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Comment: We've crunched the historic stats and one horse stands above all others for the 2016 Melbourne Cup

Business Insider Australia logo Business Insider Australia 1/11/2016 Greg McKenna
Bondi Beach is galloped at Werribee racecourse. © AAP Image/Julian Smith Bondi Beach is galloped at Werribee racecourse.

The horses are on the track, Melbournites are readying themselves for a bitterly cold day with the chance of hail, and I'm back with my fourth preview of who's the best chance according to the stats to win today's big race. 

After fluking the winners in 2013 and 2014, 2015's winner Prince of Penzance brought me back to earth. But two from three ain't bad and the good news is this year's winner picks itself as a standout on the metrics we've been using over the past years.

But more about that later.

Let's look at what the stats for Melbourne Cup winners since Archer, all the way back in 1861 about who is the most likely winner.

We aren't looking directly at recent form or even pedigree. Whether a horse is bred to stay or not doesn't come into this equation. Rather, if they're in the Cup then they are viewed as good enough.

So what do the metrics say?

Ever since I was scarred as a kid when 4-year-old Dulcify broke down in the 1979 Cup won by the great Hyperno (who my dad backed for me) I've felt that 4-year-olds were too young to win the Cup.

But the stats say otherwise with 27% of all winners since Archer have been four years of age. That number has fallen to 22% over the past 40 years but it's still more than I thought.

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That means I can't rule out my natural favourite Jameka - the sole Australian-bred runner - who is part-owned by a McKenna (no relation). But she's a mare which doesn't help here chances - unless she's the next Lets Elope of course.

Most winners come from the 4 to 6-year-old age group which makes up 11 of the runners in today's race.

The top weight Big Orange is 6, while other short priced runners Bondi Beach, Exospheric, and the favourite Hartnell are also the right age.

There have been no 9-year-old winners so Curren Mirotic is just too old while 8-year-olds have only greeted the judges first on two occasions since Archer and no time in the last 40 years.

So for all his strengths Who Shot Thebarman looks too old as does Wicklow Brave. The seven-year-olds look a little past it as well with just 4 winners in the past 40 years - is there a Vintage Crop in this field of 7-year-olds.

Maybe Our Ivanhowe has a shot? Nice barrier too.

Now colour shouldn't matter, unless you're grey of course which rules out Grey Lion. But the statistics say the most common winner is a bay. That's also the most common colour in this year's Cup by, well, the length of the Flemington straight - with 18 runners.

But it's worth noting Big Orange, Our Ivanhoe, Bondi Beach Hartnell, and Jameka are all bays.

You'd bet type of horse might be more important than colour. On that front the odds are again stacked against Jameka with only 13 mares winning in the history of the Cup. But again Let's Elope and Makybe Diva were two of them.

Normally it's a horse or a gelding with a combined 118 victories between them. Horses shade geldings with 68 to 50 wins but the 2016 field is chock-a-block with geldings giving them a chance to even up the odds on just the six horses in the field.

But if we build on age, colour, and type of horse we start to see Bondi Beach and Exospheric take the lead with Hartnell and Big Orange close behind.

Now we are getting serious and surely the order of entry and barrier play a bug role in who is going to win.

Order of entry tells us what the handicapper thinks of the quality of the horse. Unfortunately for the top weights like Big Orange and Our Ivanhowe it also means they are carrying 57 kilos.

Only the great Gold and Black in 1977 has carried 57 kilos and won over the past 40 years and only Protectionist with 56.5 kilos when he won in 2014 has carried close to that weight in the past 20 years.

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But the stats show numbers 4, 12, 1, 6, 5, and 8 are the highest frequency winners - in that order.

That's Bondi Beach, Jameka, Big Orange, Hartnel, and Exospheric again. We've already ruled out Wicklow Brave as too old.

So now its down to the barrier and the stats tell us that the most successful barrier is barrier 5 with 8 winners. Number 18 is yet to salute the judges so that's another cross against the ancient Curren Mirotic.

Also successful are barriers 10, 11, and 14 with a special mention for barriers 1, 6, 8, and 19 which was Prince of Penznace's barrier when he won the 2015 cup.

Barrier 10 is Secret Number who we haven't mentioned yet - he's a 7 year old bay gelding carrying a light weight. So he's a chance but I'm ruling him out. Likewise Oceanographer out of barrier 11 would usually get ruled out but I'll through him in as my roughy.

We can forget Beautiful Romance out of barrier 1 and who the heck is Sir John Hawkwood out of 14?

Oh and of course our most successful barrier in cup history barrier 5 is where Bondi Beach will jump from.

And he's the tip.

In the short 4 years I've been doing this Bondi Beach is the first horse to tick every single box.

And for my box trifecta I'll be throwing in Jameka - she just might be the next Makybe Diva (and shes owned by a McKenna), Exopsheric, Hartnell, with Oceanographer in there as well. 

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