How to Read the Melbourne Cup Form Guide

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The Melbourne Cup is one of the biggest races of the year for horse race fans in Australia and all over the world. So understanding how to read and use the Melbourne Cup form guide is essential to picking a winner in the race.

First, the facts: The $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup 2015 will be run Tuesday 3rd November at Flemington Racecourse.

Once the field is announced, the Melbourne Cup form guide will be available. In it, you will find essential information that can help you pick the winner of the race, including such general information as:

– The names of each horse in the race
– Which gate they will be jumping from
– Their saddlecloth numbers
– The names of the jockeys riding each contender
– The names of the trainers for each horse
– The handicap weight allocated to all hopefuls

While this type of general information is useful, it doesn’t give you everything you need to know in order to successfully pick the winner. For this, you are going to need more detailed information, such as the win and place rates for each horse, the last six runs, their first-up and second-up records, and their track and distance records.

Which Guide to Use

Every online bookie site provides its own Melbourne Cup guide. The best one for you is the one provided by the site you use. The top bookie sites are [Bookmaker] and [Ladbrokes] Online sites have the ability to provide you with very detailed information about the horses running in the Melbourne Cup. Unlike newspapers and other printed form guides, they are not limited in space. They also can link to numerous other resources and search engines that can help you in choosing which horse to back.

Using the Melbourne Cup Field Guide to Pick the Winner

Whichever Melbourne Cup field guide you use, it is sure to be filled with an abundance of statistical information to help you predict the winner of the race. Here are some of the most important factors to consider:

**Saddlecloth Number** – You will need to know the number of the horse so that you can place your bet.

**Barrier** – The barrier number that each horse will start in, usually presented as a number in brackets after the horse’s name.

**Weight** – The amount of weight each horse will carry. This may be listed after the barrier number or it could be given its own section, depending on the field guide. Look for a number less than 56 kg.

**Age and Sex** – Normally listed together, the age will typically read something like “7yo” and sex will be written either in full or abbreviated to the first letter. The sex terms used are Horse (full stallion 4 years or older), Colt (male of 3 years or less), Filly (female of 3 years or less), Mare (female of 4 years or older, or Gelding (castrated male horse). Traditionally, winner of the Melbourne cup tend to be 4 or 5 year old full horses or geldings.

**Pedigree** – The sire and dam of the horse. This can indicate how the horse will run, as stayers tend to produce stayers and sprinters tend to produce sprinters.

**Form/Last 6** – How each horse performed in its last six races.

**Career** – The number of career wins, seconds and thirds each horse has.

**Trainer** – This is very important. Horses that come from the top Australian trainers tend to win the Melbourne Cup. The most winners were trained by Bart Cummings, who had 12 wins from 1965 to 2009. In the modern era, Lee Freedman has the most winners, with 5 between 1989 and 2005.

**Jockey** – Look for jockeys who have taken the same horse they are riding to recent victories.

**Fast/Good/Slow/Heavy/Wet** –Track conditions for previous races for each contender. This is important when considering track conditions on the day of the Melbourne Cup.

**First Up** – Where each horse finished in their first race after a long break. This is less important for the Melbourne Cup because each horse will have raced many times in the weeks leading up to the Cup.

When it comes to predicting a winner of the Melbourne Cup, the more information you have, the better prepared you are to succeed. Use the information provided by the Melbourne Cup field guide as well as other information about each horse you can find online to improve your chances of winning.

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