Welcome to the TAB's ultimate guide to the 2018 Melbourne Cup. This really does have all you need to know.
The horse racing world - and much of Australia and New Zealand - will come to a standstill today for the running of the Melbourne Cup.
Australia's richest race and one of the most famous races anywhere in the world, the Melbourne Cup is truly "the race that stops a nation".
Let's get the housekeeping out of the way.
[Read more: Code cracked - Why this horse will win Melbourne Cup]
Where: Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia.
When: Tuesday the 6th of November, 2018.
Big race: All ten of them are big! But, the horses after the "Melbourne Cup" will be running in race seven.
Time: 5 pm (NZT)
First run in 1861, greats of the turf from Carbine and Phar Lap to Might And Power and Makybe Diva have all etched themselves into the annals of racing history by winning on the first Tuesday in November.
New Zealand has certainly had plenty of success in the Melbourne Cup with 44 Kiwi-bred horses winning the race including 16 that have been New Zealand owned and trained. Kiwi in 1983 was arguably the most memorable New Zealand win while the likes of Empire Rose (1988), Brew (2000) and Ethereal (2001) have all won the great race.
So before we get into this, if you'd rather listen to the following, rather than read, give the Spring Fever Racing Podcast (Melbourne Cup Special) a listen.
Des Coppins and TAB bookie Stephen Hunt, as well as a long list of industry experts, are here to give you the lowdown.
A guide to all of this year's runners:
Saeed Bin Suroor.
The Caulfield Cup winner who has now won three Group 1 races on the trot. Perhaps one of the best international stayers to ever visit Australia. Could not have been more impressive winning the Caulfield Cup when overcoming a wide run and what appeared to be some team riding tactics to hold on. Will be right in the mix despite the big weight.
A talented Team Williams runner with the Aidan O'Brien yard. Ran on well in the Caulfield Stakes and then hit the line well when third in the Caulfield Cup. Did have every chance in that race though and does appear to be overshadowed by its stablemate.
Magic Circle has raced just twice this year and won both. Both wins have been at two miles and beyond and both wins were by six lengths. Has a sensational record. Betting will be a fair guide but would want to keep very safe.
4 Chestnut Coat ($34)
Barrier: 4. Weight: 55.5. Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi. Jockey: Yuga Kawada.
A Japanese visitor that ran fifth in the Tenno Sho in April so has the ability. Was ordinary in the Caulfield Cup when finishing well down the track. A line can't be put through him but won't be getting any of The Shark's cash.
5 Muntahaa ($11)
Barrier: 13. Weight: 55.5. Trainer: John Gosden. Jockey: Jim Crowley.
Muntahaa won the Ebor last start in August carrying 62.5kg and beat a field of 20 that day. His best form has been at 2600m and beyond. Definitely will see the trip out but goes in fresh and hate that from stables who haven't been to Australia a lot in the past.
A former German galloper now with the Mike Moroney stable. Just beaten by Best Solution in August at the last run in its homeland but didn't give much in the G1 Caulfield Cup. Hard to line his form up but his run behind Best Solution suggests he goes well. Happy to include in exotics at odds.
7 Who Shot Thebarman ($61)
Barrier: 18. Weight: 55.5. Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: Ben Melham.
One of the most popular horses in Australia and New Zealand with the 10-year-old racing in his fourth Melbourne Cup. Ran third in 2014 and his worst finish has been 11th. Won the Sydney Cup this year and ran on a treat in the Moonee Valley Cup. Would be a fairytale and not without a puncher's chance.
8 Ace High ($61)
Barrier: 22. Weight: 55. Trainer: David Payne. Jockey: Tye Angland.
A tough horse but has never been one who has screamed out through two miles. Ran fourth in the G1 George Main and then won a weak G2 Hill Stakes but faded badly in the Caulfield Cup. Loves to go forward and that won't suit in the Melbourne Cup. Passing.
9 Marmelo ($16)
Barrier: 10. Weight: 55. Trainer: Hughie Morrison. Jockey: Hugh Bowman.
A Hughie Morrison stayer back for his second Melbourne Cup. It ran ninth here last year after jumping $7 (and being backed). Been super this year with an LR win in the UK and a G2 win in France from four starts with two seconds in his other two. Would prefer to have seen but is going better this time around.
