cup form guide provided by an online betting site, for many reasons.
An online Melbourne Cup form guide has practically unlimited space for each horse. This allows online betting sites to include detailed accounts of a horse’s performance in all their recent races, which save you from having to learn the short hand used in less spacious form guides.
Additionally, you can place a bet with the same site you are reading the Melbourne Cup 2016 form guide at, which is incredibly convenient. Physical betting agencies are crowded with eager punters on Melbourne Cup Day, but that can all be avoided by using an online bookie.
For more info on using a form guide to improve your betting, please visit our Melbourne Cup form guide page.
Melbourne Cup History
Melbourne Cup history has been fascinating since the very first race in 1861, when Archer took the Melbourne Cup in a field of 17 horses. While Archer has the honour of being the first (and second) Melbourne Cup winner, he also retains the slowest time to date at 3:52.00. For years this was blamed on Archer travelling to the race by foot, but it has since been established that the legendary horse was transported by steam ship, so it appears the esteemed Melbourne Cup just wasn’t as competitive in the early days.
It didn’t take long for the Melbourne Cup to become one of the most popular races in Australia, and many of the race’s longest standing traditions began to form in the 1870s. For instance, the race began to be run on a Tuesday in 1875, and the first golden cup design of a Melbourne Cup trophy was used in 1876.
Throughout the early Melbourne Cup years, Etienne de Mestre was the most prominent trainer, with 5 of his horses winning from 1861 to 1878. However, he had a fierce rival in John Tait, who managed to train a Melbourne Cup winner 4 times in that same period.
The Melbourne Cup continued to grow throughout the late 1800s, and it was well established as the most important race in Australia by the time Mark Twain visited in 1895 and documented the unique character of the event. By this point, none could contest how central the Melbourne Cup had become to Australian culture – possibly the first Australian tradition that no one could deny.
More than a century later, with the 2010 Melbourne Cup marking the 150th running of the race, there have been many legendary horses that have contested the Cup. The most famous may be Phar Lap, who won in 1930, but other legends are Rain Lover, Think Big, Kingston Rule, Let’s Elope, Rogan Josh, and three-time winner Makybe Diva. Trainer Bart Cummings also belongs in any list of Melbourne Cup legends, as he has a dozen Melbourne Cup wins under his belt.
If you want to learn more about the legends of the Melbourne Cup, please visit our dedicated Melbourne Cup history section.
Melbourne Cup Facts and Statistics
In a race with as much history as the Melbourne Cup, you can bet that some fascinating records have been set. Here are some of the most interesting Melbourne Cup facts and statistics:
- Most Wins – Horse: Makybe Diva, 3 wins (2003, 2004, 2005)
- Most Wins – Jockey: Bobby Lewis, 4 wins (1902, 1915, 1919, 1927); Harry White, 4 wins (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979)
- Most Wins – Trainer: Bart Cummings, 12 wins (1965, 1966, 1967, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2008)
- Fastest Time: Kingston Rule, 3:16.30
- Slowest Time: Archer, 3:52.00
- Longest Odds Winners: The Pearl, Wotan and Old Rowley all at 100 to 1
- Shortest Odds to Win: Phar Lap at 8/11 (about $0.73 or so)
- Percentage of favourites to win: 23%
- First woman to train a winner: Sheila Laxon with Ethereal in 2001
For more, please visit our Melbourne Cup facts and statistics page.
Melbourne Cup Betting
Australia is a nation of punters, and that is no more apparent than in the enthusiasm for 2016 Melbourne Cup betting. While it is said we’ll bet on two raindrops trickling down a window, Aussies prefer betting on the Melbourne Cup when possible.
The most unique aspect of Melbourne Cup betting is that it isn’t just about the money. No one argues that it feels sweet to win a few hundred on your Melbourne Cup pick, but simply getting the winner right will hardly impress anyone.
