A beginner’s guide to picking a winning horse at the Melbourne Cup

Fancy a bit of a flutter at the races? Follow our tips to make sure you drop your wad of cash on a worthy filly and feel that warm shot of adrenaline that comes with a win – not to mention the stack of cash that goes with it.

Keep your blinkers focused on the job at hand. There’s no time for frivolous chatter and sipping of champagne… you can do that later when you’re celebrating your win. First things first, you need to study the stats. Look at your chosen horse’s ‘form’ or scan through its history — if it has lost 12 races in a row we’d be willing to bet this race is likely to be unlucky thirteen.

Focus on the horse
Signs to look for in a potential winner are good muscle tone, a shiny coat, bright eyes, and an alert manner. Don’t be swayed by how neatly its tail is plaited or what colour outfit the jockey has on. This really won’t do you any favours in the end.

It’s all in the name
After a few too many drinks in the sun, working out form or trying to sneak a glimpse of your horse’s hind legs may be a bit of an ask. If that’s the case, there’s always the name game. As a last resort, why not go for a name that stands out like Zap, Fizz or Bolt. While there isn’t a drop of sense in such tactics, it’s a hell of a lot of fun when speedy ol’ Bolt comes through with the win.

Do as thy neighbour does
Your best option yet is to follow the lead of someone who looks like they know what they’re doing and bet on all the same horses — surely some race aficionado has the potential to come up trumps with a trifecta that you can cash in on.


Say what? It’s time we all had a lesson in correct pronunciation

Still confused about the ‘black tie’ dress code? We answer your questions

How to: Impress the in-laws at Christmas