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RNZ Live Blog: 2018 Melbourne Cup

LIVE: 2018 Melbourne Cup

The 2018 Melbourne Cup is here, join us for all the latest action from Flemington Raceway. Follow live updates with Matt Chatterton.

Before the big race gets underway here's a few facts to get you started.

The race (Race 7) takes place at 5pm NZ time at Flemington Raceway. The Melbourne Cup is held on the first Tuesday of November and features 24 horses aged three years or older. The race typically lasts between three and three and a half minutes with the horses going around the 3200m (two mile) track once.

This year's winner will take home $A7.3 million ($NZ7.9m). The favourite for the race is number 11 Yucatan which is owned by Lloyd Williams - the most successful horse owner in the history of the Melbourne Cup. The favourite only wins the cup about one in five times but they do often place.

Today is a public holiday for all those that work in Melbourne's metropolitan area though more Australians take sick leave today than any other day. Analysts say it costs Australia more than a billion dollars in lost productivity.

Last year 90 thousand punters attended Flemington for the Melbourne Cup, the record for highest attendance was in 2003 when more than 122 thousand people watched Makybe Diva win the first of its three titles.

Each year the Department of Internal Affairs reminds New Zealanders of the rules running a company sweepstake for the Cup. Here they are:

• Prize money can't exceed $500. Otherwise, you'll need to apply for a licence.

• Any money raised must be returned as prizes.

• Firearms, liquor, tobacco and vouchers for sexual services are all prohibited prizes. So you'll need to rein it in if you planned to offer these as sweepstake prizes.

• The organiser can't pocket a fee or profit in any way from holding a sweepstake.

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