Melbourne Cup Betting 2018

Known as ‘The Race That Stops a Nation’ the Melbourne Cup is the undisputed biggest horse race in Australia. It’s not just Down Under where it’s huge news, horse racing fans and punters the world over tune into the Melbourne Cup action from Flemington Racecourse, Victoria.

When is Melbourne Cup Day? The 2018 Melbourne Cup will be on Tuesday, 6th of November.

What time is Melbourne Cup? The Melbourne Cup race starts at 3:00 pm

Melbourne Cup 2018 Free Bets

The Melbourne Cup is widely considered to be the premier two mile (3200 meter) race in the world. The prestige of the race and the small matter of over $7.3 million in prize money regularly attracts the best stayers from around the world. Indeed the 2017 renewal was won by the British-bred, Irish-trained Rekindling who became the first three-year-old to claim Melbourne Cup glory in 76 years.

Chief among the reasons why the Melbourne Cup is so popular with punters is that it’s a handicap. The theory of a handicap is that all the horses are rated and then made to carry weights according to their ability. That should level the playing field out and it has produced some big odds winners over the years.

Ante post betting for handicap races can be particularly lucrative. You have to take an extra risk given that so much can happen in the lead up to the Melbourne Cup but ante post betting is full of opportunity.

 ladbrokes melcbourne cup offer

Ante post betting is very tempting but some punters won’t even touch the Melbourne Cup betting before the barrier draw is made. That may seem a little silly given that we’re talking about a two mile race but the first turn in the Melbourne Cup comes after just 400m and history is full of contenders who lost their position at that crucial early stage and could not recover.

It’s also worth noting that position is key in the Melbourne Cup. If you can find a quality stayer who is happy making the running and is draw alongside hold up horses, you know you’re onto a winner and that it’s time to make the most of the free bet offers available here.

Melbourne Cup 2018 Betting Odds

The Melbourne Cup is one of those races that gets even the most successful racehorse trainers out of bed in the morning. The chance to have a runner at the Flemington spectacular, let alone a winner, means the number of entries into the Melbourne Cup is always huge.

The field will be cut down from around 400 initial entries to just 24 but there are some tempting options in the very early betting.

Yucatan Ire is only going to get better as he matures and could well be making a return to Flemington, he is the super favourite of the race: Fixed Win @ 6.25 with Bet365

Corey Brown, last year winner on Rekindling, will ride Magic Circle, will he repeat himself? Unibet @ 8.50 

Cross Counter is back on track for the 2018 Melbourne Cup after recovering from a minor setback, @ 9.50 with Madbookie looks quite promising.

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Melbourne Cup Bonus Offer 2018

As we get closer to the Melbourne Cup, the best bookies will start offering specific free bets offers for the Melbourne Cup. However, we understand that punters want the option to get involved in the action throughout the year so we’ve collected the best free bet offers available.

The first Melbourne Cup offer to seriously consider is the $200 free bet that Unibet will give all new customers. If you open up a new Unibet account through one of the links on our site and you’re eligible having read the terms and conditions, you’ll have your first single sports bet matched with bonus cash up to a massive $200.

TopBetta, another new huge bookmaker who will be covering the Melbourne Cup, have their own free bet offer for you to make the most of. Again, providing you’re eligible and are opening a brand new account, TopBetta will match your first deposit up to $250. The competitive nature of the Melbourne Cup betting means you can return a massive amount from a $250 bet on the winner and all for no risk!

Based in Brisbane, understand Australian punters and they’ve worked incredibly hard since being founded in 2012 to provide the best offers around. If you do not yet already have an account with you can make the most of their welcome bonus which is 100% of your first deposit up to a maximum of $400. Like the Ladbrokes offer, this offer has great potential especially when you combine it with the Melbourne Cup.

 ladbrokes live streaming

Another common offer that you’ll find with the bookies is an increase in the number of places they pay out on each-way bets. Traditionally, even bigger field handicaps only pay out for four places but keep an eye out on some bookmakers who pay five or even six places.

New customer offers are the most commonplace but existing customers are not forgotten about. Make sure to log into your betting accounts to find out the latest promotions and offers for your Melbourne Cup betting.

Ante post betting for the Melbourne Cup is available throughout the year but it only gets more competitive the closer we get to November. Shrewd punters look for options with their Melbourne Cup betting and making the most of one of the free bet offers listed below is certainly a savvy move.

Watch the Melbourne Cup 2018 for FREE on Live Streaming!


