Questions, Queries and Quandaries re the 2020 Melbourne Cup (The Covid Cup)

Covid-19 has made 2020 a wild and wacky year.

Below is 'what is happening' at Melbourne Cup time.

Q. Will the Melbourne Cup be run in 2020?

A. Yes. Since 1861 (almost 160 years) through wars, depressions, pandemics and pestilence the Melbourne Cup has always been held. The VRC are definitely committed to staging the 2020 Melbourne Cup.


Q. Will "How to Pick The Winner of the 2020 Melbourne Cup" and "Trifecta Thoughts" be available this year?

A. Yes. Click here to order you copies.

Q. If I order "How to Pick The Winner of the 2020 Melbourne Cup" when will I receive the eBook?

A. Three days after the running of the Caulfield Cup (17th of October).

Q. If I order Trifecta Thoughts when will I receive it?

A. You will be able to download it immediately.

Q. Will Sydney jockeys be allowed to ride in the 2020 Melbourne Cup?

A. The floodgates were opened for Sydney jockeys to ride in Melbourne during the Spring Carnival. On Friday 26th of December, Racing Victoria made the major move to allow interstate jockeys to ride in Victoria provided they travelled by road, preferably by themselves. They are then required to complete five days of isolation in Victoria and present for a COVID-19 test on the sixth day, then being allowed to ride if the COVID test returned negative.

Q. Will there be anyone in the stands at Flemington on Cup Day?

A. Don't know at the moment (late July). Race meetings are proceeding as scheduled at this time under strict bio-security and social distancing measures. Access is restricted to essential participants only and the racecourse closed to spectators. Watch this space. Update: 29/8/20: A. As of the end of August...nobody knows. Update Septenber: This article gives the thinking at this time. Update: 7/9/20: Following Daniel Andrews’ road map to COVID normal there will be no owners or crowds allowed at this years Spring Carnival in Melbourne. Daniel Andrews announced the road map for Metropolitan Melbourne on Sunday which limits any crowds at racecourses in Melbourne until the end of November meaning this years Spring Carnival will not have owners or any crowds on course for any of the feature meetings.

Q. Will there be any international horses in the 2020 Melbourne Cup?

A. There are already a lot of international horses already here. Eg: There were 14 horses in the Sydney Cup (11/4/20), Of these, only one Australian bred horse. The VRC are certainly trying to encourage internationals to attend. Again, watch this space. Update: 27/08/20: Racing Victoria advised on the 27/8/20 they had received 174 nominations for the Melbourne Cup. This was 22 up on 2019 numbers. Of the 174 there were 30 international entries for the Melbourne Cup.

Q. Are the bookmakers currently betting in the 2020 Melbourne Cup?

A. Yes. The Futures betting markets are operating. But If you are going to have a 'Futures Bet' I suggest you do so with an on-line bookmaker who displays a (Pre-Nom) market. This means if your horse is not in the first nominations, published by the VRC in late August, then your money will be returned. After that date betting become 'All In'. This means if you bet on a horse between then and Cup Day (3rd of November) and your horse does not start in the Cup, you lose your money. TAB, SportsBet and Bet 365 definitely offer Pre-Nom betting.

Q. Will the TAB, Pubs and Clubs be open on Cup Day for betting?

A. Whilst TAB, Pubs and Clubs were closed between March and June. They are currently open in late July.

Q.How much will the winning horses win in the 2020 Melbourne Cup?

A. The first 12 past the post receive prize money, with the winner being paid $4.4 million, second $1.1 million, third $550,000, fourth $350,000, fifth $230,000, with sixth through to twelve place earning $160,000.

Q. What are the four most favoured horses to win 2020 Melbourne Cup horses in late September?

A. TAB currently has Russian Camelot @ $9.00; Surprise Baby @ $8; Tiger Moth @13 Ashrun in their Melbourne Cup Futures Market.

Q. What are the key dates for the 2020 Melbourne Cup?


Nominations Thursday, August 27, 2020
Late Nominations Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Weights Tuesday, September 8, 2020
First Declaration Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Second Declaration Monday, October 26, 2020
Final Field Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 6.30pm
Barrier Draw Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 7pm
Melbourne Cup Race Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 3pm Race 7

Q. What TV stations will be broadcasting the 2020 Melbourne Cup?

A. In 2019 the Melbourne Cup Carnival was broadcast on Channel 10 after they won the rights from Channel 7. They will be broadcasting the Cup again in 2020. Sky Racing will also cover the Cup.

Q. What is MelbourneCupMax's success rate on the Melbourne Cup?

A. My Melbourne Cup system has now been successful for 26 out of the last 32 years. (Click here to download details of my system for FREE).

2019 was my best ever Melbourne Cup prognosis. Here is why:

Vow and Declare won the 2019 Melbourne Cup. Howeve, It was controversial race as (initially) Master Of Reality was 2nd and Prince of Arran was 3rd. IlParidiso was 4th across the line. But the stewards protested against the result and found found jockey Frankie Dettori guilty of blocking stablemate Il Paradiso in the run to the line in the Melbourne Cup. The protest was upheld and Racing Victoria announced, after the stewards meeting, that Master of Reality had officially been relegated to finish fourth, while third-place finisher Prince of Arran was promoted to second and Il Paradiso officially finished third.

Both Dettori and Il Paradiso's jockey Wayne Lordan refused to give evidence that would result in Master of Reality being penalised. Lordan insisted during the hearing his horse wasn't impeded, but it wasn't enough to save Dettori. "I didn’t have to stop riding," Lordan said of the contact from Master of Reality. "It was very close at the line. I didn’t know how much of a difference it made. We have got tight, but I honestly don’t know how much of a difference it made. My horse didn’t back out of it. He’s a very tough horse and he kept running through it." Dettori said Il Paradiso still had room to move. "He was going left. I put both hands on the rein and straightened him up. They had plenty of room to move through," Dettori said. The protest has cost the connections of Master of Reality $750,000, dropping the ownership group's prize-money from the $1.1m prize for second-place to the $350,000 prize for fourth.

Note: After looking at all the pre-Melbourne Cup daily papers in Australia, I proudly tell I was the only 'media tipster' to select a $26 outsider as his #1 selection to win the 2019 Melbourne Cup. I invite you to watch the race again and see Master Of Reality miss winning by the 'smallest' of margins. As for Master Of Reality being relegated to 4th place, it is hard to accept when both of the jockeys believed there was sufficient room for Il Paradiso to win the race had he been good enough. Ummmmm. As they say "That's racing!"

Click here to watch the 2019 Melbourne Cup: (...and you be the judge)

After the 2019 Melbourne Cup, Peter Thorpe from Randwick wrote to me saying: “When I saw your selections for the Melbourne Cup I thought maybe you had been out in the sun too long! You were the only person I could see in all the Sydney media that picked Master of Reality as the horse you thought would win the Melbourne Cup”.

"I thought – how can this be? Either Max is an absolute genius or he’s finally lost the plot. And at the 26 - 1 price I secured, I thought you had really stuck your neck out this time. Most of the racing pundits tend to play it safe and stick to the favourites."

“Anyway, I had a small each way bet – just in case. I was totally amazed when they rounded the turn and Master of Reality actually looked like it would win the race! And it almost did – being just pipped at the post to run second. It was still paying really well for a place so I was delighted. It was unfortunate the protest was upheld and it was eventually relegated to second. That was disappointing but there was no doubt about the fact that you were totally on the money. There would have been some red faces if it had won, I’m sure but in the end – that’s punting. Congratulations on your gutsy call. I’ll certainly be backing up next for your insider’s tips in 2020”.