The first race of the day has been run with punters going all out as the gates opened in the hopes of getting the best seat in the house.
November 5, 2019 6:33AM
Last updated November 5, 2019 10:27AM AEDT
Welcome to our live coverage of the biggest race day on the Australian calendar.
The 24 horse field is set and millions of dollars are being spent as the race that stops the nation draws closer. The 2019 Melbourne Cup runs at 3pm (AEDT).
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Half a dozen protesters are at the entrance, holding anti-racing and animal welfare signs as punters arrive for race day festivities.
The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses has organised a demonstration today, hoping to build on yesterday’s rowdy and well-attended Cup Parade protest in the CBD.
It’s not just Melbourne where anti-racing activities are planned.
In Brisbane, a dozen or so people are picketing outside Eagle Farm racecourse, chanting at people as they arrive.
Police in Victoria have deployed a large number of officers and will also use two drones to keep watch over crowds.
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.”
Punters are streaming through the turnstiles at Flemington where the sun has come out but the protesters have so far stayed away.
There’s an increased police presence at the gates and trackside for what authorities feared would be a large-scale protest that has yet to eventuate.
A security guard out front told news.com.au not a single protester has turned up.
Instead it’s all smiles from racegoers, including this colourful pair who return to Melbourne from Newcastle for their second cup in two years.
“We love it here,” said the man in the rainbow mohawk and pink shades.
“We got rained out last year but the weather is better today.”
The grass trackside is very wet in some spots and heels are already sticking in the mud.
But there are no such problems inside The Birdcage where those with passes to marquees are already sipping on champagne and smiling in selfies.
– Rohan Smith, news.com.au
The doom and gloom predicted for Cup Day couldn’t keep the punters and sun away at Flemington.
The Bureau updated its forecast to reveal no rain is now predicted for Melbourne on Tuesday.
The sun has also popped up from behind the clouds, leading racing experts to predict the Flemington track will harden towards a Soft (5) before the Melbourne Cup jumps at 3pm (AEDT).
The meeting opened with the Darley Ottawa Stakes, which was officially run as a Soft (6).
However, the sun is expected to dry the track out despite Flemington racecourse receiving 12.2mm over the past 24 hours.
A partly cloudy day with a top of 19C is expected.
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.
Jim Beam Stakes favourite Jamaican Rain has been scratched on Tuesday morning by order of Racing Victoria stewards.
Racing Victoria’s Compliance Assurance Team (CAT) announced the favourite for the Melbourne Cup curtain raiser on Tuesday afternoon was ordered to be scratched at 10.11am, after stewards identified a knee injury.
“Jamaican Rain has been withdrawn owing to an injury to its knee that was detected during an inspection by the Compliance Assurance Team this morning,’ Racing Victoria said in a statement.
“After conferring with trainer Richard Laming the horse was withdrawn by Order of the Stewards at 10.11am.
“Furthermore, the stewards are currently awaiting a report from the CAT to determine whether any further inquiries are required. We will provide a further update once that has occurred.”