Melbourne Cup Carnival

Melbourne Cup Carnival

2023 Betting Guide
Date: Saturday, November 4, 2023 – Saturday, November 11, 2023
Location: Flemington Racecourse – Melbourne, Victoria
Group 1 Prize Money: $23,000,000

The Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of the most recognisable sporting events on the Australian sports calendar and attracts hundreds of thousands of fans to Flemington Racecourse each year.

Each year the Melbourne Cup Carnival kicks off with VRC Derby Day, the time-honoured Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November, the Ladies Day on the Thursday for VRC Oaks Day and the carnival ends on the Saturday with VRC Champions Stakes Day.

With eight Group 1 races being run and won over the Carnival, there is upwards of $22 million worth of prizemoney on offer at the highest level with many horses making a name for themselves over the Melbourne Cup Carnival over the years.

Betting on the Melbourne Cup Carnival

Markets open for the Melbourne Cup Carnival open around August/September, although you can bet on the Melbourne Cup all year round, with markets opening for the following year soon after the race concludes each November.

Australian online bookmakers will identify which horses have been nominated for the Melbourne Cup Carnival Group 1 races and frame a market accordingly.

In the week leading up to the Melbourne Cup Carnival, markets for several group events throughout the week become available in time for punters to try and gain an edge on final field markets.

Below are the list of online betting sites we highly recommend.

Latest Melbourne Cup Carnival News

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November 4: VRC Derby Day

Each year the Melbourne Cup Carnival kicks off with the action-packed VRC Derby Day.

The Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) for three-year-old colts and geldings is the feature event of the day, with the race first being held back in 1855.

Also for three-year-olds, the Coolmore Stud Stakes holds a key piece to the future of the breeding career for many a sprinter, with traditionally a massive field of sprinters thundering down the infamous Flemington straight.

VRC Derby 2021 Winner - Hitotsu
Hitotsu ridden by John Allen wins the Victoria Derby at Flemington in 2021

The third and final Group 1 of the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival is for the fillies & mares when they compete over the 1600m in the Empire Rose Stakes.

The VRC Derby Day of racing features six other group races:

  • Group 2 Wakeful Stakes – 2000m
  • Group 2 Linlithgow Stakes – 1400m
  • Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes – 1600m
  • Group 3 Rising Fast Stakes – 1200m
  • Group 3 Archer Stakes – 2500m
  • Group 3 Begonia Belle – 1100m

November 7: Melbourne Cup Day

The Melbourne Cup is the pinnacle of racing in Australia and one of the most popular races for punters around the world. Considered to be “the race that stops a nation” the Melbourne Cup is held on the first Tuesday of November and attracts, not only the biggest racing crowd each year, but also the most money bet on one race.

Verry Elleegant
Verry Elleegant winning the 2021 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m). Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

A massive field of 24 horses descend onto Flemington for the running of the Melbourne Cup and with not only the nation watching – but the world – a horse, jockey, trainer or owner can have their lives changed within four minutes when winning the great race.

The 10-race Melbourne Cup day card features five other black-type races:

  • Group 3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes – 1400m
  • Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate – 1000m
  • Listed TAB Trophy – 1800m
  • Listed MSS Security Sprint – 1800m
  • Listed Cup Day Plate – 1200m

November 9: Oaks Day

Day Three of the Melbourne Carnival has long been referred to as ‘Ladies Day’ and is headlined by the Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) for three-year-old fillies.

Many a broodmare has won the Oaks on their way to the breeding barn and plenty have produced superstar stayers.

The other black-type races on Oaks Day include:

  • Group 3 Red Roses Stakes – 1100m
  • Group 3 Ottawa Stakes – 1000m
  • Listed Desirable Stakes – 1400m
  • Listed Century Stakes – 1000m
VRC Oaks Day Winner
2021 Oaks winner Willowy ridden by Damien Oliver

November 11: VRC Champions Stakes Day

The final day of the Melbourne Cup is often the last time we see the champion horses on the east coast for the year before they head to the paddock for an autumn campaign.

The featured event of the day is arguably the Group 1 VRC Champions Stakes (2000m) – formerly the Mackinnon Stakes – where most years, competitors in the Cox Plate are often aimed towards this year, especially if their run in the WFA Championship was less than ideal.

Having been taken out by the likes of Nature Strip, Black Caviar and Miss Andretti, the Champions Sprint is one of the must watch events of the Melbourne spring with some of the nations best sprinters doing battle over the ‘Flemington Six’ in truly breathtaking fashion.

Formerly known as the Cantala Stakes, the Champions Mile often attracts a big field of rising Group 1 stars who battle it out over the Flemington mile, with the race traditionally used as strong form references for horses progressing to bigger things during the autumn.

Further black-type races on the day include:

  • Group 2 Matriarch Stakes – 2000m
  • Group 3 Queen’s Cup – 2600m
  • Listed Springtime Stakes – 1400m
Champions Day Stakes Winner
James McDonald riding Zaaki (GB) to a 2021 Champions Stakes victory at Flemington

How to bet on the Melbourne Cup Carnival

The Melbourne Cup Carnival is the no.1 racing event on the calendar and it’s become exceptionally easy to wager on these race meetings, with all online bookies boasting odds on the group races well out from the jump. Below we will highlight how to bet on the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival, being one of the major things Aussies bet on, has a lot of promotions and bonus offers surrounding it, including things like boosted odds, cash back offers and much more, although the way these can be marketed to you is heavily limited in Australia.

Starting your betting journey on the Melbourne Cup Carnival is straight-forward and involves finding a licensed horse betting site that you are eligible to sign up at. Locals must bet with a bookie that has a license from an Australian state or territory.

The sign up process at Melbourne Cup Carnival bookies involves filling in a digital form with your details, such as your name, address, telephone number and email address. These details must be verified before you can withdraw any winnings, so be sure to give the correct details.

After you are a member at at Melbourne Cup bookmaker, you will need to fund your account which can be done with things like Visa, Mastercard and Paypal.

Check out our online bookie reviews to learn more about each Melbourne Cup betting site and what they are offering throughout the Spring carnival.

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