In Gaming - General by Clyde Mooney

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The prophetic Melbourne Cup Max – former publican and esteemed 15-Club member – has some tips for PubTIC readers on getting the most out of the big day.


Put the odds on your side today for Melbourne Cup.

Most people think you can only bet on the Melbourne Cup in the few days leading up to the race, but that is incorrect. Not only can you bet on The Cup today, you can ‘win’ on it today.

Let me give you an example. TAB and other online bookmakers, like SportsBet, Ladbrokes, Crown Bet and William Hill all have markets for the Melbourne Cup. You will find it on their websites, usually under the heading of “Futures”.

In the Futures market odds are longer, thus offering the chance of higher payouts – but there is a risk factor. The horse you select may not make the final field; it could get injured, its form might go off and the owners and/or trainers may choose not to continue, and usually there is a ballot for the last few places, and your horse may get balloted out. These are the negatives.

Now for the positives. You usually get much better odds betting on the Futures market. Because the prices are longer, you might choose to bet on a number of horses. Using ‘bookmaker terminology’ you can ‘lay your bet off’ so as your gamble costs you nothing. That’s what I call ‘winning’. So you could have one or more horses running in the Cup for you for absolutely no outlay.

My Dad (who was a bookmaker in the north-western country town of Moree) used to say “Son, showing is better than telling”. To demystify what I mean, here are some examples.


You may have a favourite horse who has been nominated for the Melbourne Cup – call it, say WhoShotTheBarman. This horse is tried and tested over the 3200 metres. He ran 3rd in the 2014 Melbourne Cup. In April this year, he ran 2nd in the Sydney Cup over 3200 metres. I expect him to be in the final Melbourne Cup field, providing he doesn’t break down between now and 7 November. WhoShotTheBarman is currently quoted at $67.00 with Crown bet. You put a $5.00 bet on him at $67, which means you collect $335.00 if he wins.

But around Cup time, WhoShotTheBarman is half that price, let’s say $30. A bet with the TAB or bookmaker would show a $130 collect for the $5.00 bet.

You then find a friend, colleague or stranger who wants to back WhoShotTheBarman. You offer them $35.00 on the $5 bet – which is higher than the posted odds, offering them the chance to win $175. Now you have no outlay, but you still hold a bet that may collect $337.00. If the horse wins, you would have to pay $175.00 to the other person, leaving you with $160.00 – for no outlay. That’s clever betting.

The current order of Melbourne Cup favouritism with is Almandin $6.00; Hartnell $17.00; Admire Deus $15.00; Humidor $13.00; Red Cardinal $17.00. Tiberian $21.00.

If these horses are all in the field on Melbourne on current form I would expect all of them to be under $10.00 odds. If you usually spend $20 betting on the Melbourne Cup, why not put $2.00 on each of these six horses now.


My Dad taught me Intelligent gambling is when you endeavour to put the odds on your side, which is exactly what both of these above examples do.

Max Hitchins


‘Melbourne Cup Max’ is the world’s foremost authority on the Australia’s famous horse race. His system for picking the winner has worked for 25 of the last 29 Cups.

Max Hitchins produces an e-book titled ‘Pick the Cup Winner’ each year.

Max Hitchins