Melbourne Cup Futures Betting Preview – June 2022

The world’s finest stayers will head to Flemington to compete for glory in the $8 million Melbourne Cup on 1 November.

Hundreds of millions of punters from across the globe will watch on as the runners slug it out over 3200m in the most prestigious race of the year. We have already released futures betting odds on the race that stops a nation, and there are some intriguing names in the mix.

You will receive a refund on your futures bet if a horse is not nominated, so it provides a great opportunity to gain some early value on the Melbourne Cup. A lot will change between now and the start of November, but getting your bets in early allows you to claim enticing fixed win and fixed place odds on high-quality stayers that you expect to flourish in the race.

These are the leading early contenders for the 2022 Melbourne Cup:



The Peter Moody-trained Incentivise was the heavily backed $2.90 favourite for the 2021 Melbourne Cup after his dominant win in the Caulfield Cup. However, he ultimately could not keep up with runaway winner Verry Elleegant, finishing a distant second in the big race.

Incentivise has not raced since then, but we all know what he is capable of. He has nine wins and a second-place finish from 13 career starts, and he secured three consecutive Group 1 victories last year, seizing the Makybe Diva Stakes, the Turnbull Stakes and the Caulfield Cup.

He has already earned more than $5.7 million in his stellar career, and he should be formidable once again when he returns to action in 2022. “He’s still a bit battle-weary,” said Moody after the last Melbourne Cup. “He did himself extremely proud and we are extremely proud of him. He got beat by an absolute champion.”

Verry Elleegant does not feature in the early futures betting on the 2022 Melbourne Cup, leaving Incentivise as the 12.00 favourite. You can also claim fixed-odds of 3.60 on him to place.



Duais announced herself as a superstar in the making when she won the Group 1 Australian Cup and the Group 1 Tancred Stakes in the autumn. The four-year-old mare was disappointing in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes on his last start, but she has shown serious potential.

Her best performance came over 2400m in the Tancred Stakes. Duais looks like she would relish a longer distance. There are still question marks after she finished 16th in the Caulfield Cup last year, nowhere close to Incentivise, but she has been on an upward curve.

She finished runner-up in the Group 1 Australian Oaks in 2022, before enjoying a superb autumn carnival. If she maintains that upward trajectory, she could be dangerous, so we make her the 14.00 joint second favourite in the Melbourne Cup futures, with 4.00 on the fixed place.


Stay Foolish

High-class globetrotter Stay Foolish could take part in the 2022 Melbourne Cup. The Japanese stayer finished more than four lengths clear of Sonnyboylisten to win the Group 3 Longines Red Sea Cup in Saudi Arabia in February, followed by a narrow victory over Manobo in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup in March.

Trainer Yoshito Yahagi had a taste of success in Australia when Lys Gracieux won the Cox Plate, but now he wants to go one better. “The Cox Plate with Lys Gracieux was amazing but a Melbourne Cup would mean even more — nothing would mean more to me in racing anywhere in the world,” Yahagi said. “My aim is a Melbourne Cup, that is the one race in the world that I want to win. I hope Stay Foolish heads to the Cup, but it is not decided yet.”

Stay Foolish is level with Duais at 14.00 in the Melbourne Cup betting, with 4.00 on the fixed place too.


Spanish Mission

UK raider Spanish Mission finished half a length behind Incentivise to claim third place in the Melbourne Cup last year. It followed a strong season in Europe, which saw him win the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup Stakes and place in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup and the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup Stakes.

Trainer Andrew Balding said that watching Spanish Mission’s performance was “a real thrill” for his team. He was the only British trainer represented at last year’s Cup, while Joseph O’Brien was the only Irish trainer to get involved, as new, enhanced veterinary procedures dissuaded others from making the journey.

That suggests Balding would be happy to send Spanish Mission back to Melbourne. His preparation for last year’s race was far from ideal, as muscle spasms caused him to miss the Caulfield Cup, so he could be even stronger this year, and we have him at 15.00 in the fixed win market. International runners in the 2022 Melbourne Cup will no longer be subjected to blanket requirements for scintigraphy scans, so we could see a stronger contingent of raiders taking part.



David Payne’s four-year-old mare beat Verry Elleegant to win the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill in March. That is a 2000m race, so she will obviously need to prove her worth over a significantly longer distance, but it was certainly an impressive performance.

Verry Elleegant was the shortest priced favourite beaten in a Group 1 race this century, as she went off at just $1.24, but Montefilia put two lengths on her. Trainer Chris Waller admitted that Verry Elleegant “just got beaten by the better horse on the day.” He added: “She just got away from us on the turn and was too strong.”

Montefilia followed it up with a disappointing performance in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in April, finishing eighth of nine runners, behind Verry Elleegant and Duais. However, the ground was very heavy for that race, so that should not count against her. It will be interesting to see how she develops, and she is currently 19.00 for the Melbourne Cup.



Kyprios could be one of the main attractions at the 2022 Melbourne Cup if Irish maestro Aidan O’Brien decides to compete this year. The lightly raced four-year-old began the Irish flat season with an eye-catching victory in the Lister Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan. It was his first start since suffering an injury in the stalls ahead of last year’s Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.

He went off as the $1.10 for the Group 3 Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes at Leopardstown in May, and he justified that status by destroying the field. Both of those wins came over a mile and three-quarters, so he should have no problem handling the 3200m test at the Melbourne Cup if he enters. 

Kyprios is now the joint favourite for the Ascot Gold Cup, and it will be fascinating to see how he fares against superstar duo Trueshan and Stradivarius. We have him priced at 21.00 to win the Melbourne Cup and 5.00 to place.



Manobo is another potential raider that could generate hype in the build-up to the Melbourne Cup. The four-year-old gelding comes from the Godolphin stable and is trained by Charlie Appleby in the UK.

He was unbeaten in 2021, which culminated in him winning the Group 2 Qatar Grand Prix Chaudeny at Paris Longchamp. Manobo returned to action at Meydan in March, where he won the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy. He then finished second behind Stay Foolish in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup in April, losing out by just half a length in the 2-mile race.

This lightly-race gelding is going from strength-to-strength, and he could blossom by the time the Melbourne Cup rolls around. He is also 21.00 in the futures market.



The champion British thoroughbred stormed to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in the United States last year. He was matched against older horses for the first time and went off at 8.50 against leading lights such as Tarnawa, Teona, Japan and Broome. He delivered a powerful finish to the race and ended up beating Broome by half a length.

It followed a victory in the US$1 million Jockey Club Derby Invitational Stakes, while he also won the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes and the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy in the UK.

Yibir’s four-year-old season began with a narrow defeat to Shahryar in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic, which has prize money of US$6 million. He went off as the $4.50 favourite. Ybir rallied from the rear of the field, and only finished a neck behind the winner.

A couple of underwhelming performances have followed, including a runner-up finish in the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes in the UK and a third-place finish in the Group 1 Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont Park in New York, but he is clearly a classy stayer.

We have him priced at 21.00 to win the Melbourne Cup and 5.00 to place, leaving him level with Kyprios and Manobo in the futures betting. Five runners – Knights Order, Point Nepean, Profondo, Sonnyboylisten and Trueshan – are all 26.00 to win the race, and you can find prices on dozens of other potential candidates in the Melbourne Cup futures.