It's the race that stops two nations — so why not be informed when you're placing a Melbourne Cup bet today or taking part in an office sweep?
Follow the Herald's live updates on race day, with all the latest news from Flemington and beyond. The Melbourne Cup race starts at 5pm.
4.20pm: Trainer called to front inquiry over race-day treatment scandal
Trainer Richard Laming will be ordered to front an inquiry into alleged race-day treatment of scratched horse Jamaican Rain.
Racing Victoria stewards ordered the horse be withdrawn from the Jim Beam Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Tuesday after identifying a knee injury.
Racing Victoria has announced it has adjourned its inquiry into the alleged race-day treatment at a date yet to be determined.
Racing Victoria's Compliance Assurance Team (CAT) reportedly ordered Jamaican Rain's scratching following a raid at Laming's Cranbourne stables.
"Racing Victoria stewards have received a report from the Compliance Assurance Team regarding their inspection at the Cranbourne stables of Richard Laming this morning," Racing Victoria said.
"During their inspection, Jamaican Rain was found by the CAT with swelling to its off fore knee.
"The CAT, upon subsequent consultation with Mr Laming, determined that the horse was lame and in an unsuitable condition to race.
"Acting on this report, the stewards withdrew the horse at 10.11am from Race 6 at Flemington today.
"Stewards have adjourned their inquiry into the matter to a date to be fixed."
4.05pm: Race Six - Teleplay wins Jim Beam Stakes
Nash Rawiller got his second win of the day in the Jim Beam Stakes after piloting Teleplay to the line first in Race 6 at Flemington.
Rawiller, who also tasted victory on Shared Ambition earlier in the day, led home La Tigeresa and Sweet Scandal.
La Tigeresa threatened to steal the win with a late charge down the outside, but Rawiller held on while running on the inside of the rail.
3.40pm: Punter denied entry for 'fashion crime'
An elderly gentleman had his Cup Day ruined after being turned away from the exclusive Birdcage for fashion crimes.
He was wearing a cravat.
"Sorry mate, no cravats," a mustachioed security guard in a purple blazer told him.
Shocked, the septuagenarian grabbed at the silk adorning his throat and glanced at his wife who was none too pleased.
News.com.au checked the long list of banned items at the Birdcage entrance and there was the cravat, second bottom, wedged between denim and pullover cardigans.
3.30pm: Race Five - Garner wins Schweppervescence Plate
South Australia's Garner has won for the third time this preparation after blitzing the field to win the Schweppervescence Plate.
Garner was coming off wins at Caulfield and Morphettville recently.
Can't Be Done was second ahead of Hawker Hurricane.
3.10pm: Kiwi claims Fashions on the Field
A Kiwi, who plotted her run for seven months has taken first prize in the Melbourne Cup Fashions on the Field at Flemington.
Carena West told Network Ten she had planned her ensemble since June – but was forced to start from scratch when she fell pregnant before the 2019 Melbourne Cup.
She had never been to the Cup before.
"I bought the fabric in June, so it has been a little while," she said of the ensemble she made herself.
"The sewing didn't take too long but trying to decide on what to make and the planning of all that was quite a process. I did buy my shoes yesterday though."
She will return to the Spring Carnival on Oaks Day to compete for a place in the national final.
2.55pm: Race Four - Shared Ambition wins The Macca's Run
Chris Waller got another win when Nash Rawiller piloted Shared Ambition to win The Macca's Run at Flemington.
Shared Ambition won ahead of Gayatri and Kentucky Diva.
2.50pm: Network 10 reporter's desperate dash
Channel Ten's Georgia Love says she was refused entry to the Melbourne Cup after arriving at Flemington in a taxi.
The ultimate professional recovered from her dash to a nearby entrance to star in Channel 10's coverage of the pink carpet and fashions on the field.
The former Bachelorette told Ten's Melbourne Cup coverage she had to bolt 5km.
"I came in a taxi this morning, and wasn't allowed through the gates so I ran about five kilometers," she said.
"This is why I am up and about early in the morning."
2.20pm: Race Three - Sure Knee wins TAB Trophy
Finche jockey Kerrin McEvoy has tasted an early win on Melbourne Cup Day, guiding Sure Knee to win the TAB Trophy at Flemington.
The Chris Waller trained horse led home Aliferous and Extreme Pride after bolting clear of the field with 200m to run.
McEvoy put the hammer down to win by 2.5 lengths.
McEvoy will also ride equal-favourite Finche in the Melbourne Cup.
2.05pm: Small protest group make their voices heard
A small group of banner-waving protesters have made their presence known at the main entrance to Flemington Racecourse.
A group of protesters have been barking at racegoers as they head into the iconic venue on feet and in their cars.
According to reports Victorian member of parliament Andy Meddick of the Animal Justice Party has joined the peaceful protest.
The group of a few dozen protesters have lined up along the main roadway entrance to Flemington.
