Expert Tips. Picking a Winner

Sometimes it can just be down to plain old luck that you pick a winner but there are some tried and trusted methods which may prove handy come race day.

It is that time that time of the year again. Under a month away until thousands flock to Flemington and tune in around the country to watch the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Watch Inside Run AI Race Predictor for the Lexus Melbourne Cup (extended)

There are an abundance of ways in which people may choose a winner. Some may base their choice on the colour of the horse’s silk, some will go for the safe bet and choose the favourite while some of the more outlandish punters may go for a complete outsider which could leave them jumping for joy or seeking the nearest exit as they hope for better next time.

So, without further ado let’s find out how to pick a winner (with some help from our Network 10 commentators along the way!)

Watch: Expert Tips from our Network 10 Commentators

Form is Key

Like any sport, it’s important to look at past performance to predict what will happen on the big day. Study the formbook to see if they enter the Melbourne Cup Carnival on the back of a few good races.  There are some telling races in the lead up which one should keep an eye out for, namely the Caulfield Cup which has seen 11 winning horses manage to back that up with a victory in the Melbourne Cup.

Age plays a part

There has generally been a pattern when it comes to the ages of horses who come out on top at the Melbourne Cup Carnival. The right mix of strength and experience leans towards four and five year olds. Horses on either side of that age bracket are unlikely but not completely out of the question of coming out on top.


For some this may seem a bit of a stretch however past races have shown that some saddlecloth numbers have come up trumps considerably more than others. For instance, 4 and 12 lead the way but the most successful number since 1980 has been 6 with a total of seven winners.

Number 4: 13 Wins - Won in 2021 but previously hadn't been victorious since 1986
Number 12: 11 Wins - but has only won once since 1980
Number 1: 11 Wins
Number 6: 10 Wins
Number 8: 8 Wins
Number 5: 8 Wins

Choosing the right barrier

Scrolling through past victories we can definitely see a correlation between some barriers and Melbourne Cup winners. Over the last 21 years, there have been five barriers - 14 (3 wins), 10 (3 wins), 5 (2 wins), 13 (2 wins) and 22 (2 wins) have accounted for 12 victories! Check out the table below, it just may help you land the winner!

Barrier 5 and 14 8 Wins
Barrier 10 and 19 7 Wins
Barrier 11 6 Wins
Barriers 1, 4, 6, 8, 17 5 Wins

However, beware that no horse from barrier 18 has won in the 84 years that they’ve been in use.

Don’t overlook the trainer

There are some household names that have a proven track record in the Melbourne Cup. Trainers with the best winning records in the race in recent times are Bart Cummings (12 Cup wins), Lee Freedman (5 wins) and Irish trainer Dermot Weld (2 wins). Keep an eye out for Cummings’ grandson, James, who could be the next up and coming trainer to dominate the event.

Still wanting more tips, well you can keep an eye out for our Odds Videos presented by Gerald Middleton and David Gately on the mornings of each race day across the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

How to watch the Melbourne Cup Carnival on 10 Play

2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival Calendar

Guide To The Melbourne Cup Carnival on 10 Play

2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival. Live And Free On 10 and 10 Play