2 November 2015: Melbourne Cup 2015 is almost upon us and as the race that stops a nation approaches, punters across Australia are on the hunt for that winning tip, perfect formula or simply banking on superstition to help them cash in. With that in mind, Oddschecker, the online betting comparison service, has looked beyond the form guides to reveal what patterns and statistical quirks can be drawn from past Melbourne Cups to help guide hopeful Aussies this year.

Amongst Oddschecker’s insights, those that don’t believe in simple coincidence will be interested to learn that the last time the Wallabies reached the Rugby World Cup final, Hawthorn were AFL premiers and a new Prime Minister moved into office in the same year was in 1991. That year also saw a New Zealand thoroughbred, Let’s Elope, take out the Melbourne Cup wearing number 15, suggesting some possible omens to look out for this year.

For those guided by the calendar, this year’s Melbourne Cup date of 3rd November has occurred at just one other time since the turn of the century. On 3rd November 2009, Shocking, an Aussie foaled and Aussie-jockeyed horse wearing the number 21 and starting from barrier 21, stormed to victory, so this combination could perhaps hold the key again in 2015.

"With a large field of contenders and so many factors to take into account, picking a Melbourne Cup winner can be confusing for casual punters," said Adrian Molloy, Country Manager, Australia at Oddschecker. "Armed with our insights, punters can make their decisions for the big day, then visit Oddschecker to compare live odds from over 20 different bookmakers."

Oddschecker data and research on past Melbourne Cup winners has thrown up a number of other quirky insights that could give punters the edge on Tuesday, including:

• What’s in a name: Horses with seven-letter names have chalked up most victories in Cup history (32), well ahead of those with eight letters (the next most successful on 22). Look for horse names beginning with T (16 wins) or P (13 wins), as horses beginning with these letters have proved the most successful. No horse beginning with I, Q, U, X or Y has ever won.

• Aussie, Aussie, Aussie: Amongst the truly international field, stats suggest that Aussie dream teams are still the perfect combination for the Cup. All-Australian jockey, trainer and owner teams have triumphed 10 times since the year 2000.

• Taking the heat: However, race day temperature could be key. In the last decade, Melbourne Cup temperatures have risen above 25°C three times, and on each an Australian jockey has won. On the flip side, the three times the mercury has dropped below 16°C, overseas jockeys have triumphed.

• The curse of #18: For the superstitious, the barrier draw can make or break the final punt. Since the barrier draw was introduced in 1924 no horse starting from barrier 18 has won. That’s compared to barriers 9-11, which have produced five winners in the last fifteen years.

• Aged like a fine wine: Although historically, horses that are four and five years old have had most successes, eight six-year-old horses have won the Cup in the last 15 years.

• Blue is the colour: Since 2000, jockeys donning blue silks have won more often than any other colour (a total of 11 in 15 years). By contrast, green and orange have won just once.

• Check the pattern: Don’t just go with a pattern that appeases, recent history shows that jockeys wearing a checked design have a better chance of finishing first at the Melbourne Cup.

However they end up choosing their horse, Oddschecker is urging Aussies to make sure they’re getting the best odds available.

"Last year’s winner, Protectionist, was priced as low as 7.00 and as high as 12.00 with different bookmakers shortly before the race, a difference in returns of $250 from a $50 stake," said Molloy. "In fact, if you had placed $50 on every Melbourne Cup winner since 2000, you would have won $7,250 more by taking the best odds every time compared to the worst odds."

Fame Game - 1pt @ 5.0