King of Stats: All the numbers ahead of the Melbourne Cup

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The Melbourne Cup is almost upon us and finding the winner of the race that stops a nation looks as a fiendish a task as ever in the 2m handicap’s 2014 renewal.

Luckily for those keen on a foray into the world of Antipodean punting an emissary from the Kingdom of Stats arrived at the court of news.ladbrokes.com this morning bearing the following nugget-encrusted missive from His Majesty.

3 – Horses bred in either Australia or New Zealand have won just three cups since 2004 despite making up 55 per cent of the total field.

7 – Seven of the last ten horses to take the laurels in the Victorian capital had previously finished second or first in a Group 1 race.

7 – During the last decade all bar three victors carried 54-56.5 kilos.

Mr O’Ceirin has the lightest burden of those that qualify, while Protectionist, the mount of Ryan Moore, carries the heaviest.

10 – The last 10 winners were coming into the race off the back of a run within the previous 17 days.

Bad news for European raiders Cavalryman, Red Cadeaux, Protectionist, Royal Diamond, Gatewood, Mutual Regard, Willing Foe and My Ambivalent, as well as local boy Mr O’Ceirin.

16 – During the past decade all bar four of those horses to finish first or second broke from stalls five to 14.

18 – Since stalls were introduced to the race back in 1924 no horse berthed in stall 18 has ever claimed victory.

The accursed Mr O’Ceirin has the ultimate coffin draw this term after initial incumbent Sea Moon was scratched from the race.

65 – The percentage of past winners that wore saddle cloths numbered 1-12, so swerving lower weights could be a short-cut to staying in clover here.

Who Shot The Barman, ridded by the reassuringly-monikered Glen Boss is the twelfth and final runner to fit this trend this term.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.