1.45pm: Race Two - Bravo Tango wins Grinders Coffee Roasters Trophy
Billy Egan and trainer Mitchell Freedman have combined for a super win in the Grinders Coffee Roasters Trophy at Flemington.
In a three-way dart to the finish, Bravo Tango was neck and neck with East Indaman and William Thomas with 100m to go, before edging clear to win by half a length.
In a photo finish, East Indiaman was awarded second and William Thomas was third.
"This horse has been pretty frustrating. He was a one-time favourite for the Australian Guineas," trainer Freedman said after the race.
"Now it's happy days."
1pm: Race One - Aryaaf wins first race of the day
Jockey Luke Nolen got off to a flyer on Cup Day as he piloted Aryaaf to a win in the Darley Ottawa Stakes.
Aryaaf sprinted clear down the straight to finish ahead of favourite Muntaseera. Marchena was awarded third after a photo finish.
Cup day run sheet
10.30am: Flemington gates open
12.08am: Welcome to Country
12.55pm: Race 1 – Darley Ottawa Stakes (G3)
1.35pm: Race 2 – Grinders Coffee Roasters Trophy
2.10pm: Race 3 – TAB Trophy
2.45pm: Race 4 – The Macca's Run
3.20pm: Race 5 – Schweppervescence Plate
3.55pm: Race 6 – Jim Beam Stakes (G3)
4.15pm: Lexus Melbourne Cup Trophy Ceremony
5.00pm: Race 7 – Lexus Melbourne Cup (G1)
6.00pm: Race 8 – Furphy Plate (LR)
6.40pm: Race 9 – MSS Security Sprint (LR)
7.20pm: Race 10 – The Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (LR)
How to pick a winner? Here are your five best bets
It is the one day of the year when many Kiwis want to know the answer to the same question: Who wins the Cup?
The A$8million Melbourne Cup that is, which while it is held in Australia, is by far the biggest betting turnover horse race in New Zealand every year.
And while hundreds of thousands of punters will have all sorts of different theories on why they think their pick will win, until 5.05pm tonight, nobody is wrong.
So in a maelstrom of information, here are reasons you may, and may not, want to back the top five favourites - and NZME racing expert Michael Guerin's top tips for today's great race.
1. Cross Counter
Odds: $13 (Win), $4 (Place)
Yes: As the defending champion, he has already proven he can win a Melbourne Cup and his form since has been good against some of the stayers in the world.
But: Goes up 6.5kgs from last year's winning weight which is a lot of extra to carry over 3200m. That is the reason so few winners defend their title successfully in the modern era.
2. Mer de Glace
Odds: $8.50 (win), $3.10 (Place)
Yes: Japanese stayer who smashed plenty of these in the Caulfield Cup last start, confirming just how good Japan's good gallopers are. Jockey of the moment Damian Lane is adamant his horse will be even better today.
But: Goes up in weight from Caulfield, has yet to race past 2400m let alone at today's 3200m and the very real possibility of a soft track plays against him and favours the Europeans.
3: Master Of Reality
Odds: $26 (win), $7 (Place)
Yes: Placed third in the very strong Ascot Gold Cup in June, beating home Cross Counter. Has wonderful young trainer in Joseph O'Brien, who is going to become a racing legend and jockey Frankie Dettori, who already is.
But: Since Vintage Crop won the Cup in 1993 nearly 100 Northern Hemisphere-trained horses aged four or older have tried to win it without a lead-up race in Australia and all failed. The NH-trained three-year-olds can do it because they get less weight but the older visitors usually need to have shown Australian form to figure.
Odds: $7.50 (win), $2.70 (Place)
Yes: Was a brave fourth in this race last year, enormous after having no luck in the Caulfield Cup last start. Trained by ex-pat Kiwi genius Chris Waller and has an outstanding Cup rider in Kerrin McEvoy as well as a light weigh for a big, strong horse. That is a lot of plusses.
But: Since 1990 only two horses beaten in the previous year's Melbourne Cup have returned and won. And Finche could well start favourite today, with only three favourites having won this century.
Odds: $8.50 (win), $2.50 (Place)
Yes: Purchased for big money from Europe he was the unlucky horse in the Caulfield Cup when denied room at a crucial stage. Has the light weight of 52.5kgs and sensational jockey Joao Moreira. So lots of the right things next to his name in the form guide.
But: In recent years the Caulfield Cup has diminished in importance as a Melbourne Cup guide, in fact in the last decade only one horse who even started in a Caulfield Cup has gone on to finish in the top two at Flemington.
Michael Guerin's Cup tips
1: Mer De Glace
4: Master Of Reality
How to follow
Follow the Herald's live updates of the Melbourne Cup on nzherald.co.nz and on Newstalk ZB from 5pm.
You can watch the race live on SKY's TAB Trackside 1 channel, and TAB customers can stream the race on the TAB website.