Melbourne Cup preview

Melbourne Cup Day has been a public holiday in Victoria for more than a century. Photo/ file
Melbourne Cup Day has been a public holiday in Victoria for more than a century. Photo/ file

Offices around the country will grind to a standstill tomorrow at 5pm when the 156th Melbourne Cup kicks off over the Tasman.

The "race that stops the nation" will also stop many parts of New Zealand as people around the country eagerly wait to see if their horse comes through with a win.

More than A$6 million is up for grabs at Flemington, and that's just for the jockeys.

In New Zealand, office sweepstakes are only legal if the total prize is $500 or less, according to the rules of the Gambling Act, so office workers wanting to take a punt should keep things small and simple.

However, individual bets at local TABs are another option for those wanting to have a flutter.

Bets can be made online or in person, and several TABs will be putting on Melbourne Cup Day celebrations for what is a big day on their calendar.

Various bars around the country will also be screening the races, including Mr Toms in Ponsonby, which is also hosting a cup day party - one of many venues around Auckland to do so.

Radio Sport will have a running commentary of the event as it happens.

Melbourne Cup Day is the second in four days of racing, which make up the Melbourne Cup Carnival and is held on the first Tuesday of November.

Derby Day, Crown Oaks Day and Emirates Stakes Day are the others.

In Victoria, Cup Day has been a state holiday since 1877.

This year, 24 horses are racing in the Melbourne Cup tomorrow, kicking off at 3pm local time at the Flemington racecourse.

The 2016 Melbourne Cup favourite is currently Godolphin galloper Hartnell, at odds of AUS$4.60 according to some Australian horse racing sites.

Craig Lovett, who has been cleaning up after revellers at sports events for 30 years,

told news.com.au that Derby Day and the Melbourne Cup were the two biggest days he tackles.

On Derby Day, Lovett estimates his team clears 250 tonnes of rubbish and on Cup Day it's about 150 tonnes.

- NZ Herald

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