Each year the Melbourne Cup form guide is the most important betting guide for punters and race fans.
The Melbourne Cup 2014 form guide will be released as soon as the capacity 24-stayer Melbourne Cup field is announced on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday November 2, 2013.
Detailing all the facts and stats you need to know to place the winning Melbourne Cup bet, the Melbourne Cup form guide is a detailed breakdown of the field.
Info you will find in the 2014 Melbourne Cup form guide includes
- Melbourne Cup Barriers – what horses will jump from what gates
- Melbourne Cup Saddlecloth Numbers – the saddlecloth number each horse will wear
- Melbourne Cup Jockeys – the jockeys that will ride each contender
- Melbourne Cup Trainers – which trainer is behind the horse you are backing
- Melbourne Cup Weights – the handicap weight allocated to all the hopefuls
These are just some of the basic Melbourne Cup field and race information listed in a general Melbourne Cup form guide.
A more detailed Melbourne Cup form guide will then go on to detail other important statistics such as:
- Win and Place Rates for each horse
- Last 6 runs by each horse
- First-up and Second-up records of the gallopers
- The Track & Distance records for the horses
The Melbourne Cup form guide 2014 has a bit of a wider audience than the form for a less prestigious race, but not everyone knows how to read it. If you are unfamiliar with how a form guide works, this article will help you understand the information found on the Melbourne Cup form guide so that you can make smarter picks.
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Which Melbourne Cup Form Guide to Use?
The best Melbourne Cup form guide for you to use is the one posted at the online bookie site you will be betting with. The form guides posted by bookmaker.com.au are particularly good, with detailed information on all the runners, so consider opening an account with bookmaker.com.au if you are new to betting online.
There are a few advantages to using the Melbourne Cup form guide provided by your favourite sports betting site. The first benefit is greater detail, as a website does not have to worry about the space limits a newspaper has. Another benefit is that help is close at hand using either the help service of the betting site or via a search engine.
Avoid using the ‘bumper Melbourne Cup form guide’ sections of newspapers in the lead up to the race. These are designed for a casual audience – think the people who put in $2 for the office sweeps and then talk up their randomly selected horse that they know nothing about.
The Melbourne Cup form guide at a site like Ladbrokes.com.au is designed with real punters in mind, yet it is easy enough for a beginner to follow.
How to Read a Melbourne Cup Form Guide
Form guides are not entirely standard – one site may include more statistics, another might have information on how a horse ran in their last 6 races – but they tend to use similar terminology and abbreviations.
The following are commonly included statistics in a Melbourne Cup form guide that could have an effect on your bet. Entries on miscellaneous information have been omitted, as information such as horse colour will have no effect on your bet.
Saddlecloth Number – This is simply the number of the horse, which can be needed to place your bet.
Barrier – This is the barrier number that the horse will start in, usually presented as a number in brackets after the horse name.
Weight – The weight the horse will carry, this may be given its own section or may be found directly after the barrier number, weights are in kilograms, and you should look for a number less than 56kg.
Age and Sex – These are normally found together. Age will usually read “7yo”, and sex will either be written in full or abbreviated to the first letter. Sexes are Horse (full stallion of 4 years or older), Colt (male of 3 years or less, intact), Filly (female of 3 years or less), Mare (female of 4 years or older), or Gelding (castrated male horse).
Remember to look on your Melbourne Cup form guide for 4 and 5 year old full horses and geldings. These runners are statistically the most likely to win, while fillies and colts have not performed well in recent years. Mares can be worthwhile if they have proven themselves in other races.
Pedigree – The sire and dam of the horse. Can indicate the type of run that the horse is best suited to, as stayers tend to produce stayers and sprinters produce sprinters. This is often listed as just two horse names separated by a dash.
Form/Last 6 – This is the string of numbers and letters you see listed next to a horse’s name. It indicates at a glance how the horse performed in its last 6 runs, with the most recent result being the number on the far right.
Numbers from 1 to 9 indicate a finish in that position, while a 0 indicates a finish behind ninth place. Letters and symbols indicate falls, throws and other mishaps. Many online betting sites provide full race details, so there is little need to memorise all the symbols if you are just betting on the Melbourne Cup, as you can read the full race summary for the horse at sites like Ladbrokes.com.au.
Career – This is the number of races the horse has run and the numbers of wins, seconds and thirds. It is presented in a format of – Total Starts: Wins Seconds Thirds. An example is 5: 2 0 1 which would indicate a horse that has 5 starts with 2 wins, 0 second placings, 1 third placing, and the other starts not being place finishes.
Trainer – A horse’s trainer is very important, and you will generally want to support runners that come from one of the top Australian trainers. Bart Cummings is the most successful trainer of Melbourne Cup winners, with 12 wins from 1965 to 2009. Lee Freedman is the next most successful in the modern era, with 5 wins from 1989 to 2005.
Jockey – Despite what beginners think, a skilled jockey is vital to a horse’s success in the Melbourne Cup. If you don’t know anything about the jockey, check to see if the horse has any previous experience with that rider. It’s a good sign if the jockey has taken that horse to wins over similar distances before.
Fast/Good/Dead/Slow/Heavy/Wet – These are all different track conditions, and the statistics for them are similar to the Career stat, i.e. Wins Seconds Thirds, in those specific track conditions. If the track conditions on Melbourne Cup day are unfavourable for your runners, you will need to rethink the kinds of bets you will make.
First Up – How the horse has performed in their first race after a long break, written like the Career statistic. This won’t matter much in a Melbourne Cup form guide, as all the contenders will have raced many times in the weeks prior to the Cup.
Previous Race Results on a Melbourne Cup Form Guide
The internet is a wonderful thing and it has allowed online betting sites to offer much more detail on a horse’s previous runs than used to be available. This allows the average punter to get a more meaningful sense of a runner’s recent performance than they would get just by looking at where the horse finished.
Detailed race results are especially useful when trying to work out if a horse is a sprinter who will fade late in the Melbourne Cup run, or a stayer that can maintain a good pace until the end. They also give you more detail on how a runner performs under poor track conditions, which you would not get by simply looking at the statistics.