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Melbourne Cup time is almost here, and it’s time for all punters to consider their options. While the Melbourne Cup barrier draw is not announced until October 31st on Victoria Derby Day, and a complete form guide will not be available until then, it is possible to get some early insight into many of the likely runners.

Example of what a Form Guide looks like

A typical Melbourne Cup form guide will include lots of information, including the official Melbourne Cup field, the barriers drawn by each horse, the saddlecloth numbers that each horse will wear, the jockeys who will ride each horse, the names of the trainers behind each entrant, and the weights of the horses. While it is not possible to know this information until 5.30pm on Victoria Derby Day, it is possible to take an early look into other important statistics.


Melbourne Cup Lead-up Races

Any detailed Melbourne Cup form guide will include information on the history of each horse, with specific events often having more significance than others. Some of the most important lead-up races to the Melbourne Cup include the Mackinnon Stakes, the Lexus Stakes (formerly the Saab Quality), the Moonee Valley Cup, the Cox Plate, and the Caulfield Cup.

Clever punters will also be looking at things like the win and place rates for each horse, the last 6 runs of each entrant, and the first-up and second-up records. The 3200 metre distance of the Melbourne Cup also plays a vital role in the final results each year, with any complete form guide also including the track and distance record for each of the included horses.

Form Guide Information

While Melbourne Cup form guides are not standard, the vast majority of them include the same information in a similar format. This makes it easier for punters to take a quick look at the field and make an educated bet with all the known information available. All form guides include information like the saddlecloth number, the barrier, weight, age, sex, pedigree, form/last 6, career, trainer, jockey, preferred track conditions, and first up records after a long break.

With all of this information on your side and detailed past results available from a number of online sources, it is possible to give yourself a distinct advantage when Melbourne Cup time comes around.

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