A Godolphin import who won four straight when coming to Australia, culminating in a win in the G3 Bart Cummings. Went into the Cox Plate and stuck on well enough for fourth. Cannot see him threatening in a race of this quality. French form was only fair.
11 Yucatan ($4.60)
Barrier: 23. Weight: 54.5. Trainer: Aidan O'Brien. Jockey: James McDonald.
Yucatan won like an absolute superstar at his first run in Australia, winning the G2 Herbert Power. He could have won that race by 12L but was severely throttled down at the death in an attempt to avoid a major penalty. He has had only 13 starts so is on the up. Been heavily supported in betting. Will have no problems with the trip and from the Williams team who know better than all what is required for Melbourne Cup glory.
12 Auvray ($71)
Barrier: 1. Weight: 54. Trainer: Richard Freeman. Jockey: Tommy Berry.
A former French galloper now with Richard Freedman. Getting well beaten in the Metropolitan and St Leger. Won't be featuring.
13 Finche ($26)
Barrier: 15. Weight: 54. Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: Zec Purton.
The son of Frankel now with Chris Waller. Won at G3 level two runs back in France. Placed in the Geelong Cup after being supported. Only had nine career starts so not sure it has the toughness to get it done in such a rugged affair.
14 Red Cardinal ($71)
Barrier: 5. Weight: 54. Trainer: Darren Weir. Jockey: Damien Oliver.
A former international who ran 11th in the Melbourne Cup last year when supported at odds. Spelled until this spring and now with Darren Weir. Ran third in the St Leger but this is a significant jump in grade. Big odds and deservedly so.
Won the Geelong Cup and Melbourne-version of the Queen Elizabeth last year. Hasn't done enough in four runs in this time. Some thought he went well in the Caulfield Cup but was never showing much.
16 Ventura Storm ($26)
Barrier: 7. Weight: 54. Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig. Jockey: Mark Zahra.
An enigmatic David Hayes galloper who was super winning the Moonee Valley Cup when well backed. Has run some huge races in the past including winning a G1 in the UK, running second behind Winx in the 2017 Turnbull and an Australia Cup placing. Has struggled when racing at 3200m.
17 A Prince Of Arran ($17)
Barrier: 20. Weight: 53. Trainer: Chris Fellowes. Jockey: Michael Walker.
A UK visitor who has been sensational in two Australian runs. Was the best of the run-ons in the Herbert Power before cruising to a win in the Lexus and has won over 3200m. Its class is a slight query but his staying credentials are A-1. Won't be far away.
The last horse in. Will be first horse beaten. Was dreadful in the Moonee Valley Cup and his overseas form has been poor. No.
19 Sir Charles Road ($101)
Barrier: 14. Weight: 53. Trainer: Lance O'Sullivan & Andrew Scott. Jockey: Dwayne Dunn.
The city of Auckland Cup winner in January. Went on to win over 2400m at a G2 level in Sydney and then won second-up this time in. Ran on for third in the Bendigo Cup. A real grinding type who should have something left at the death. Lacks the class to win.
Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman.
A Baker/Forsman galloper who has shown no form this preparation, finishing in the bottom half of the field in all four runs. Ran second in the Sydney Cup in April at big odds but won't be featuring here.
21 Runaway ($34)
Barrier: 12. Weight: 52. Trainer: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott. Jockey: Stephen Baster.
A Gai Waterhouse hope who comes off a Geelong Cup win. Only had three runs this time in so not sure he has the miles in the legs. Not bred for two miles and the Cup is not a race for leaders. No.
22 Youngstar ($16)
Barrier: 8. Weight: 51.5. Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: Craig Williams.
The Queensland Oaks winner who was sensational when pushing Winx to 1L in the G1 Turnbull at WFA. Ran on well enough in the Caulfield Cup. Bred to stay all day and has the right kind of form for this. Contender.
A Godolphin UK visitor having just his eighth start. Won four races but the biggest was a four-horse Group 3 over 2414m. Has scope for improvement but a win would surprise. No Australian lead-in run.
