The 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival (Credit: Racing Photos)
Wagering on the Melbourne Cup Carnival has reached a new record this year, with total domestic wagering turnover of $667.3 million, an increase of 6%.
The increase was largely driven by Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, which saw a substantial increase of 17% to $364.5 million, with $221.6 million wagered on the Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup won this year by Ireland’s Twilight Payment.
AAMI Victoria Derby Day was highlighted by the win of Denis Pagan and Johnny Get Angry in the AAMI Victoria Derby and accounted for $141.0 million of the total domestic wagering over Cup Week, an increase of 11% year-on-year.
Kennedy Oaks Day, the only working day of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival that saw blueblood filly Personal take home the Group 1 Kennedy Oaks, recorded $82.1 million in wagering turnover. This is down slightly from 2019 when the later timeslot for the day saw a 7% increase in wagering turnover, but up slightly from the 2018 result.
Despite significant challenges on Seppelt Wines Stakes Day caused by the TAB outage, $79.7 million was wagered on the final day of Cup Week. More importantly, the day showcased the talents of two star horses with Bivouac easily accounting for his opposition in the Group 1 Darley Sprint Classic and Arcadia Queen reaffirming her status as one of Australia’s best weight-for-age middle distance horses with victory in the Group 1 Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes.
Punter confidence was boosted by the fair surface presented each day by the Victoria Racing Club’s (VRC) Senior Manager Flemington Racecourse Liam O’Keeffe and his team. For three of the four days the track started on a good 4 surface, with Kennedy Oaks Day racing on a soft 5.
VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich commented on the turnover results.
“We are delighted to advise three record domestic wagering results for the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival – record wagering on the Lexus Melbourne Cup, on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, and for the Melbourne Cup Carnival, with over $667 million in turnover across the four days of Australia’s greatest racing event,” Mr Rosich said.
“The record engagement on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day powered the six per cent growth overall in wagering across the whole Carnival despite the unfortunate outage on Seppelt Wines Stakes Day, without which we would have certainly achieved an even higher increase. We look forward to building on these fantastic results in 2021.
“In a year like no other, the record growth in wagering turnover for the Lexus Melbourne Cup
confirms its status as ‘the race that stops a nation™’ while strong engagement from members and fans across the four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival emphasises its place in the heart of Australians.
“Against the backdrop of an incredibly challenging year for all, the VRC focussed on providing an at home experience that matched the excitement of being on course for our members and all racing fans, which has driven the growth in engagement, particularly across digital streams, and subsequent increase in wagering.”