If you bet on the favourite, you’ll just be one among thousands of punters. The real Melbourne Cup betting challenge – the one that gets respect – is accurately picking the various exotic Melbourne Cup bets.
For a full guide on betting and exotic bets, please visit our extensive Melbourne Cup betting section.
Melbourne Cup Trifecta
While it isn’t the hardest Melbourne Cup betting challenge, picking the Melbourne Cup trifecta is symbolic of real betting prowess. It requires that you pick the first three Melbourne Cup finishers in exact order, only paying out if you get the order correct.
Most punters know that picking a Melbourne Cup trifecta exactly is a bit too hard, and they make boxed trifecta bets instead. While this costs a bit more, it covers every combination of chosen runners and even allows punters to choose more than 3 horses for the combinations. This can be especially helpful for getting the Melbourne Cup trifecta right when the field is filled with quality horses.
To learn more about picking and placing a winning trifecta or box trifecta, please visit our Melbourne Cup trifecta page.
Melbourne Cup Quinella
Of all the exotic Melbourne Cup betting options, the quinella is the simplest, though still impressive to pick accurately. In a Melbourne Cup quinella, you must choose the first two finishers of the race, but the order they finish in does not matter.
This flexibility can be very helpful when there are two strong favourites in the race, as a Melbourne Cup quinella saves you from having to decide between two great horses when the statistics suggest it is an even race.
To learn all about making a winning quinella, please visit our Melbourne Cup quinella page.
Melbourne Cup Exacta
The Melbourne Cup exacta is a bit harder than the quinella, as it requires you to choose the first two finishers in exact order. It may seem odd that this is a popular Melbourne Cup betting option given the flexibility of the quinella, but a winning Melbourne Cup exacta pays out significantly better than a quinella.
As with the other less flexible exotic Melbourne Cup bets, many punters place a box exacta to cover multiple combinations of the first two finishers. This allows you to get the flexibility of the quinella at a higher cost, but with the massive payout of a Melbourne Cup exacta.
For more on placing a winning exacta, please read our Melbourne Cup exacta page.
Melbourne Cup First Four
The ultimate Melbourne Cup betting challenge is to correctly pick the Melbourne Cup First Four, and boy can it pay well. In a Melbourne Cup First Four bet, you must choose the first four finishers in correct order. It goes without saying that most punters go with a boxed Melbourne Cup First Four if they take on the challenge at all.
While a Melbourne Cup First Four bet pays off just extravagantly in years when the favourite wins, it will pay life changing sums of money any time a couple of outside chances finish in front. Forget 100 to 1 payouts – a correctly chosen Melbourne Cup First Four bet can payout hundreds of thousands of dollars per dollar wagered!
It is all too common for people to place their Melbourne Cup bets at a TAB, but it is much more convenient to do it online at sites like Ladbrokes.com.au. When you wager with an online betting site, you can benefit from special deals and place all your bets from the convenience of your keyboard. Also, online bookies offer early odds on the Melbourne Cup months out from the race, at very lucrative odds. You can bet on the 2016 Melbourne Cup right now by joining Ladbrokes.com.au!
To learn more about placing a First Four bet, visit our Melbourne Cup First Four page.
Melbourne Cup Results
Please see the Melbourne Cup Results page.
More often than not, the exact Melbourne Cup results are a complete surprise. Even in those years when the favourite finishes first, the placegetters and final finishers are never entirely expected.
One of the most incredible Melbourne Cup results in recent years happened in 2006 when two Japanese trained horses took the first two places. Trainer Sumii Katsuhiko had the pleasure of being the first Japanese trainer to produce a Melbourne Cup winner in Delta Blues and also picked up the quinella at the same time with his horse Pop Rock.
Come back to this site as soon as the Melbourne Cup is over to find the latest Melbourne Cup results to help you settle your wooden spoon bets, and see where the rest of your picks placed in the end.
