The Roar
The Roar


Melbourne Cup 2017: Exotic bet help – quinellas, trifectas, first fours and more!

Jockey Damian Lane on Humidor wins in race 7, the Makybe Diva Stakes, on Makybe Diva Stakes Day at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Saturday, September 16, 2017. (AAP Image/Mal Fairclough)
6th November, 2017

Everyone remembers those Melbourne Cups where they picked the horse that ran first past the post, but the punters that manage to predict the top two, top three, or the top four horses win seriously big. We’re here to help with this fiendishly difficult task!

More 2017 Melbourne Cup
» Race report: Rekindling wins
» Who came last
» Complete finishing order
» Watch video highlights replay
» Re-live the race with our live blog
» Regal Monarch’s horror fall
» Winning trifecta and quinella
» Winning exact and first four

Betting win, place or each way, is what we all know. If you like any of the Aussie horses, like Humidor, he’s about $11 to win and around $4.5 to place. That means a $10 bet won’t win you much more than $100. It’s good. It’s fine, but it’s not big money.

If you want your $10 to go a lot further on a much harder, riskier bet, it’s worth looking at exotic bets.

Remember, they’re risky!

These include Quinellas (first two horses in any order), Exactas (first two horses in exact order), Trifectas (first three horses) and First Fours (first four horses in any order). Just like on any race, punters pool their money into the giant Melbourne Cup pools and the winners all take a slice of the collected money, minus a cut to the tote. It’s what makes the famous old tote great.

If there’s a crazy upset in the race, these pools with millions in them can pay big time.

The NSW dividends on exotics on the 2015 Melbourne Cup, with Prinze of Penzance winning at $101, were:

Quinella – $910.60
Exacta – $2,050.70
Trifecta – $26,045
First Four – $185,975


This means that your little $10 bet could’ve earned a slice of $185,975 if you picked the top four. Of course, you don’t have to pick them in exact order. ‘Boxing’, as it is known, allows you to pick horses to finish in any order, although this naturally generates more combinations.

More combinations are expensive though. Your $10 gets spread out among dozens or even hundreds of potential combinations the more horses you include. Still, just a 1 per cent slice of nearly $186k would’ve been a nice pay day back two years.

A helping hand with your Melbourne Cup exotics

Take a step back for a second – it’s very, very hard to win the Melbourne Cup, let along pick an exotic bet. With 24 (or 23) horses trying to win it creates mayhem and while we do our best, even horses can have good days or bad days.

But we can only go on what we know. My extensive Melbourne Cup 2017 preview fills in many of the blanks and tells you the good and the bad for each runner. But surprises happen in every Cup.

My opinion of the race is that the speed will be at least normal to fast. I’m learning towards a good pace, although not breakneck.

There should be enough in the race for Almandin (2), Marmelo (5), and Wall Of Fire (20), to be in the finish as the main tips, and I’m relying on them in the quinellas and exactas. I also can’t ignore the class of Humidor (3), who is like Hartnell last year.

In the wider exotics, I’m really warming more and more to French roughie Tiberian (4) on the expected hard track, and the runners we’ve seen here including Caulfield Cup winner Boom Time (15), and runner-up Single Gaze (19), so we have to include these in Trifectas and First Fours.


My numbers for you to consider if you’re down at the tote – and just remember, this isn’t easy! We did get a result last year but it’s a rare thing.

2, 3, 4, 5, 20

Trifecta/First Four:
2, 3, 4, 5, 15, 19, 20

Best of luck and let us know your numbers below.

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