Last-minute Melbourne Cup guide
TODAY sees the richest ever running of the Melbourne Cup - and the final call from Aussie sporting icon Bruce McAvaney.
McAvaney's confirmation this week the 2018 Cup will be his last one with Channel 7 headlines the pre-race build-up.
Here's everything you need to know about the race that stops the nation.
WHEN IS THE MELBOURNE CUP?
The 2018 Melbourne Cup is scheduled to jump at 3pm (AEDT).
WHERE IS THE CUP RUN?
The Melbourne Cup is run at Flemington Racecourse every year.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
The Melbourne Cup is the seventh race of a full 10-race meet. The day begins with the Group 3 Bumble Stakes at 10.50am (AEDT) and finishes with the Group 3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes at 5.20pm (AEDT).
A crowd of 100,000 is expected to flock to Flemington. Tickets are still available through Ticketek. General admission prices begin at $90.75 for adults.
Gates open at 8.30am
Channel 7's Cup Day coverage begins at 10am (AEDT). You can also watch the full meeting on Sky Racing 1 on Foxtel channel 526.
The 2018 Melbourne Cup will be the richest ever running of the famous race with total prize money increased to $7.3 million.
The Victoria Racing announced earlier this year that the first-place winner will receive a record $4 million under the new prize money structure along with a trophy valued at $200,000.
Second-place owners and connections will also take home $1 million.
Third place earns $500,000.
Horses from sixth to 12th now take home $150,000 each.
The 2017 Melbourne Cup had a prize money pool of $6.25 million.
2017 MELBOURNE CUP WINNER
Rekindling surprised many commentators with an impressive run to win the 2017 Cup ahead of Johannes Vermeer and Max Dynamite.
WHO IS THE FAVOURITE TO WIN THIS YEAR?
Yucatan is the favourite to win the 2018 Melbourne Cup.
The Irish stayer, trained by Aidan O'Brien, will be piloted by James McDonald.
Ladbrokes has Yucatan a clear $6 favourite. You can see our full form guide here.
Magic Circle $8
Cross Counter $10
Best Solution $12
WHAT TYPE OF RACE IS IT?
The Group 1 Melbourne Cup is a 3200m handicap. Best Solution has ben hit with a 57.5kg handicap while Cross Counter and Rostropovich will both carry the lightest weight of 51kg.
WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE ON TUESDAY?
The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts a day of showers for Melbourne on Tuesday. A top of 20C and up to 15mm of rain is predicted. Showers are expected to feature in the morning and afternoon with a chance of thunderstorms later in the afternoon.
LATEST FASHION ADVICE
Melbourne Cup Day is traditionally a day of bright, bold fashion statements. Ladies traditionally wear vibrant colours while gentlemen are encouraged to compliment their suits with a bright tie and pocket square combination.
The Flemington dress code states men must wear a tie or bow tie. Cross-trainers, sandals, thongs and any scuffed up footwear is not permitted. Jeans, caps, beanies and unkempt jackets are also not permitted. Flemington also reserves the right to refuse entry for ensembles that show excessive bare midriff.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE RACE THAT STOPS THE NATION?
The Melbourne Cup was first run in 1861 under the banner of the Victorian Turf Club and won by the Etienne de Mestre-trained Archer who beat the favourite Mormon by six lengths. The prize was 1420 pounds and the trophy a gold watch.
Trainer Bart Cummings is still regarded as the Cups King and has claimed 12 Melbourne Cups, beginning in 1965 with Light Fingers.
Makybe Diva is the only horse to win the Cup three times in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Perhaps the unluckiest of all Melbourne Cup runners was Shadow King who ran in six Cups between 1929 and 1935 finishing third to Phar Lap in 1930, second to White Nose in 1931, third to Peter Pan in 1932 and second again behind Hall Mark in 1933.
Four horses have win at the odds of 100-1: The Pearl (1871), Wotan (1936), Old Rowley (1940) and Prince Of Penzance (2015) - the longest odds of any cup winners
In 2015, Michelle Payne became the first woman to ride the winner of the Melbourne Cup when she steered the Darren Weir-trained Prince Of Penzance to a famous victory.
Craig Williams needs a Cup win to become the eighth jockey to complete the Grand Slam of Australian racing - Golden Slipper, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup. He missed the winning ride on Dunaden in 2011 through suspension and rides Youngstar this year.
The 2018 Cup will be Aussie sporting icon Bruce McAvaney's final call with the Channel 7 personality confirming he will not return for the 2019 Cup.
- with AAP