AUSTRALIA will come to a standstill on Tuesday for the Melbourne Cup.
Worth around £2.4million to the winner, it is one of the richest prizes in racing and the one they all want to win.
But with 23 runners going over two miles, it can be a helter skelter dash for the finish.
Here, Templegate goes through every runner one by one and rates them out of five stars.
You'll also find every horse number and their starting stall for the 'race that stops a nation' (4am UK time).
Melbourne Cup runner-by-runner guide (odds correct at time of writing)
GOLD TRIP 3
GOLD star. Won this last year and has been busy in the past couple of weeks getting fit as he did in 2022. We know trip and track are ideal.
Can run well but it’s almost 50 years since a horse carried this much weight to win.
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Former William Haggas runner whose best form has been over shorter. Long odds but booking of Damien Oliver in the saddle catches the eye.
WITHOUT A FIGHT 4
FIGHT a knockout. Has copped a tricky wide draw but was impressive when winning the prestigious Caulfield Cup last time.
Was midfield last year from a tricky stall but is a better horse this season since moving yards and has place claims.
GIVE me a Break. Japanese raider who has been placed in hot contests over there but didn’t stay in the Caulfield Cup so has something to prove from his wide draw.
Japanese horses do well in Australia so you have to mark him up a little.
BAN on the run. Hot favourite from master trainer Willie Mullins who was impressive when taking a Royal Ascot handicap before a Naas Group 3.
Should stay thanks to his top-class hurdling form but hasn’t tackled this trip on the Flat before and there will be a breakneck pace.
Has a good draw and Ryan Moore on board so has every chance but is pretty short now.
SWEET Soul. Was an impressive winner at this meeting last year and has been brought along slowly including when not asked too many questions in the Caulfield Cup last time.
Magic man Joao Moreira takes over on board and he can take this strong stayer very close at a fair price.
AB quite fab. Second Mullins runner who was a good Ebor winner at York so should have no problem staying.
Top Hong Kong pilot Zac Purton takes over thanks to Frankie’s whip ban and Ebor winners have placed in this before.
Was well beaten by Vauban at Royal Ascot but should be less between them over this trip. Could nick a place.
RIGHT YOU ARE 2
RIGHT looks wrong. Personal best when fifth in the Caulfield Cup last time when leading into the straight before not staying strongly. Not ideally drawn and needs a step up for this.
VOW AND DECLARE 2
DECLARE all out. Won this in 2019 and no horse has taken the race again after such a gap. Was only 10th last year but is in decent form and has less weight this time. Place hope at best.
TURNED to Ash. Finished 10th in this three years ago and has been nursed back after a serious injury. Solid effort in the Geelong Cup but will need a lot more here.
DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR 1
SWEET and sour. Has been out of form for a while including when well beaten upped in trip last time. Needs a major step forward to figure.
OKITA SOUSHI 2
OKITA just OK. Joseph O’Brien runner who won well at Royal Ascot before a poor effort in the Caulfield Cup on his Aussie debut last time.
That was clearly just a prep run and he’ll do better here but needs to improve.
OFF the Raz. Has modest record Down Under and best form has some on a softer track than this. Was well held last time but should be outclassed.
NOT Last. Group 3 winner in France last time out when seeing out 1m6f strongly on soft ground. That makes you think she’ll stay and Craig Williams is a good jockey booking. Worry is the quicker surface she’ll face here but can’t be ruled out.
MAGICAL LAGOON 1
LAGOON sunk. Won the Irish Oaks last year for Jessica Harrington but has struggled since moving Down Under to join Chris Waller and shouldn’t stay this trip.
MILITARY MISSION 3
ON a Mission. Boxed on well to win a Caulfield Grade 2 last time over 1m4f after taking the Newcastle Cup earlier this season. Goes up in trip for the first time but looks like a stayer. Fair outsider.
TINE only fine. Another owned by seven-time winners but he has only scored once since his shock 2020 Derby win from the front at Epsom.
He ran OK over the Derby trip when third here last time but needs the longer distance to bring out more. Hard to not fancy a Classic winner but he has a lot on his plate.
VIRTUOUS CIRCLE 1
VIRT no cert. Form has been hit and miss and his best efforts have come on bottomless ground which he isn’t likely to get here. Hard to fancy.
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MORE FELONS 3
MORE to come. Ran well in the Ebor and was a Grade 2 winning hurdler over this trip for Milton Harris.
Was just pipped on his Aussie debut for Chris Waller and could do better. This is a big hike in class though.
FUTURE HISTORY 4
HISTORY boy. Has done well since heading Down Under from France and was a Grade 3 winner here in October before a solid effort last time.
Has a low weight and can give Hollie Doyle a good spin from a fair draw.
NOT Inter him. Battled up the straight to win the Group 3 Bendigo Cup over 1m4f last time but this is a much stiffer contest. He has not stayed when tacking beyond that trip in the past.
POUR it on. Finished well when scoring over an extended 1m4f here at the weekend so will be fit and that race has produced winners of this race before.
Has a fair weight but didn’t seem to quite stay the St Leger trip last month.
TRUE MARVEL 1
TRUE is false. Thorough stayer but his losing run is mounting up now and is almost certainly too slow to figure in this company.
Melbourne Cup key stats
It’s ten years since the last favourite won the Melbourne Cup.
None of the past six winners scored on their previous start.
Only two horses have won the Cup at shorter odds than 2-1 in its 162 runnings and one of those was the great Phar Lap.
Stalls 6 and 24 haven’t won in the past 40 years.
Numbers 4,5,8 and 11 are the best stalls.
I’M sweet on SOULCOMBE in the Melbourne Cup.
He will be a huge threat provided he doesn’t get himself too far back early on as he did in the Caulfield Cup last time.
He has yet to be out of the frame in three runs at Flemington and Joao Moreira can win the Melbourne Cup on his own Frankie Dettori-style farewell tour.
Vauban’s price is getting pretty short now but he was impressive when winning the Copper Horse Handicap before a Naas Group 3.
He has the world’s best jockey in Ryan Moore on board which can't hurt either.
It may seem silly to question his stamina given he’s a Grade 1 winner over timber but this is the longest trip he’s tackled on the Flat and the race will be run at breakneck pace.
He will be in the mix but isn’t a cert.
Don’t rule out Hollie Doyle making the frame at a big price on Future History who ran a cracker over a staying trip last time and has little lead in the saddle.
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Caulfield Cup winner Without A Fight has improved since moving to his current trainer and has a live chance.
Last year’s winner Gold Trip is having his third run in 17 days and has solid claims despite his big weight. It will be a huge effort to follow up but he could hit the places.
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