Best Melbourne Cup Betting Sites in 2021

Last Update

24 horses, 3200m and $8 million in prize money. That is the race that stops a nation in numbers, and you won’t find any better Melbourne Cup betting guides than this one.

Our page has all the info you need on the race format, finding the biggest odds and our Melbourne Cup betting advice might even help you find the winner!  

Top 7 Melbourne Cup Betting Sites in the UK

  1. bet365 Logo
    Sign-up Offer
    Up to $200 in Bet Credits!
    Open Account Offer Up to $200 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Sign up, deposit $10* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. The bonus code CD365 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. Full list below. #ad
  2. Betfair Logo
    Sign-up Offer
    Deposit $30, play with $60
    18+, New Customers only, Terms & Conditions apply #ad
  3. Unibet Logo
    Sign-up Offer
    Money Back as Bonus up to £40 if Your First Bet Loses + £10 Casino Bonus
    18+ New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 35x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. No deposit required for NI customers. Call 08081699314 to claim. Full T&Cs apply. #ad
  4. 888sport Logo
    Sign-up Offer
    100% up to $100
    New Customers only • $10 min deposit • The bonus will be applied once the full deposit amount has been wagered at least once with cumulative odds of 1.5 or greater • Wagering must be cleared within 60 days • This offer may not be combined with any other offer • Casino Bonus valid for selected games only • Bonus wins capped at $500, exc. JP wins • To withdraw bonus & related wins, wager 30 x (bonus amount) • Wagering requirements vary by game Full T&C’s apply #ad
  5. BetVictor Logo
    Free Bets
    Bet £/€5 Get £/€30
    18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £5 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 2x £10 Free Sports Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days.  Plus a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly. #ad
  6. William Hill Logo
    William Hill
    Free Bets
    Bet £10, Get £30
    New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. #ad
  7. Paddy Power Logo
    Paddy Power
    Free Bets
    New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses, Paddy Power will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Debit Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply. #ad

Melbourne Cup - bonuses

Sorry no bonuses of this kind at the moment. Please try again later.

Bet on the Melbourne Cup with Paddy Power

Firmly established as a household name in the UK, Paddy Power is Sportsbetting24’s number one Melbourne Cup betting site. They have live Melbourne Cup streaming available and all you need to do to qualify to watch the race live is place a minimum £1 bet. Paddy Power is also a rock-solid choice if you want to find the best Melbourne Cup odds.

Anyone that is considering having an each-way flutter on the Melbourne Cup should always check out Paddy Power. They are renowned for running lots of Melbourne Cup specials and chances are you’ll be able to get extra places for e/w bets. With an excellent selection of markets available too, Paddy Power have every angle covered for those who want to bet on the Melbourne Cup.

Recommended Melbourne Cup Betting Markets

Anyone interested in Melbourne Cup betting should know what options are available to them. Punters already familiar with horse racing will be aware of the most popular markets like win or each-way, two markets that are good starting points for beginners and novices as you can see in our risk table* below.

Forecasts and tricasts are slightly more complicated and a lot riskier but on the upside, you will have a chance of landing a huge return for a small investment. For example, if you had just £1 on the winning trifecta in the 2019 Melbourne Cup you would have won £2953.40! Other options include Betting without the fav and match betting, both considerably less risky propositions than forecasts or tricasts.

Bet Type Risk Recommended For
Win 4 Beginners
Each Way 2 Beginners/Novices
Forecasts / Tricasts 5 Experts
Betting Without The Fav 3 Advanced
Match Betting 2 Novices

(*risk can be managed, not volatility)

Betting Advice

  • The Draw
    With a field of 24 runners, the draw is particularly important in the Melbourne Cup. Even over such a long distance it is important to get a good racing position early. If your horse gets trapped out wide or meets traffic problems on the inside it will greatly hinder their chances. That is why it often pays to back horses that are drawn in the middle, somewhere between stall 5 and 14 ideally.
  • The Ground
    Another very influential factor to strongly consider when you bet on the Melbourne Cup is the ground. When you look at a horse’s form you’ll be able to see whether they are more effective on dry, quick ground or on wet, soft ground. Many horses are ground dependent and there is no point backing a mud lark on good to firm. So, keep a close eye on the weather forecast and only back horses that are ground versatile ante-post.
  • Staying Power
    The Melbourne Cup is run over a distance of 2 miles, an exceptionally long trip for a flat race. On any ground, but particularly if it is soft, the winner of the Melbourne Cup will need plenty of stamina reserves. A number of the main trials are run over shorter distances so watch out for horses that were staying on at the finish in those races. They will appreciate the longer distance in the big one and you’ll usually get decent odds on horses with that profile too.
  • European Raiders
    One stat that cannot be ignored is the strike rate of horses that are trained (or were trained) in France, Ireland or the UK. Melbourne Cup past winners, including Cross Counter (2018 UK), Rekindling (2017 Ireland), Protectionist (2014 Germany) and Fiorente (2013 UK) were all trained or formerly trained in Europe. So, make sure to look very closely at any horses that have made the long trip to Australia for the Melbourne Cup.

Finding the Best Melbourne Cup Betting Odds

To demonstrate the importance of spending the time on finding the best odds we have included a Melbourne Cup odds comparison table*. This table shows the odds for the 2020 edition and it enables us to easily compare and contrast the prices on offer from three of the best Melbourne Cup betting sites (888Sport, Unibet and Paddy Power).

