The most striking trend that jumps out of the dataset of past winners is simple: age matters. In the 157 previous races, only 13 horses aged 7 years and above have ever taken home the trophy.


In short, history suggests that the Melbourne Cup really is a race that favours younger horses with 3 yr. old’s and 5 yr. old’s each claiming 27% of winners respectively.


The weight of history suggests since metric weights were first assigned in 1972, the average handicap of a winning horse has been between 54kg and 54kg.


No barriers to success  overwhelmingly supports the fact a horses barrier draw is statistically indistinguishable from a purely random draw.


Can we draw any comfort from a horses number? The number on each horse’s saddlecloth gives a huge clue as to whether or not it’s a probable contender. In fact, the history books show that 65% of champions have worn a number between 1 and 12. That said there’s only ever 24 starters (assuming no late minute scratching’s) so best of luck with that little gem.


Lastly let’s talk colour. Bays are way out in front while black is at the opposite end of the list.


As far as I’m concerned, provided you get some time off work (if you’re not on a public holiday in Victoria) a good feed and a few cold drinks on Tuesday afternoon, then whichever horse’s name is on your ticket, or sweep, you really can’t complain. Best of luck to you all for the big race.

Courtesy Stephen Woodcock – UTS