Picking the winner of any horse race is by no means an easy task. But picking the winner of the Melbourne Cup is another thing altogether.

International Form

Many of the Melbourne Cup contenders have little or no Australian form – they’ve often travelled from as far afield as England, Ireland, Japan and Saudi Arabia. And of course there’s the usual small contingent from our own home turf as well.

Staying Power

A second and equally important factor in form analysis is the taking into consideration of how many horses in the field have proven themselves – not just over the 3200 metres of the Melbourne Cup distance, but at sustained speed in capacity fields, under pressure throughout and under varying track conditions.

Lead-Up Form

The traditional method of determining a horse’s chances of seeing out the 3200 metres (or 2 miles under the old scale) is to take a line through their lead-up races. Typically these races include the leading provincial cup races (especially the Geelong Cup which has produced some very notable Melbourne Cup winners over the years) and a raft of Group One and Group two WFA (Weight For Age) events.

Most Significant Lead-Up Races

The most notable metropolitan lead-up races include the Turnbull Stakes, Caulfield Cup and Mackinnon Stakes.

Horses For Courses

The Turnbull and Mackinnon Stakes are both run at Flemington and so have “special significance” when it comes to assessing horses suited by the same track that the Melbourne cup is run and won on.

The sweeping turn into the home straight followed by the long 450 metre dash to the winning post suits horses that prefer to sit well off the pace and then storm home out wide.

Past winners who have raced this way over the past 40 years, coming from further back then mid-field on the home turn, include:

Baghdad Note

Piping Lane

Think Big (twice!)

Van Der Hum


Gold And Black


Gurner’s Lane


What a Nuisance

Kingston Rule

Let’s Elope


Vintage Crop




Makybe Diva (3 times from near last!)



Barrier Draw

Unlike shorter trips, the distance of the Melbourne Cup tends to negate the usual raft of disadvantages associated with wide barrier draws. However, some barriers seem luckier than others.

Barrier 11…. 6 winners
Barriers 5, 6 and 19….. 5 winners

Track Conditions

Mud-larks seldom perform well on dry tracks. European horses don’t like rock hard tracks. Champion horses handle almost any conditions. Check the form guides for clues on your fancied horse’s ability to handle various track surfaces and conditions.

Weight Factor

It takes a super horse to carry the top-weight and win. Makybe Diva was a super horse and did just that! But most times history has shown that horses carrying between 52 kg and 55 kg handle the journey best.

Ok, so at the end of the day, how on earth do you actually pick a winner when there are so many variables to contend with?

There’s no easy answer to that or WE’D ALL BE RICH!

However, a leading Australian tipster and punter who goes by the pseudonym of Aspros has created a real gem of a system for those of you who don’t like to spend too much time studying form. It’s so good in fact that I have no hesitation in including it in this article.

The Aspros Melbourne cup System

No.                     Rule

Rule 1: List any cup contender placed in either the Caulfield Cup or Mackinnon Stakes.

Rule 2: List any cup acceptor placed 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the Moonee Valley Cup.

Rule 3: List any acceptor who was placed 1-2-3 in the Melbourne Cup at their last run.

Rule 4: List the Saab Quality Winner

Rule 5: Delete any horse who’s last run in the Melbourne Cup was an unplaced run.

Rule 6: Delete any horse who is aged 3YO or is 7YO or older

The names of the runners left are the selections and the Group which most of the Cup winners have come from over the last 45 years.

Over this period at level stakes the System has maintained a healthy return.

Recent Winners

Year        Horse

2007        Missed

2006        Delta Blues (Won 14/1)

2005        Missed

2004        Makybe Diva (Won 3/1)

2003        Missed

2002        Mr Prudent (2nd 40/1)

2001        Ethereal (Won 9/1)

2000        Brew (Won 14/1)

1999        Rogan Josh (Won 5/1)

1998        Champagne (2nd 7/1)

1997        Might and Power (Won 3.5/1)

1996        Missed

1995        Doriemus (Won 10/1)

1994        Jeune (Won 16/1)

1993        Missed

1992        Veandercross (2nd 2.5/1)

1991        Let’s Elope (Won 3/1)

1990        Mr Brooker (3rd 14/1)

Good luck and good punting on the most famous Tuesday of the year – Melbourne Cup day.

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