The field in the home straight of the 2015 Melbourne Cup.
The field in the home straight of the 2015 Melbourne Cup. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Your stars for the Melbourne Cup

ARIES: MAR 21 - APR 20 Excitable Aries finds it hard to ignore the feverish lead-up and widespread hype of the race that stops a nation. You also find it hard to resist having a wager. Being an all-or-nothing Ram, you're likely to place your bet on the winner only, and the "once-a-year punter" will do a quick run-through of the form guide then rely on impressive instincts. Younger horses, numbers with four in them or names that suggest heat, fire, diamonds, war, iron, pioneers, heroics, youth, vigour, courage, power and any mention of the colour red are all fortunate for Aries. And Tuesday is your lucky day.

TAURUS: APR 21 - MAY 20 Do down-to-earth Taureans love money? Does annual Cup mania take over the country? Money likes you too, and it sticks like glue. Your ruling planet Venus in Sagittarius, sign of horse racing and gambling, certainly suggests it might be profitable for you normally cautious Taureans placing a wager on the Big Day. You hate losing, so of course you won't bet to break the bank, and being impressed by size you'll tend to choose large or top-weighted horses. According to traditional astrology, all blue hues (you know what happens when Bulls see red), and names to do with luxury, ease, perfume, music, copper, turquoise, money, land, ecology, agriculture or building could hook you up to Lady Luck.

GEMINI: MAY 21 - JUN 21 Geminis are the zodiac's scintillating networkers who just love being at the hub of any activity. Cup Day's no different, and if you can't be at the racetrack parading the latest up-to-datest look, you'll be busy organising a social function or Cup sweep at work. Geminis spend like the two people in your sign, with money running through your fingers like quicksilver, so you're keen on speedy returns and bets which pay less but the odds of collecting are high, like the quinella. Need more help? Mellow yellow colours, or names that capture the mercurial aspects of luck: tricksters, cleverness, speed, communication, singers, songs, the wind - and of course pairs, couples, twins or number two - may net you a Cup Day payoff.

CANCER: JUN 21 - JUL 23 Cash-cautious Cancerians aren't easily parted from their hard-earned dollars, because fluctuating finances make you feel vulnerable. However, the Melbourne Cup offers the richest prizes in Australian sport, with payouts for the first ten horses crossing the finish line totalling more than six million dollars, enough to pique the interest of even you careful investors. Best Cancerian decisions will be made alone on the morning of the race, using your intuition to tune into the selections, the track and the vibe. Use your affinity with mares, numbers with a zero in them, white, cream or silver colours and names suggesting the feminine, the sea, pearls, mother, children, family, home, patriotism, the moon, the past, tradition and ancestry - all traditional luck-attractors for the Crab clan.

LEO: JUL 24 - AUG 23 Lavish Leos like to do everything in grand, flamboyant style and especially adore any opportunity to dress up and be seen in a Big Hat (aka crown). You love the pageantry and showiness of this prestigious racing carnival, whether personally attending Flemington to press the flesh in a VIP marquee, being the life of the party at a locally organised Cup Day fashion parade or hosting at home with friends sharing bubbly and nibbles. As big spenders who like to splash their cash, you tend to back favourites, jockeys wearing gold or orange colours and horses with numbers containing a one. Names suggesting the sun, stars, shining, fame, leadership, majesty, pride, extravagance, romance, drama, performing and royalty are also believed to be Leo lucky charms.

VIRGO: AUG 24 - SEP 23 Prudent and thrifty Virgos aren't ones to wantonly squander a dollar. You tend to be less susceptible to Cup fever than other signs, so a workplace sweep could be your best betting option. Since Virgos don't like risk unless it's carefully calculated, if you do decide to take a chance you'll scrutinise the form guide with more methodical and detailed analysis than anyone, weighing track records against odds against weather conditions. Hint: Your ruler Mercury in the sign of behind-the-scenes activity suggests a bit of trickery or hidden information. Pale grey, green or white, the number five, and names to do with gardens, plants, trees, healing, medicine, order, geometry, jade, platinum, precision and purity are traditionally linked to Virgo good fortune. 