Horse Name 888 sport logo
unibet logo
paddy power logo
Paddy Power
Russian Camelot 7/1 (8.0) 6/1 (7.0) 7/1 (8.0)
Surprise Baby 8/1 (9.0) 8/1 (9.0) 15/2 (8.50)
Tiger Moth 10/1 (11.0) 10/1 (11.0) 10/1 (11.0)
Ashrun 16/1 (17.0) 16/1 (17.0) 16/1 (17.0)
Anthony Van Dyck 20/1 (21.0) 16/1 (17.0) 20/1 (21.0)
Verry Elleegant 20/1 (21.0) 16/1 (17.0) 25/1 (26.0)
Master Of Wine 25/1 (26.0) 14/1 (15.0) 25/1 (26.0)
*Odds For Display Purposes Only

Verry Elleegant provides the perfect example of why shopping around is so important. This mare was 16/1 (17.0) with Unibet, 20/1 (21.0) with 888Sport and 25/1 (26.0) with Paddy Power. If you had £20 win on with Unibet you’d get £340 back if she won, whereas with Paddy Power the return would be £520! 

On this occasion, both 888Sport and Paddy Power had the best Melbourne Cup betting odds for 6 of the 7 horses listed. Unibet fared worst of all and were best price about just 3 of the runners. We strongly recommend checking the odds at all of the bookies that make our top 7 Melbourne Cup betting sites list before you put your hard-earned cash down.

Event Format

The Melbourne Cup is part of the annual Spring Carnival at Flemington Racecourse in Australia. It is the highlight of the 4 day festival and one of the most valuable turf races on the planet with a total prize fund of $8 million. That is a huge pot in comparison to the £1 million on offer for the Aintree Grand National. The race distance is 3200m, which is a shade under 2 miles, and it is a handicap. Other important races held during the Spring Carnival include the Victoria Derby, VRC Oaks and VRC Stakes.

As we highlighted in our Melbourne Cup betting advice there are a number of factors that need to be considered when having a bet, including the draw and the ground. If the horse you fancy starts from a favourable barrier and gets their ideal ground, don’t be afraid to increase your stake. Alternatively, if your horse has a poor draw and is unproven on the ground then proceed with caution and reduce your stakes accordingly.

Past Winners

Year Horse Name Avg. Odds
2019 Vow And Declare 10/1 (11.00)
2018 Cross Counter 8/1 (9.00)
2017 Rekindling 14/1 (15.0)
2016 Almandin 10/1 (11.0)
2015 Prince Of Penzance 100/1 (101.0)
2014  Protectionist 7/1 (8.0)
2013 Fiorente 6/1 (7.0)
2012 Green Moon 19/1 (20.0)
2011 Dunaden 15/2 (8.50)
2010 Americain 12/1 (13.0)
  • Prince Of Penzance pulled off a massive shock win at 100/1 in 2015 when Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.
  • No owner has won the Melbourne Cup more than Lloyd Williams (6) so always watch out for horses racing in his blue and white colours.
  • Bart Cummings (12) is the leading trainer in the race while jockeys Bobby Lewis and Harry White have 4 wins each.
  • The record winning time in the Melbourne Cup was set by Kingston Rule in 1990 when he scorched to victory in 3m 16.30s.
  • Don’t just focus on the favourite in the Melbourne Cup as only 34 have won in the past (23%).
🥇 Melbourne Cup Pedigree Pointer: Irish bred horses have a fine record in the race and this was most apparent in 2012 when the first 7 horses home in the Melbourne Cup were all bred in Ireland.

The History of the Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup has a long and rich history. First run in 1861, 17 went to post and Archer was the winner. He became the first multiple winner of the race when he won it again the following year. The Melbourne Cup Spring Carnival was introduced in 1869 and in 1875 the race was held on the first Tuesday in November for the first time. That remains the start date of the race to this day and race-day is a National Holiday in Victoria. The race is currently sponsored by Lexus, who succeeded Emirates as the main sponsors in 2018.

In 1972 the race distance was shortened to 3200m from 3218.6m and there was a shock result with 40/1 shot Piping Lane winning. The first woman to ride in the race was Maree Lyndon in 1987 while the first Northern Hemisphere trained winner was Vintage Crop for Irish trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Mick Kinane. In 2005 Makybe Diva made history when she became the first horse to win the Melbourne Cup for the third time.

The Melbourne Cup Spring Carnival is one of 6 ‘Carnival’ racing festivals held during the year in Australia. It is preceded by the Bendigo Carnival and followed by the Sandown Carnival. The Melbourne Cup official website is worth visiting if you are looking for up to date info on this year’s edition.

Melbourne Cup Betting FAQs

When is the Melbourne Cup?
The Melbourne Cup is held on the first Tuesday in November every year. It is part of the 4 day Melbourne Spring Carnival and it is the biggest and most important flat race in Australia. Make sure you choose your Melbourne Cup betting markets wisely if you are planning on having a bet.
Where does the Melbourne Cup take place?
The Melbourne Cup is run at Flemington Racecourse in Victoria, Australia. If you look back at the history of the Melbourne Cup you will see that every single edition of the race has been held at Flemington and the track can accommodate over 120,000 fans. The record attendance came in 2006 when just under 130k fans attended on VRC Derby Day.
What is the best betting site for Melbourne Cup betting?
Sportsbetting24’s top pick for betting on the Melbourne Cup is Paddy Power. They have quality Melbourne Cup odds, lots of markets and they more than deserve their place at the top of our list of the best Melbourne Cup bookies.
What bookmakers has the best Melbourne Cup betting odds?
If you are wondering where to find the best Melbourne Cup betting odds there is no easy solution. You have to spend the necessary time shopping around to guarantee that you get the best price about the horse that you fancy. Paddy Power and 888Sport are usually reliable, but don’t limit yourself and try to have as many options as possible.