It's billed as the race that stops Australia but in New Zealand, at least, the Melbourne Cup actually gets things going.

Betting revenue hits an all-time high as folk who wouldn't know a filly from a frappe all of a sudden decide they have a chance of picking the winner.

Kiwis bet $8.62 million on the Cup at the TAB last year and the figure is expected to top $9 million this year. With total turnover for the day topping $20 million, the first Tuesday in November is the biggest day of the year for the TAB by several lengths.

A good chunk of the money wagered comes from people with little or no interest in racing.


"If you ask someone if they bet on the horses and they say just once a year it will be this day," TAB head bookmaker Mark Stafford said.

The TAB tailors its Cup offerings to make it easier for novice punters to bet on the race and also dispatches staff from head office into its betting agencies to help deal with the surge in activity.

There was no set strategy for picking the winner, Mr Stafford said.

"Lucky numbers is big, colour of silks, pretty names, all sorts of things. There's no telling what people do but every horse has got a chance to win. They have all been trained for this race. It's not a lead-up race for any horse."
New Zealand punters tend to fancy horses with Kiwi connections, however this year they don't have many to choose from. With no New Zealand-bred or owned horses in a race that has become increasingly dominated by European entries, the bulk of Kiwi hopes rest with jockey James McDonald.

Bars, pubs and restaurants in Auckland will be packed for the race, with the biggest event the annual Cup celebration at Ellerslie Racecourse.

Cup day is as much about glitz and glamour as the chance to cash in by picking the winner.

Auckland Racing Club member Carena West attends most of the big race days at Ellerslie. Augusta Capital, the company she works for as a finance assistant, is a race-day sponsor. "It's a good chance to get out of the office, have a nice day and get some sunshine," Ms West said.

Melbourne Cup
* The race that stops two nations
* Race runs at 5pm today.
* $7m in prize money up for grabs.
* $9m expected to be wagered on the race, and $20m over the course of what is the New Zealand TAB's biggest day of the year.
* Ellerslie Racecourse hosts NZ's biggest Cup function. The club will host 4500 people all-up, generating around half a million dollars in ticket sales and food and beverage purchases alone.

Taking a punt - what you need to know
* Never bet on grey. Only six grey horses have won the Cup.
* No horse has won from barrier 18 since barriers were introduced in 1924.
* The saddlecloth numbers four and 12 have won the Cup a record 11 times.

1. DUNADEN (1)
J P Spencer 58.5 b h 8y
BREEDING: Nicobar-La Marlia
OWNED BY: Pearl Bloodstock Ltd (Mgr: D Redvers)
TRAINER: Mikel Delzangles.
COLOURS: Yellow, royal blue stars, yellow cap.

2. GREEN MOON (10)
B Prebble 57.5 b h 7y
BREEDING: Montjeu-Green Noon
OWNED BY: N C Williams, Mr & Mrs L J Williams
TRAINER: Robert Hickmott
COLOURS: Navy blue, white armbands, white cap.

G Mosse 56.5 ch g 8y
BREEDING: Cadeaux Genereux-Artisia
OWNED BY: The Hon Ronald Arculli
TRAINER: Ed Dunlop
COLOURS: Light blue and red diamonds, light blue sleeves, red and light blue diamond cap.

4. SEA MOON (7)
S W Arnold 56.5 b h 6y
BREEDING: Beat Hollow-Eva Luna
OWNED BY: N C Williams, Mr & Mrs L J Williams, V J Sammartino, Echo Beach B/S (Mgrs: A L & B A Green), M S Gudinski, Jacobsen Bloodstock P/L, J A Ingham, P M Mehrten, B N Singer
TRAINER: Robert Hickmott
COLOURS: Navy blue, white armbands, navy blue cap.

R Kingscote 55 b h 6y
BREEDING: Shirocco-Treble Heights
OWNED BY: Mr A Black & Owen Promotions Limited
TRAINER: Tom Dascombe
COLOURS: Turquoise, dark blue cap.

D Oliver 55 br h 6y
BREEDING: Monsun-Desert Bloom
OWNED BY: A T Roberts, McClure Ferguson Oman (Mgr: P C McClure), K R Wood, Fesen Pty Ltd (Mgr: P Pollicina), B Pang, Bongiorno Herron (Mgr: R M Herron), D J Deykin, Team McDonnell (Mgr: J S McDonnell, Henderson Racing (Mgr: D A Henderson) & Fiorente (Mgr: T Mitevski)
TRAINER: Ms G Waterhouse
COLOURS: Black, purple sash.

C Newitt 55 b g 7y
BREEDING: Dansili-Prophecy
OWNED BY: Werrett Bloodstock (Mgr: N Werrett), G G Ltd Syn (Mgr: G Peterson), I Bruce, D Ackery, F Cook, Mrs C Cook, K Hunt, B Mathieson, R Smith & B Bradley
COLOURS: Green, yellow star and armbands.

8. DANDINO (4)
Ryan Moore 54.5 b/br h 7y
BREEDING: Dansili-Generous Diana
OWNED BY: Australian Thoroughbred B'stock (Mgr D & E Dance), Merlin B'stock, I Hicks, C Smith, Kahlefeldt Family Racing, Scg Racing, G Gereaux, M Eastmure, W Martin, G De Graaff, C Willian, M Byrne, V Ristevski, F Morris, Love Racing, A Cid, Gogetters, Biggsys, Baker Bucket List, Atb
COLOURS: Fluorescent yellow, navy blue seams.

9. ETHIOPIA (14)
R Mc Leod 54.5 b g 5y
BREEDING: Helenus-Shona
OWNED BY: Wyadup Valley Farm (Mgr: T J Delroy)
COLOURS: Light blue, green hoops and cap.