24 Rostropovich ($26)
Barrier: 21. Weight: 51. Trainer: Aidan O'Brien. Jockey: Wayne Lordan.
It ran fifth in the G1 Cox Plate but was well beaten down the track. Won at G2 level back in the UK, two of those four wins have been at 1400m. Not confident he will see out the trip.
Where to put your money?
He was a dominant winner in his first start in Australia, the Herbert Power Stakes, which vaulted the Aidan O'Brien-trained runner into favouritism for this race.
Kiwi James McDonald takes the ride again and he looks in terrific form after an impressive win on Shillelagh on Saturday in the Empire Rose Stakes at the same track.
Owner Lloyd Williams throws everything at this race and has had the winner in the last two runnings. He can overcome the bad draw here.
Next Best: 1 Best Solution ($12)
This horse has won three Group 1s on the trot following a powerful run to win the Caulfield Cup in his first Australian start. He'll have to lug the most weight on his back but has the ability to become the first horse since Ethereal in 2001 to win the Caulfield/Melbourne Cup double and bring the Godolphin team their first win in this race.
Best Roughie: 6 Sound Check ($34)
A German galloper, now trained by Kiwi Mike Moroney.
He ran Best Solution close in his last start in his homeland but didn't feature in the Caulfield Cup after getting too far back. He did still hit the line well though and has already been backed in from $41.
He looks to be a good each-way chance and one to include in exotics.
Best Special: Aidan O'Brien To Train The Winner ($3.40)
This option gives you three genuine chances for the Cup, with the favourite Yucatan, as well as The Cliffsofmoher ($17), who ran third in the Caulfield Cup, and Rostropovich ($31), who ran second in the Irish Derby earlier this year.
Where's all the big money going?
Several horses in the 158th running of the Melbourne Cup have been subject to big bets but none more so than race favourite Yucatan.
The Irish raider, who will be ridden by top Kiwi jockey James McDonald, attracted eight bets in excess of $1,000 in the TAB Futures market. Since being allocated the wide barrier of 23 in Saturday night's draw, a further four big bets have come through for him.
Big Bets on the 2018 Melbourne Cup
1 Best Solution
$1,900 at $13
2 x $1,000 at $13
$2,500 at $11
$1,500 at $13
3 x $1,000 at $5.00
$1,000 at $81
$4,000 at $15
Who to bet on for the other nine races?
Champagne Boom was immense on debut when winning the LR Debutant Stakes, coming from last to win by two and a half lengths. It's got limited exposed form in this race so you have to take this promising Hayes galloper. Odds-against a confident bet.
She won over a mile three starts back at Moonee Valley and has been good behind I Am A Star at the last two. This is a big drop in class.
An underrated 5-year-old who was good first-up when just getting nabbed in a hot race at Geelong. Two quinella finishes from three second-up finishes and placed in eight of the nine at this trip, with four wins.
A UK import who won at Goodwood over 2800m, two starts back. Now with Chris Waller, we're expecting a big run at their first Australian effort.
A dominant winner in both its career starts in Queensland, including a three-length win at Doomben last start, a year back. It resumes after a long spell but has a strong trial win and is from a very astute stable.
Undefeated with three wins from three startsand showing plenty of class lifting to a listed level last start with a win in the Crockett. Has been drawn well so should run a big race back at her home track.
The heavily supported Melbourne Cup favourite who was absolutely dominant in the Herbert Power. Could have won that race by 12 lengths if pushed out. James McDonald keeps the ride. A very good Northern Hemisphere horse from the Team Williams stable who just focus everything on this race. Outstanding value.
Marked his return from a six-month spell with a five-length win in BM100 company at Randwick. Has won two of four second-up. Handles all going. The Waterhouse/Baster combination is lethal.
Still looking to get out at Caulfield after being sensationally backed into favouritism. Had won two straight prior, the latter at listed level. Has a ton of ability, wins with any luck.
Sticking with this consistent mare who is due a change of luck. Should have nearly won the Tesio last start. The big Flemington track will suit her. Excellent price.
Best Bet: 1 Stampede (Race 8)
Next Best: 6 Trekking (Race 9)
Roughie: 7 Fox Hall (Race 3)
Happy punting everyone!