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Fri 03/11/2023 - 06:58 EDT

Added ground suits Soulcombe well for the 2023 Melbourne Cup

The Grade 1, AUS$8.41 million Melbourne Cup happens Tuesday, November 7. It’s one of the greatest traditions in horse racing: the race that stops a nation! With a field of up to 24 horses going two miles on the grass at Flemington, it is one of the most exciting races of the year and one of the most lucrative horse race betting opportunities of the year as well.

Soulcombe To win the Melbourne Cup

If you’re betting from North America, make sure to set your clock. The race happens on Tuesday afternoon Australian time, but that means it happens Monday night in North America: 11:00 p.m. Eastern time, 8:00 p.m. Pacific time. With so many horses in the field and such a strong betting market, it is worth making sure you get your wagers in on time!

Keep reading to find out the best horses to bet in the 2023 edition of the Melbourne Cup, as well as the best online sportsbooks for playing the Melbourne Cup online!

Betting the Melbourne Cup Online

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Melbourne Cup Contenders

These are the early declarants for the 2023 Melbourne Cup in order of priority, including trainers, jockeys (if announced), and weight assignments:

  1. Without a Fight (Anthony and Sam Freedman/Mark Zahra) - 56.5kg
  2. Absurde (Willie Mullins/Zac Purton) - 53kg
  3. Future History (Ciaron Maher and David Eustace/Hollie Doyle) - 50kg
  4. Gold Trip (Ciaron Maher and David Eustace/James McDonald) - 58.5kg
  5. Alenquer (Michael Moroney/Damien Oliver) - 56.5kg
  6. Breakup (Tatsuya Yoshioka/Kohei Matsuyama) - 55kg
  7. Vauban (Willie Mullins/Ryan Moore) - 55kg
  8. Soulcombe (Chris Waller/Joao Moreira) - 53.5kg
  9. Vow and Declare (Danny O’Brien/Billy Egan) - 53kg
  10. Right You Are (Ciaron Maher and David Eustace/John Allen) - 53kg
  11. Magical Lagoon (Chris Waller/Beau Mertens) - 51kg
  12. Virtuous Circle (Liam Howley/TBA) - 51kg
  13. Lastotchka (Mick Price and Michael Kent, Jr./Craig Williams) - 51kg
  14. Cleveland (Kris Lees/Michael Dee) - 52kg
  15. Sheraz (Chris Waller/TBA) - 51.5kg
  16. Daqiansweet Junior (Philip Stokes/Daniel Stakhouse) - 51.5kg
  17. Valiant King (Joseph O’Brien/Zac Lloyd) - 50kg
  18. Ashrun (Ciaron Maher and David Eustace/Kerrin McEvoy) - 51.5kg
  19. Okita Soushi (Joseph O’Brien/Dylan Gibbons) - 51.5kg
  20. Military Mission (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott/Rachel King) - 51kg
  21. Serpentine (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott/Jye McNeil) - 51kg
  22. More Felons (Chris Waller/Jamie Kah) - 50.5kg
  23. True Marvel (Matthew Smith/Ben Thompson) - 50kg
  24. Interpretation (Ciaron Maher and David Eustace/TBA) - 50kg
  25. Ladies Man (Allan Sharrock/Dean Yendall) - 50kg
  26. Athabascan (John O’Shea/TBA) - 50kg
  27. United Nations (Ciaron Maher and David Eustace/TBA) - 50kg
  28. Kalapour (Kris Lees/TBA) - 50kg

The final field for the Melbourne Cup will be drawn on Saturday, November 4. Once that happens, post positions will be drawn for the race and jockey assignments will be finalized.

As the race draws closer, make sure to watch your online sportsbook of choice for Melbourne Cup odds. Betting the Melbourne Cup online is better than playing at the track because they let you lock in the best price just by placing a bet. Then, you can watch the race with full confidence that you get the best odds when your horse wins.

These are the Melbourne Cup odds at the top of the market:

Without a FightTBATBATBA

Melbourne Cup Best Bet

Soulcombe is the best bet in the Melbourne Cup. He tries two miles for the first time, but all signs point to him taking to it. He was only seventh in the Caulfield Cup (G1), but can move up in his second Australian race, and he has strong form over 1 ⅝ and 1 ¾ miles in the UK. His weight assignment of 53.5kg is also lower than many of the leading contenders, another plus.

Soulcombe To win the Melbourne Cup

Melbourne Cup Favorites

Vauban is the buzz horse heading into the 2023 Melbourne Cup. Trained by Willie Mullins, a top Irish conditioner of stayers, he has yet to race in Australia but reports from his morning training have been excellent. He carries a two-win streak to Melbourne and his back form over two miles suggests he will be even more effective over this longer trip.

The Caulfield Cup (G1) winner often goes well in the Melbourne Cup, and Without a Fight could continue that trend. He may get ignored a little since he was only 13th in the Melbourne Cup last year, but he has back staying form in the UK that suggests he can do better, especially since he comes into this year’s edition in even sharper form.

Gold Trip has already proven himself in the Melbourne Cup, as he won the race last year. He may go off a bit overbet because of that, but he still has every chance to find the frame. He won the Turnbull (G1) three back, and held his form with credible runs in the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate (G1) since. If this race was the goal all along, he could pop again.

Melbourne Cup Long Shots

Willie Mullins isn’t the only top Irish shipper in town. Joseph O’Brien has won this race twice already. He runs two, with the better of them being Valiant King. He was sixth behind Without a Fight in the Caulfield Cup, his first Aussie start. Valiant King will be a big price since he doesn’t have quite the same class as O’Brien’s previous winners, but he carries only 50kg,has shown enough at 1 ½ miles, and has the potential to move forward second-up.


More Felons is another horse who used to run in the UK (under the name Scriptwriter), and makes his second start down under. He was hurdling for a while, but switched effectively to the flat with a second-place run in a 1 ¾-mile Group 3 at York before being privately purchased and relocated to Australia. He missed by only ½ length in the Geelong Cup (G3), a solid Melbourne Cup prep, and may be on the rise at a big price.

Free Melbourne Cup Bets

Your betting account is ready, and you know the major contenders in the Melbourne Cup. Now, it’s time for the best part of all: betting the 2023 Melbourne Cup!

These are the expert-recommended best bets for the Melbourne Cup:

  • $20 to win - Soulcombe
  • $1 exacta key - Soulcombe with Vauban, Without a Fight, Valiant King
  • $0.50 trifecta key - Soulcombe with Vauban, Without a Fight, Valiant King, More Felons
  • $0.20 superfecta key - Soulcombe with Vauban, Without a Fight, Valiant King, More Felons, Gold Trip
Soulcombe To win the Melbourne Cup