Here is the schedule of the day, Melbourne Cup is at 15.00 but there are plenty of other interesting races that day:

TimeMelbourne Cup 2018Distance2017 Winner
11.00Ottawa Stakes1000mSetsuna Trophy1700mTahanee
12.15Lavazza Short Black1400mDollar for Dollar
12.50Ronald Mcdonald House Charities Plate2800mFanatic
13.25Schweppes Flemington Fling1000mPrezado
14.00Lexus Hybrid Plate1400mOur Crown Mistress
15.00Melbourne Cup3200mRekindling
16.05James Boag’s Premium Stakes1800mOdeon
16.45MSS Security Sprint1200mOcean Embers
17.20The Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes1400mPedrena

Melbourne Cup Latest Tips

Melbourne Cup News 2018 Updates

5th of November Update – Ian Williams ‘relishing’ Magic Circle bid

Top dual-purpose trainer Ian Williams is relishing the prospect of his star stayer Magic Circle running in the 2018 Melbourne Cup. The six-year-old is a 7/1 joint second favourite for the race and his Worcestershire trainer couldn’t be more confident: “We’ve got a huge chance. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Everything has gone, to this point, touch wood, spot on with him. Corey was impressed by him and it always helps when the jockey likes the horse and they got on really well.”

Magic Circle started on his path to the Melbourne Cup back in May, with a brilliant win in the Chester Cup, where he stretched readily clear by six lengths. After that, Magic Circle went to Sandown Park for the Henry II Stakes. In a competitive looking field where he looked like he needed to improve, Magic Circle once again dotted up by six lengths, leaving Red Verdon, Weekender, Mount Moriah and other notable names trailing in his wake. This is a serious horse and he must hold every chance of winning on Tuesday.

1st of November Update – Fancied Duretto Out as Yucatan Hardens as Favourite

Andrew Balding’s dual Listed winner Duretto was ruled out of the 2018 Melbourne Cup this week, having suffered an unfortunate stress fracture which will rule him out of action until further notice. He was a fancied 20/1 chance for the big one, but will have to wait until next year, provided his recovery goes well.

In the meantime, the master trainer at Ballydoyle Aidan O’Brien’s horse Yucatan has hardened up significantly as the 4/1 firm favourite for “The race that stops a Nation”.

Favourites have a really poor record in the Melbourne Cup and despite many attempts, Aidan O’Brien is yet to train a winner of the race, but in Yucatan he has a really promising young stayer, who has been geared toward a trip down under for some time.

All the latest reports suggest Yucatan has settled really well into Aussie life and with a little luck with the draw, he will surely run a massive race under top jockey James McDonald. O’Brien will also go to war with talented 3yo Rostropovich, who was no match for Winx in the Cox Plate, but as an interesting roughie at around 20/1.

24 October Update – Irish Derby winner Latrobe settling in Down Under

The 2018 Melbourne Cup is under a fortnight away and young Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien is bidding to win back to back Melbourne Cups, by way of his Irish Derby winner Latrobe, who’s no bigger than 14/1 to pull off a famous double.

O’Brien has proved himself to be a chip off the old block, son of course of the legendary trainer Aidan O’Brien. Many think Joseph has all the tools to surpass the achievements of his father in the fullness of time. A tall order, but he’s only 26 and has already done so much in racing.

This athletic sort has been a slow burner, only having the one start as a juvenile but as a 3yo in 2018, the son of Camelot has developed really well. His win in the Irish Derby in late June came as a surprise to many, but it proved that the horse is well up to Group 1 level. He was not able to land a punch on Roaring Lion over an inadequate trip in the Juddmonte International, but ran a promising Melbourne Cup trial last time out when 2nd in the Irish St Leger.

Latrobe has settled well into life in Australia, as a stable video on Twitter revealed the horse to be happy as Larry rolling around in a mound of straw a couple of days ago. He looks ready to go!

04 October 2018 – NEWSFLASH

Flight delays set to result in missed Melbourne Cup prep-races

We recommend you hold your proverbial horses if you are planning to bet on a European challenger in the Melbourne Cup.  As a cracked windscreen on the plane bringing 19 horses to Australia was forced to spend 20 hours on the tarmac at Sharjah Airport in the United Arab Emirates, they arrived down-under later than planned and are now scheduled to spend an unscheduled extra day in quarantine.

The knock-on effect is the prospect of many of them missing an intended engagement at Caulfield in either the Herbert Power Stakes or the Caulfield Stakes (as they are now due to come out of quarantine the day after the race) in readiness for a tilt at the Caulfield Cup the following week; that being the most established of all Melbourne Cup prep-races.

And the unscheduled congestion at Werribee Quarantine Centre near Melbourne has given visiting trainers and Melbourne Cup organisers yet more headaches as a final shipment of visiting horses – which actually make up one third of the Melbourne Cup field and are due to arrive on October 13th – will have to be found alternative quarantine arrangements for at least one night before they can move into the Werribee complex when the first 19 vacate the stables.

The 19 horses delayed in Sharjah Airport were:  

  • Casterton
  • Cliffs Of Moher
  • Count Octave
  • Dal Harraild
  • Danon Distance
  • Duretto
  • Finche
  • Fleet Review
  • Gustavus Vassa
  • Intelligence Cross
  • Langley
  • Marathon Man
  • Pharrell
  • Red Verdon
  • Shraaoh
  • Sound Check
  • Spirit Of Valor
  • Withhold
  • Yucatan

Big Operations Well Represented in Melbourne Cup

Last year’s Melbourne Cup fifth-placed horse, Nakeeta, finished seventh beaten seven lengths in last month’s York Ebor Handicap race in England. The 7-year old netted Europe’s richest handicap last year and was bidding to become the first horse to retain the title in 95 years.

