The biggest race day of the year is about to kick off.

The Melbourne Cup kicks off at 5pm and people are gathering at bars and clubs around the city to have a flutter on their favourite horses.

At the Tauranga Citizens Club, hundreds of people are rearing to go with only a few minutes left before the race begins.


Who are the Kiwi contenders in the big race today?

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There are three New Zealand-bred horses running: Who Shot The Barman ($31), Pentathlon ($81) and Rose of Virginia ($81).

Do we have any jockeys in the Cup?

Yes, three. James McDonald is riding Hartnell ($5). This is McDonald's fifth tilt at the Melbourne Cup and he believes it's his best riding the Cup favourite.

There's also Michael Walker aboard Almoonqith ($21) and Mark Du Plessis on Pentathlon ($81).

What about Kiwi trainers?

We've got two of them this year. Chris Waller, formerly from Foxton, will saddle up Who Shot The Barman ($21) and Grand Marshal ($35). Our other representative is John Wheeler of New Plymouth, who will saddle up Pentathlon.