Melbourne Cup Form Guide

Melbourne Cup Form Guide Vow And Declare (right) winning the 2019 Melbourne Cup (PA Images)

Melbourne Cup Form Guide (Race 7)

2021 Final Field

The 2021 Melbourne Cup Final Field and Barrier Draw will be available after 7:00pm on Saturday, October 30.

We will update the final field and barrier draw as soon as it is released.

Winner Statistics from the past 20 years

History can be a great guide when it comes to analysing the Melbourne Cup form guide.

From the past 20 years, eight winners have been aged six years old. Another six winners have been four years old. That means 70% of winners from the past two decades have either been a four or six-year-old horse.

The last 15 winners have been male horses of which six of them were geldings.

Only two different mares have been successful in the Melbourne Cup in the last 20 years, and one of those was the immortal Makybe Diva who won the race three straight times!

Looking at barrier positions, there has been an even mix with a winner coming from barrier one and two winners coming from barrier 23 – that means all hope is not lost when drawing wide or inside for ‘the race that stops a nation.’

Weight is crucial in handicap races and the Melbourne Cup is no different. 10 of the past 20 winners have carried 53kg or less and only three horses have carried 56kg or more in that timeframe.

Year Horse Barrier Country (Breeding) Age Sex Weight Track
2020 Twilight Payment 6 Ireland 8 G 55.5kg Good 3
2019 Vow And Declare 23 Australia 4 G 52kg Soft 5
2018 Cross Counter 23 Great Britain 4 G 51kg Soft 6
2017 Rekindling 22 Great Britain 4 H 51.5kg Good 3
2016 Almandin 17 Germany 7 G 52kg Good 4
2015 Prince Of Penzance 1 New Zealand 6 G 53kg Good 3
2014 Protectionist 10 Germany 5 H 56.5kg Good 3
2013 Fiorente 5 Ireland 6 H 55kg Good 3
2012 Green Moon 5 Ireland 6 H 54.5kg Good 3
2011 Dunaden 13 France 6 H 54.5kg Good 3
2010 Americain 11 United States 6 H 54.5kg Soft 6
2009 Shocking 21 Australia 4 H 51kg Good 4
2008 Viewed 8 Australia 5 H 53kg Good 3
2007 Efficient 9 New Zealand 4 G 54.5kg Good 3
2006 Delta Blues 10 Japan 6 H 56kg Good 3
2005 Makybe Diva 14 Great Britain 7 M 58kg Soft 5
2004 Makybe Diva 7 Great Britain 6 M 55.5kg Soft 5
2003 Makybe Diva 14 Great Britain 5 M 51kg Good 3
2002 Media Puzzle 3 United States 6 G 52.5kg Good 3
2001 Ethereal 11 New Zealand 4 M 52kg Soft 5

 

How to Read the Form Guide

Your chances of finding the next Melbourne Cup winner will increase once you know how to analyse the form guide.

There are several key factors to assess when trying to decipher the form for Australia’s biggest race. Here is an explanation of each key factor:

Age

The average winning age of Melbourne Cup winners from the past 20 years is 5.5 years. In that time, the most common winning age is six-year-olds who have won eight times (40%).

An increasing trend that is starting to emerge for Melbourne Cup winners are younger international horses carrying lighter weights in the race.

Trainer

When it comes to analysing Melbourne Cup-winning trainers, a good starting point is looking at some of the biggest and most prolific names worldwide.

Champion trainers such as the late Bart Cummings, Lee Freedman and Gai Waterhouse have won the Melbourne Cup on one or more occasions.

Emerging trainers such as Joseph O’Brien have also figured out the key to success and it pays to follow them.

Jockey

It is harder trying to predict the winner of the Melbourne Cup based on the jockey riding. The reason for this is that the race will boast many talented jockeys who have won dozens of Group 1 races in their careers.

The best advice we can give here is to assess Melbourne Cup runners based on their form, weight etc. rather than the hoop that is in the saddle. Of course, some jockeys will be riding in excellent form and they will carry that into the big race; other times it will be a fairy-tale and historic victory such as Michelle Payne winning aboard Prince Of Penzance to become the first and only female jockey to win the race (as of 2020).

Barrier Position

Barrier position is important in racing, but don’t let it solely determine whether a horse can or cannot win the Melbourne Cup. At least not in recent years, where the winner has come from barriers 17, 22, 23, 23 and 6.

From the past 20 years, the average winning barrier is 12 and there has been an even spread of winners from inside, middle, and outside draws.

During that timeframe, 12 out of 20 winners have drawn inside barrier 12 whilst the other eight have drawn outside 12.

Track

Track ratings are an important aspect of form analysis with some horses having a preference to Good, Soft and/or Heavy going.

When looking at the form guide, see if a horse has a preference to any type of track rating. For example, a horse may have won four races from 10 attempts on Good tracks but might have no wins from six attempts on Heavy tracks.

Some horses are versatile and will perform well on all types of tracks.

Weight

One of the key factors in racing is the weight being carried and Melbourne Cup winners in the last 20 years show that lighter weights are preferable when it comes to winning the Cup.

Considering the race is 3200m, the extra weight can catch up with a horse and an equally talented Melbourne cup horse carrying 3kg less than its counterpart will likely have an advantage.

Half of the last 20 winners have carried 53kg or less and that is a good starting point when identifying the next Melbourne Cup winners.

Makybe Diva became a legend when she won her third straight Melbourne Cup carrying 58kg in the race – horses can still win with 55kg or more, so you cannot rule them out of the race either.

Therefore, it pays to look at the weights for each horse when reading the Melbourne Cup form guide.

Win Percentage

Winning form is good form. That is a statement that can ring true, but it is not always the case. A lot of stayers in Australia will have a few lead-up races over a shorter distance than their preferred racing distance. Quite often they won’t win over the shorter distance.

As they gain more runs under their belt, the horse will soon obtain peak fitness in order to tackle the two miles of the Melbourne Cup.

When assessing win percentage, it is something that can be looked at but recent form will triumph this statistic.

Last 5

The last five runs that a horse has had is probably the single-most crucial piece of information when assessing whether the horse can win the Melbourne Cup.

A horse that puts together a few good runs can often go on to win it all, whilst others may enter the race in average form and their chances of winning may be slim.

It is very important looking at the last five starts for a horse, and more importantly, the races that matter the most.

For example, if a horse is best suited racing over 2400m or more, and it had a run four starts ago over 1400m, that run itself can probably be discounted to an extent when analysing the horse’s form – you would be more interested in how it raced over 2000m and 2400m leading up to the Cup.

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