The Melbourne Cup is one of the highlights of the global racing calendar, with more than 100,000 fans expected to descend on Flemington Racecourse to witness this year's edition of the contest.

When is the Melbourne Cup?

The eagerly-awaited race will take place on Tuesday 1 November at 3pm local time (4am UK time). The Melbourne Cup is always held on the first Tuesday in November and is considered to be among the highlights of the Australian sporting calendar.

The race is the main event of Melbourne Cup Day and is regarded by locals to be the jewel in the Melbourne Cup Carnival crown.

Where to watch?

The Melbourne Cup is being broadcast on At The Races, with the race starting at 4am UK time, 3pm local time. Commentary of the race is also available on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Preview

The 3,200-metre race is for three-year-olds and over and is the richest two-mile handicap in the world. The much-anticipated sporting event is known among Victorians as the race that stops a nation.

This year's line-up at Flemington Racecourse is headed by Hartnell, trained in Australia by John O'Shea. The horse could give give Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin team their first-ever win in the iconic race. But having finished 15th last year, Sheikh Mohammed will be aware that a victory is far from certain.

Sheikh Mohammed
Sheikh Mohammed is seeking an historic win in Melbourne Getty Images

The Godolphin team also have four other runners trained in Britain in the shape of Saeed bin Suroor's Secret Number and Beautiful Romance and Charlie Appleby's Oceanographer and Qewy, all of whom are vying for the AUS $6.2m (£3.86m) prize money.

Another horse competing in Melbourne is Big Orange, who is seeking to become the first British-trained winner of the race, while Jameka is the only Australian-bred runner set to line up at the racecourse.

The favourite

Hartnell is the bookies' favourite for the race in Melbourne, having won the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington in September before finishing runner-up in the Cox Plate. And Chris Waller – one of Australia's leading trainers – thinks Hartnell is the most-likely victor on Tuesday (1 November).

"I'm hel- bent on the Australian horses, I can't go past Hartnell because he beat Jameka in the Turnbull," Waller said, according to racing.com. "I realise he has had a couple of runs at two miles and not performed at his best but I feel he is a different horse this preparation and it would just frank the Winx form and obviously Jameka herself. Whatever stays the two miles out of those two will be hard to beat as their form is impeccable."

Hartnell
Hartnell is the favourite for the big race Getty Images

Odds

  • Hartnell 11/2
  • Bondi Beach 6/1
  • Jameka 8/1
  • Almandin 8/1
  • Big Orange 9/1
  • Oceanographer 9/1
  • Heartbreak City 14/1
  • Wicklow Brave 16/1
  • Qewy 18/1
  • Secret Number 20/1
  • Almoonqith 20/1
  • Exospheric 22/1
  • Grey Lion 28/1
  • Grand Marshal 33/1
  • Curren Mirotic 33/1
  • Who Shot Thebarman 33/1
  • Our Ivanhowe 40/1
  • Beautiful Romance 50/1
  • Gallante 66/1
  • Sir John Hawkwood 66/1
  • Excess Knowledge 66/1
  • Assign 100/1
  • Pentathlon 150/1
  • Rose Of Virginia 200/1

(Betfair)