melbourne cup 2021, australia's biggest races

Welcome to our Melbourne Cup 2021 guide in a year that presents a very interesting puzzle for punters. We’re in unprecedented times due to COVID-19, which had already impacted the number of international horses traveling to Australia for the race that stops a nation. On top of this, the number of international raiders looks to have been further reduced by new equine safety measures introduced by Racing Victoria and the VRC to combat the race’s high fatality rate.

Melbourne Cup odds displayed are from Australia’s favourite bookmaker, TopSport (odds updated 1st November).

All runner comments are from professional punter Trevor Lawson, the man behind our Melbourne Ratings and Trev’s Bets memberships.

Melbourne Cup 2021: The Contenders
Incentivise: $2.80 with TopSport

Trev: I could mark it odds-on off it’s last figure. I’ve taken a bit off it and still have it favourite by a long way. I guess you could say the distance is a query as it’s never been to it before, but if it runs to what it did at Caulfield I don’t think anything gets near it.

Spanish Mission: $11 with TopSport

Trev: As an international horse I’m not personally familiar with it, though I’ve got the Timeform ratings and they’re strong. I go with the wisdom of the crowds on these, so have put it in at the market price.

Twilight Payment: $11 with TopSport

Trev: Won last year, of course, and get another 2.5kgs here. I can’t see it giving the favourite weight and beating it.

Floating Artist: $14 with TopSport

Trev: He’s had no luck at all over the past two runs. Definitely should’ve won last start in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup. Got a good chance here for mine.

Grand Promenade: $16 with TopSport

Trev: Comes out of the strongly-run Bart Cummings. He maps to roll forward here and get McEvoy, who has obviously had a lot of success in this race. I think he’s one of the chances.

Tralee Rose: $17 with TopSport

Trev: She’s racing well, and just held on to win the Geelong Cup. However I’m not sure that form is good enough for this. I’ve got her marked longer than the market.

Verry Elleegant: $18 with TopSport

Trev: She’s in a bit of a funny spot at the moment. She made good ground last year in the Cup off winning the Caulfield Cup. This year, however, this could be an afterthought? She hasn’t had a run 2400m this prep. She got the conditions to suit at the Valley and ran into third. Definitely under the odds for mine.

Great House: $20 with TopSport

Trev: He’s on the three-day back-up from winning the Hotham. I’ve got him a bit longer than the market… just a rough chance.

Delphi: $21 with TopSport

Trev: Failed in the Caulfield Cup where they probably shouldn’t have led. He returned a good figure the start before, winning the Herbert Power, and I think he can reproduce that here. I have him a bit longer than the market.

Pondus: $21 with TopSport

Trev: He put in a good effort in the Bart Cummings, on the speed and knocking. On face value, he was disappointing in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, when he was wide and hit the front on the corner. Maybe he can improve off that. I’ve got him a bit longer than the market.

Sir Lucan: $21 with TopSport

Trev: Another import, he has okay Timeform ratings for the weight he’s carrying. Those ratings say he’ll produce about what the market says he will.

Persan: $26 with TopSport

Trev: He returned to his best last start in running third in the Caulfield Cup. But he still wasn’t close to Incentivise and I’m not sure he has another level in him. Probably under the odds.

Explosive Jack: $41 with TopSport

Trev: He was good in the Turnbull and was making ground, but then was just awful in the Caulfield Cup. I can’t get him near the market price. He’d need to improve dramatically from the Turnbull, and I’m not sure he can.

The Chosen One: $41 with TopSport

Trev: He’s another one who failed in the Caulfield Cup, but that’s possibly a forgive due to the wet track. I’ve put him back to his previous figure and got him around where the market does.

And the rest? For mine, they’re largely roadblocks…

Melbourne Cup 2021 will be the 161st running of the great race. Look back over the history of The Race That Stops A Nation with our 8 Unforgettable Melbourne Cup moments.

Punt like a pro with Trevor Lawson’s Melbourne Ratings.

As well as a full set of rated prices, speed maps and suggested bets, you can spend each and every raceday with a pro punter: the Melbourne Ratings Live Page gives you direct access to Trev himself to ask whatever you like.

If you're keen to win, it’s the only way to punt.

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