LIBRA: SEP 24 - OCT 23 Libran show ponies won't want to miss the glamour, glitz and glitterati of Cup Day festivities. Especially not when planet Jupiter, which only visits each sign once every twelve years, is in yours right now, Libra, bringing good fortune through partnerships with others. Jupiter's named after the Roman god who flung fabulous treasures into space as bait for the ambitious - auspicious for having a bet, or what? But let's face it, decision-making doesn't come easily to you Venusians, so an each-way bet's probably easiest, which of course you'll put on the best-looking horse in the race. Rose pink, coral and lilac, the number six, names reminiscent of beauty, pleasure, peace, balance, justice, equality, the arts, love, flowers, fashion, silk, adornment or partying might help you decide.

SCORPIO: OCT 23 - NOV 22 Amassing cold currency is never your reason for taking a punt, because money's like horse manure: no good unless it's spread around. No, for your intensely private sign, it's the thrill of winning - and when you win, you like to win big. With the sun, Mercury and new moon all in Scorpio on the big day, the chances of that are looking heavily weighted in your favour. Using your probing detective skills for gleaning information without giving any away, you're the ones most likely to ferret out the juiciest insider tip. Black, crimson, the number 11 and names referring to secrets, magic, the mystic or occult, passion, dramatics, atomic energy, rubies and weapons with a cutting edge are all time-honoured Scorpio success symbols.

SAGITTARIUS: NOV 23 - DEC 22 With the astrological symbol for Sagittarius being a half horse, of course this day has your name all over it. You Centaurs have an inborn empathy with and understanding of animals, will take a chance on anything and are considered the luckiest sign in the zodiac - blessed with the Midas touch. Generous spenders with a head for figures, you're most likely to back a nag noted for speed. The colour purple, a number with three in it, or names suggesting sport, action, animals, archery, freedom, travel, transport, justice, religion, philosophy, comedy, exotic names connected to foreign places (the last two Melbourne Cups have been won by international horses), academics, celebrations, optimism, expansion, gypsies and jokers have been known to work for Sagittarians.

CAPRICORN: DEC 23 - JAN 20 Mars in your sign loves money. And there's no question you enjoy cruising and schmoozing with a celebrity crew, so you're the sign most likely to be attending the race of kings, preferably ensconced in a corporate marquee supplied with fine wine, food and fashions in the field. But however ready you are to capitalise on the opportunity for a quick win, practical, conservative Capricorns and their cash aren't easily parted. Wager-wise, you'll favour older racers with strong reputations and solid form. All dark colours, the number eight, and names to do with property, authority, hierarchy, business, success, seniority, solitude, stability, minerals, respect, ambition, honour, structure, law, wisdom, time and cold are associated with your ruling planet Saturn, presently favourably situated in the sign of horse racing.

AQUARIUS: JAN 21 - FEB 19 Variable Aquarians fall into two different types when it comes to gambling: either totally disinterested, or like Aquarian poet and punter Lord Byron, who believed gamblers to be happy people because they're always excited. This Aquarian type's usually in the mood for socialising and flock like moths to the pervasive flame of the Cup carnival. Keen to dabble and have a flutter, they enjoy complicated betting strategies like the trifecta, exacta and superfecta - harder to win, but paying much bigger odds. Stripes, rainbow colour combinations and zigzag patterns in any combination of electric blue, yellow and white, the number seven and quirky or unusual names referring to flying, aircraft, space travel, sci-fi, modern technology, lightning, electricity, suddenness, rebellion or revolution could strike it rich for Water-pourers.

PISCES: FEB 20 - MAR 20 While sensitive Pisceans may not like crowds, the exhilaration of the big day is certainly infectious. You Neptunians soak up vibrations like sponges and find it easy to get caught up in the fervour of people around you, who may influence your decisions. This tendency can work against you in the betting game if your sympathy with misfits has you settling your dosh on an unpopular horse just because you feel sorry for it. Which might, on the other hand, just end up paying off this year. Your lucky colours are all blue and green sea shades, also look out for numbers containing nine, as well as names evoking, the ocean, dreams, mystery, anything to do with water, liquid, poetry, rhythm, film, photography, illusions, dancing - and, of course, fish.   

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