10. FAWKNER (8)
Nicholas Hall 54.5 b/br g 6y
BREEDING: Reset-Dane Belltar
OWNED BY: N C Williams, Mr & Mrs L J Williams
TRAINER: Robert Hickmott
COLOURS: Navy blue, white armbands, royal blue cap.

(19) B Avdulla 54.5 b/br h 8y
BREEDING: Alhaarth-Mouramara
OWNED BY: N C Williams, Mr & Mrs L J Williams, V Sammartino, A L & Mrs B A Green, B N Singer, P Mehrten & M S Gudinski
TRAINER: Robert Hickmott
COLOURS: Navy blue, white armbands, red cap.

12. SEVILLE (9)
J Bowman 54.5 b h 6y
BREEDING: Galileo-Silverskaya
OWNED BY: N C Williams, Mr & Mrs L J Williams, B N Singer, V Sammartino, P Mehrten, M Gudinski, Heffernan Bloodstock P/L (Mgr: D A Heffernan), Jacobsen Bloodstock P/L (Mgr: P N Jacobsen), Echo Beach Bloodstock (Mgr: A L & B A Green)
TRAINER: Robert Hickmott
COLOURS: Navy blue, white armbands, gold cap.

13. SUPER COOL (13)
C W Brown 54.5 b g 4y
BREEDING: Fastnet Rock-Queen Mother
OWNED BY: Rokk Ebony Synd (Mgr: Tj Torcasio), Calabria Synd, Wind Flyer Racing, Rokk Ebony No 2 Synd, Mr A E Fargas, Mr B C D Holt
TRAINER: M A Kavanagh
COLOURS: Royal blue, large white brace, white stripe, red brace, royal blue and yellow stars sleeves.

M Rodd 54 b h 6y
BREEDING: Montjeu-Waldmark
OWNED BY: N C Williams, Mr &Mrs L J Williams, B N Singer, V J Sammartino, Echo Beach B/S (Mgrs: A L & B A Green), M S Gudinski, Jacobsen Bloodstock P/L, J A Ingham, P M Mehrten
TRAINER: Robert Hickmott
COLOURS: Navy blue, white armbands, pink cap.

15. MOUNT ATHOS (22)
Craig Williams 54 b g 7y
BREEDING: Montjeu-Ionian Sea
OWNED BY: Dr M Koukash
COLOURS: Grey, beige star, grey and beige stars sleeves and cap.

K McEvoy 54 b h 5y
BREEDING: Teofilo-Zeiting
OWNED BY: Godolphin Management Co Ltd
TRAINER: Saeed Bin Suroor
COLOURS: Royal blue, fly emirates logo.

J B McDonald 54 b m 5y
BREEDING: Teofilo-Vadorga
OWNED BY: Eliza Park International (Mgr: Mr M W Lui), T K Cheng, Y L Lee, B S Chui, S T Wan, K B Lo, K H Wong & P C Chan
TRAINER: M D Moroney
COLOURS: Blue, white and orange eliza park logo, white sleeves, orange armbands, blue cap, gold pom pom.

18. HAWKSPUR (18)
J A Cassidy 53.5 ch g 4y
BREEDING: Purrealist-Mollyhawk
OWNED BY: D Puglisi, A Muollo, T Ristevski & E Spoljar
COLOURS: White, black stars, purple and white stars sleeves, purple and white quartered cap.

19. SIMENON (12)
R D Hughes 53.5 b g 7y
BREEDING: Marju-Epistoliere
OWNED BY: Wicklow Bloodstock (Mgr: N Peacock)
TRAINER: W P Mullins
COLOURS: Purple, orange seams, purple and orange star cap.

20. IBICENCO (17)
L Nolen 53 b/br h 6y
BREEDING: Shirocco-Iberi
OWNED BY: Oti Racing (Mgrs S O'Donnell & T Henderson), J Higgins, M Tripp, T Carroll, PBatholomew, T Booth, B Cooper, G Farley, D Hannon, P Jones, G Ryan, Glenlogan Park Stud, Uthmeyer Racing & Tripp Racing
COLOURS: Navy blue and gold hoops, white sleeves and cap

21. VEREMA (3)
C P Lemaire 53 b m 5y
BREEDING: Barathea-Vermentina
OWNED BY: His Highness The Aga Khan
TRAINER: A De Royer-Dupre
COLOURS: Green, red epaulettes, green sleeves and cap

22. DEAR DEMI (16)
C Munce 51 b m 4y
BREEDING: Dehere-Shirley
OWNED BY: Strawberry Hill Stud Syndicate (Mgr: J D Singleton) & Ms Y Hartman
TRAINER: C E Conners
COLOURS: Royal blue, white crossed sashes

23. TRES BLUE (20)
Tommy Berry 51 b h 4y
BREEDING: Anabaa Blue-Tres Ravi
OWNED BY: G & Mrs D Kolivos, Kolivos Family Synd (Mgr: G Kolivos), A Rapp, H Rapp, Rapp Family Synd, A & D Roberts Synd, R McClure, P Barnett & Round Table Racing Synd (Mgr: B Slade)
TRAINER: Ms G Waterhouse
COLOURS: Black, gold collar and cap

24. RUSCELLO (24)
C Schofield 50 b g 5y
BREEDING: Cape Cross-Sea Picture
OWNED BY: L Bellman, Uthmeyer Racing Synd (Mgr G Uthmeyer), J Higgins, Mrs E Gare, Oti Ruscello Synd (Mgr O T I Racing), Irish Golfer Synd (Mgr G Sherry), Malvern Choir No 3 Synd (Mgr L Silk), O T I Racing Synd (Mgr S O'Donnell)
TRAINER: Ed Walker
COLOURS: Navy blue and gold hoops, white sleeves and cap.