Melbourne Cup Fashion
Ever since the beginning of the race, Melbourne Cup fashion has been a major part of the festivities at Flemington. While the focus on fashion started with women, in recent years the male attendees have been getting into Melbourne Cup fashion as well. To savvy up on the latest fashions, be sure to check out our Melbourne Cup fashion section.
Melbourne Cup Hats
One of the unique aspects of 2016 Melbourne Cup fashion is the focus on hats. Melbourne Cup hats tend to be a bit more flamboyant than day-to-day headwear, and the real stylistas have their Melbourne Cup hats custom made to really make a statement. To learn more about getting your own unique hat, please visit our Melbourne Cup hats page.
Melbourne Cup Fascinators
The most authentic Melbourne Cup fashion statement you can make is to wear a fascinator, as Melbourne Cup fascinators are one of the most striking features of the fashion scene at the Flemington Spring Carnival. You’ll want to visit a professional milliner for fascinators that really stand out, so check out our Melbourne Cup fascinators page for suggestions.
Women’s Race Wear
Women’s race wear at the Melbourne Cup changes every year, and it pays to read up on the latest fashions before putting an outfit together. From the dress to the shoes to the hat or fascinator, our women’s race wear page tells you all you need to know to make a splash at the 2016 Melbourne Cup.
Men’s Race Wear
Men’s race wear at the Melbourne Cup is a bit more timeless, but it is important to wear the right style and get your suit fitted properly. For tons of tips on men’s fashion for the Melbourne Cup, read our men’s race wear page.
Melbourne Cup Birdcage
The Melbourne Cup birdcage is the premium marquee area, where socialites and business leaders rub elbows while wearing the very best Melbourne Cup fashion. To learn more about the Melbourne Cup birdcage (and how you can get in) be sure to check out our dedicated page on the Melbourne Cup birdcage.
Melbourne Cup Design Award
Possibly the most important part of the Fashions on the Field events is the presentation of the Melbourne Cup Design Award. Celebrating the achievements of Australia’s top race wear designers, you can learn more about the Melbourne Cup Design Award on our info page.
Flemington Spring Fashion Lunch
The Flemington Spring Fashion Lunch is a major showcase of Melbourne Cup fashions, with people around Australia holding their own fashion functions when they cannot make it to Flemington or a local racecourse. To learn more about it, visit our Flemington Spring Fashion Lunch page.
Melbourne Cup Lunches & Events
Aside from the celebrations at Flemington, many Melbourne Cup lunches and events are held around the country on Cup day. The biggest events are held at racecourses and Turf Clubs around Australia, but most people just have a catered lunch at work or turn up to the pub to watch the race. For more information on organising fun events, please visit our Melbourne Cup lunches and events page.
Hotels in Melbourne
Aside from providing accommodation, many hotels in Melbourne also offer special events to entertain visitors to Melbourne. Visit our dedicated page on hotels in Melbourne to find out about special packages for staying near Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Melbourne Cup Restaurants
If you are in Melbourne and looking for a good restaurant to celebrate your Melbourne Cup winnings at, then check out our guide to Melbourne Cup restaurants! Covering many different kinds of cuisine, our guide will see you eating in style.
Melbourne Cup Tickets
It can be a bit tricky getting Melbourne Cup tickets, as the general admissions tend to sell out quickly once released. They also have conditions that you may not be aware of prior to purchase, as Flemington tends to keep ticketing for businesses restricted to marquees while general admissions are reserved for the public.
While getting Melbourne Cup tickets can sometimes seem like more of a challenge than picking the Melbourne Cup trifecta, it is easy enough if you simply know how the ticketing system works and which ticket types are restricted to VRC members. Please visit our Melbourne Cup tickets page to find out more!
Whatever you want to know about the Melbourne Cup and Melbourne Cup betting, you will be sure to find the information you need in one of our many Melbourne Cup pages. If you are simply looking for a place to bet on the Melbourne Cup, we recommend starting with Ladbrokes.com.au.