The Lexus Melbourne Cup is the centerpiece race of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. The 3200m handicap race open to thoroughbreds three years or older is considered as the most prestigious race in Australia. With a prize money of $8M, it is the richest two-mile handicap horse race in the world and one of the richest races of turf.

It is organized by the Victoria Racing Club and held at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia. The event starts at 3 pm on the first Tuesday of November every year and because that day is an official public holiday in Victoria since 1877, the race is literally referred to as “the race that stops a nation”.

The 2019 Melbourne Cup will be on November 5, 2019. The gates of the Victoria Racing Club will open at 8:30 am ( AEST ), with the first race starting at 11:00 am and the last race happening at 5:20 pm. The 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup is Race #7 of 10 races and will be run at 3:00 pm AEST.

Hundreds of horses are nominated to the race each year but after balloting and handicapping, the list is trimmed down to the final field of 24 horses after the running of the Lexus Stakes on Derby Day. That’s because the Lexus Stakes decides the final spot in the Melbourne Cup field. The barrier draw takes place on Victoria Day.

Of the 24 horses in the field, only the Top 10 will receive cash prizes. With a pool of $8M, it will surely be a windfall for the winner who will also receive and 18k solid gold Hardy Brothers trophy worth an estimated $175K. With significant prizes awaiting the winner, the 2019 Melbourne Cup is indeed the most prestigious race in Australia.

Makybe Diva is the winningest horse in the Melbourne Cup, winning the race three years in a row from 2003-2005. When it comes to Jockeys, Bobby Lewis and Harry White each have four victories in the Melbourne Cup. Lewis won in 1902, 1915, 1919 and 1927 while White triumphed in 1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979. As for trainers, Bart Cummings is unparalleled with 12 wins in the race. Sheila Laxon is the first woman to train a winner, achieving the feat with Ethereal in 2001.

Last year, Cross Counter won the 2018 Melbourne Cup. He was ridden by Kerrin McEvoy and trained by Charlie Appleby. Marmelo placed second while A Prince of Arran finished in third place. This year, Cross Counter is the ante-post horse racing betting favorite to win again.

Here are the odds to win the 2019 Melbourne Cup. Odds were taken from as of 10/05/19:

Horse Odds
Cross Counter +1400
Mustajeer +1600
Marmelo +1600
Constantinople IRE +1600
Finch +1400
Avilius +2500
Steel Prince +2500
Ispolini +2500
Master of Reality +2500
Raymund Tusk +2500
Lys Gracieux +2500
Surprise Baby +2500
Prince of Arran GB +2500
Kew Gardens +3300
Shraaoh +3300
Southern France +2500
Raheen House +2500
Rostropovich +2000
Il Paradiso +3300
Gold Mount +3300
Mer De Glace +3300
Johannes Vermeer +3300
Yucatan IRE +3300

“Trophy" Who Are The Favorites?

Cross Counter is a 4-year old bay gelding owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie
Cross Counter is a 4-year old bay Gelding trained by Charlie Appleby and owned by Godolphin. Cross Counter was gelded after two minor wins and then returned in the summer of 2018. This horse won the G3 Gordon Stakes, was second in the G2 Great Voltigeur Stakes and finished 4th in the King George V Stakes. Then he finished 2018 by becoming the first British-trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup. This year, he won the Dubai Gold Cup G2 last March, finished 4th in the Ascot Gold Cup last June and 3rd in the Goldwood Cup, both G1 races. In his most recent start, he finished 4th in the Irish St. Leger last September 15th.

Mustajeer is a six-year-old Gelding owned by David Spratt and trained by Ger M. Lyons. This Great Britain-bred horse finished second in the Vintage Crop Stakes- G3 last April and third in the Tattersalls Gold Cup-G1 last May. After finished 5th in the Curragh Cup-G2, Mustajeer won his first race of the year by topping the 2019 Heritage Handicap at York Racecourse.

Marmelo is a 6-year old bay stallion owned by The Fairy Story Partnership and trained by Hughie Morris. He has won two out of his five starts this year, including his most recent one- the Prix Kergorlay last August 18th at the Deauville La Toques. Marmelo finished second behind Cross Counter in the 2018 Melbourne Cup.

Constantinople is a three-year-old colt owned by Michael B. Tabor, John “Susan” Magnier and Derrick Smith and trained by Aidan O’Brien. After winning the Gallinule Stakes-G3 last May at Curragh, he has finished second in three straight races including the most recent one, the G2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last August.

“Trophy" Who Wins?

As with the other horse races, the odds here are ante-post odds since the final field won’t be Like other horse races, the odds we have right now are ante-post odds since we won’t know the final field of this race until after the Lexus Stakes. Moreover, we aren’t sure if the horses in the current odds board are even going to run the race. Without the final field, we can’t pick a solid winner but when it comes to these ante-post odds, you have to like the current form displayed by the defending race winner, Cross Counter.

Cross Counter has been the favorite in the ante-post betting since July and he’s already proven that he’s in top shape with a win at the Dubai Gold Cup earlier this year. With Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector in his lineage, he has an excellent pedigree and last year, he was ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, who has two Melbourne Cup wins. One thing going against him though is that the Melbourne Cup has not seen a repeat winner since Makybe in 2005. Other than that, Cross Counter is a good ante-post bet. Prediction: Cross Counter

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