He’s just one of 50 overseas entries in the 2018 Melbourne Cup and the Scottish-trained runner is joined by the Ebor winner & runner-up, Muntahaa and Weekender, who both satisfy one of the criteria to pass the Melbourne Cup ballot clause by their 1-2 finish in that valuable race.

Last year’s winning trainer, Joseph O’Brien, has three nominations:  Irish Derby winner Latrobe, Ming and Master of Reality.  Meanwhile his father, Aidan, has 12 entries in pursuit of his first Melbourne Cup win.

Dubai operation Godolphin are strongly represented by three trainers, namely Charlie Appleby, Saeed bin Suroor and James Cummings, in total they have nine nominations.

It Could be Magic for Williams

But the early European favourite, Magic Circle, is trained by the lesser known Ian Williams who handles both flat and jumps racers. Eight times a winner from 20 starts, the six-year-old has shot up the handicap following two impressive victories (the latest by six lengths in a two-mile Group 3 race) for Williams who took over the handling of the horse five months ago.

But a word of warning to Australian racegoers, Magic Circle is owned by the colourful Marwan Koukash who attempted to receive his horse’s Chester Cup prize wearing a just a tie and a thong. Thwarted by racecourse officials there, he has vowed to successfully enter the Lexus Melbourne Cup winners enclosure wearing little more than his birthday suit should Magic Circle land the historic race. He’s 16/1 – the horse that is!

How to Bet on the Melbourne Cup

Watch this short video for insight on “how to place a bet on the Melbourne Cup 2018”

Melbourne Cup “Bookies Behaviour”

By now hopefully you understand just how big the Melbourne Cup is both in Australia and around the world. The size of the race is something you really should take advantage of as the bookies are all fighting for your custom as we approach the race.

If you’re looking for a new bookie, make sure to be on the lookout for those who are rolling the red carpet out for Melbourne Cup punters. Free bets, enhanced odds and bonus cash offers are all on the table so it’s a matter of picking which suits you best.

It’s also worth logging into your existing accounts and seeing what the bookies are doing. Unibet, for example, provide their customers with some great Melbourne Cup special bets while Bet365 usually lead the pack in terms of the number of places they pay.

Who Won the Melbourne Cup 2017?

Unsurprisingly, the current favourite for the 2018 Melbourne Cup is the winner of 12 months ago, Rekindling ($21 with Ladbrokes). Joseph O’Brien’s charge became the first three-year-old to win the race in 76 years and is only going to get better as he continues to mature. Will he return to defend his crown though?

If Joseph O’Brien does make the trip to Flemington, he could well be joined by his father, Aidan O’Brien. O’Brien senior has won an incredible number of Group 1 races in his career and he has a genuine chance of his first Melbourne Cup success in the shape of Johannes Vermeer who finished second in 2017 and is a $26 shot with Bet365.

Kings Will Dream has had his fair share of support in the very early stages of the 2018 Melbourne Cup betting. Like Johannes Vermeer, Kings Will Dream ($26 with is an Irish-bred horse but he’ll surely have to gain some more experience to have any chance of beating the most competitive Group 1 handicap in the world.

Order Of St George was one of the most popular options in the betting for the 2017 Melbourne Cup and while things didn’t work out, he has had plenty of support for this year’s renewal at $34 with Ladbrokes. He’s a classy stayer with a huge heart so don’t write Order Of St George off yet.

A little further down the ante post betting and Red Cardinal stands out at $41 with Unibet. Darren Weir has been there and done it in terms of winning the Melbourne Cup and he is very happy to have welcomed this talented six-year-old into his stable in April.

French horse, Tiberian, gave a decent account of himself in the 2017 Melbourne Cup but could only finish seventh. He did hit a lot of traffic though and couldn’t properly kick for home so a bit more luck could see Tiberian land a place at least at $61 with Unibet.

Watch again last year race:

Melbourne Cup Free Bets Frequently Asked Questions

How do I take advantage of Melbourne Cup free bets?

 Simply by clicking one of the links provided on this page. Alternatively, there are many other Melbourne Cup free bets available on our website.

What is your best choice for Melbourne Cup free bets?

The choice is ultimately yours but by not taking advantage of some of these great offers you are missing out on potentially hundreds of dollars of Melbourne Cup free bets. If you need more information, use the guide provided to work out which Melbourne Cup free bets are the best match for you.

When can I use a Melbourne Cup free bet offer?

 These offers are available right now and at any time up to the 2018 Melbourne Cup. It depends whether you want to wait for more information or take advantage of the big ante post prices available.

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