Australia's best betting sites

Melbourne Cup betting sites

IT’S known as the race that stops a nation – the city of Melbourne and the state of Victoria come to a standstill for the five minutes it takes to run the Melbourne Cup.

The Melbourne Cup is one of the world’s richest horse races and draws the best talent from around the globe to compete for the enormous prize money on offer.

The race has seen winners from Australia, Japan, Germany, England and Ireland and routinely draws an incredible audience both on track at Flemington racecourse and on television.

Traditionally Flemington will house close to 100,000 patrons on-course for the world’s most famous staying race, with a global audience of well over 700 million people expected to tune in.

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2017 Melbourne Cup odds

How betting on the Melbourne Cup works

Betting on the Melbourne Cup works exactly the same as any other horse race, the key difference being there is a greater interest which means there is much money spent and a fixed odds market that goes up almost instantaneously after the most recent Cup is run and won.

The win market is simply a return on the odds on offer for every dollar you put on. For instance, the 2015 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist paid $8.50 with Sportsbet fixed odds.

This means punters smart enough to take those odds on the German horse would have received $8.50 for every dollar they invested – one lucky punter put on a 10,000 bet with William Hill fixed odds several weeks before the big race, netting him 85,000 dollars.

The $8.50 was a guaranteed dividend too because it was placed as a fixed odds bet, which means you get that price no matter how much the winning dividend fluctuates from when you placed your wager. The fixed odd market also extends to the place and quinella.

Fixed odds markets can be a lucrative way to place a Melbourne Cup bet, with astute punters able to get much better odds on a horse if they are able to identify a winner well before the race day fields are out.

As previously mentioned, the Melbourne Cup betting is unlike any other race in the world in that fixed odds markets will go up as soon the race has concluded, with typically the horse that took out the race opening as the favourite.

Bet types on the Melbourne Cup

Win: Win bet explains itself. You place your money on the horse you think will pass the post first.

Place bet: A place bet gives you a much better chance at getting a return, but it will be significantly smaller. A place bet means your horse can finish within the top three and you will get a return. Having said that, in a field of 24 like the Melbourne Cup, finding a horse to do that is easier said than done.

Each way bet: An each way bet means you will have something on the win, but also a saver on the place. Typically you put an each way bet on a bit of an outsider, given that the favoured horses in the race pay minimal returns on the place.

Quinella: A quinella bet is simple in theory but hard in practise. Placing a quinella simply means you pick the horses to finish one and two in the race in no particular order.

Exacta: An exacta bet works the same as a quinella, only difference being the punter has to select the correct order of the horses.

Trifecta: One of the most popular exotics, a trifecta bet is selecting the horses to finish first, second and third. There is several ways you can put this bet on, whether it be in the correct order or a boxed selection – which means your selections can finish in any order.

First Four: First four – like the win bet – is self-explanatory. Like the trifecta bet you can either select the horses to run in the correct order, or you can box four or more horses to run in any order.

Fixed odds futures: You can bet on the Melbourne Cup all year round. Outlets such as Crownbet, Sportsbet and William Hill offer fixed odds markets on the Melbourne Cup not long after the completion of that year’s race.

Best Melbourne Cup bookmakers

Those wishing to make an investment on the race that stops a nation have a myriad of options when it comes to wagering their money. Aussies have a swag of freebets available to them although there restrictions on claiming them in some states.

One of Australia’s favourite online bookmakers Sportsbet.com.au have a heaps of options available for the big race, with fixed odds markets up and accessible several weeks in advance of the race itself. Add to this a $501 matched free bet, and it’s easy to see why Sportsbet is so popular with the punters.

The official wagering partner of Racing Victoria, Crownbet is investing heavily in making horse racing in Victoria the best it can be. Not just that, the Crownbet experience is one that a lot of punters are turning to, with top-tote and protest payouts, it is easy to see why Aussie punters are making the switch.

When it comes to the Australian spring carnival of racing, few bookmakers are across all the action quite like WilliamHill.com.au. A mainstay in the horse racing industry across the world, William Hill is a go-to for all horse racing enthusiasts with their top-tote, first past the post and protest payout features. William Hill also offer a $200 first bet bonus.

Melbourne Cup history

Every Australian is aware of the Melbourne Cup. Horses like the legendary Phar Lap, who won the 1930 Melbourne Cup, and Makybe Diva (who won three successive Cups) are given the same plaudits as our most famous sportsmen and women. The race is always run on the same day and is a public holiday in Victoria.

At just after 3pm every on the first Tuesday in November Australia stops as the best stayers from Australia and overseas battle it out over 3200 metres. Kids are let out of school early, lagers flow and of course the on-course crowd exceeds 100,000 putting it right among the biggest race meets in the world.

Just how did the Melbourne Cup evolve into such a huge event?

A man by the name of Frederick Standish, who was a member of the Victorian Turf Club, is widely accepted as the man who created the Melbourne Cup, with it first run in 1861. On Thursday, November 7, 17 horses pounded the course for just over £700. It is believed to be one of the healthiest purses for a horse race at this time.

Archer won the inaugural cup and has ever since been a staple at trivia nights around the country, as the great race has grown into something Standish would fail to recognise.

A little known fact about the early days of the cup is the decision to give members of the club two ladies tickets for the Melbourne Cup, the thinking: “where women go, men will follow.” Perhaps this is why the Melbourne Cup has always been inclusive of the fairer sex.