By Casey O'Connor
There are a myriad of systems people swear by to find the Melbourne Cup winner. Here are some facts which might help or just confuse you more.
Four and Five year olds have the best winning record in the Cup. The last three year old to win the Cup was Skipton back in 1941.
Weight is a big thing in the handicap race. Useless but interesting information – Phar Lap lumped the highest ever weight in the Cup – 68kgs and was beaten. It is horses down in the weights that have had the most success. On 16 occasions horses 52kgs and 53kgs have saluted. Those carrying 47; 48; 51 and 56kgs have each won seven times.
Only 23% of favourites have greeted teh judge however 73 favourites have a finished in teh first three.
100/1 shots have won only three cups – the last Prince of Penzance the first winner ridden by a female jockey, Michelle Payne.
The longest priced winners in the past 20 years are Viewed 40/1 (2008); Tawriffic 30/1 (1980) and Prince of Penzance 100/1 (2015).
16 winners have started at 10/1; and 14 at 8/1. Dual winners are rare and only Makybe Diva; the 3200metre freak has won the race three times.
Billy and Peter Cook remain the only father son jockey combination to taste success in the Cup.
Although many like to use the Caulfield Cup as a guide to the Cup only 11 horses have managed the feat. The last was Ethereal in 2001.
If you like to bet on jockeys colours 17 winners have sported back as the main colour however the last winner in that category was Evening Peal in 1956. Navy and royal blue have featured in the colours of 14 winners.
If it is saddle cloth numbers then you 4 and 12 should be in your sights. They have each graced the winning post first on 11 occasions.
Number 2 and 19 each have seven wins apeice. Makybe Diva is the last winner to carry the No 1 saddlecloth. TAB nos 4 and six have won four of the past 15 Cups. The Unluckiest Melbourne Cup saddlecloth is No. 18.
Barrier 18 is also the only gate never to produce a winner since the inception of barriers in 1924.
Barrier 5 is the most successful starting gate.
The last Melbourne Cup winner to salute from the outside barrier was Brew (2000).
Barriers 6, 12, 15, 18, 19, 23 and 24 have not produced a Melbourne Cup winner 1983 and only six greys have won the Cup.
It is a long way out from the Cup and plenty can change before Tuesday however I think there could be another Cummings in the winner’s circle with Avilius.
Youngstar, Red Verdon and Finche are also on my radar. Of course don’t leave out the old man and sentimental favourite, Who Shot the Barman if you are having a shot at the trifecta and first four. He is sure to be in the call in the straight. If after all that information you are more confused than ever on Tuesday morning may I suggest you go hunting for a trusty pin. Good luck.