Prime Minister places Melbourne Cup bets

Prime Minister places Melbourne Cup bets

The Prime Minister has placed his bets in the Melbourne Cup and revealed his strategy.

"I'm thinking Big Orange 'cause I love crayfish."

Mr Key is also backing Oceanographer and maybe Hartnall "because it's got a Kiwi connection" in jockey James McDonald.

He was also wearing the same shirt and tie he wore on election night 2014.

"Good omen, that's what I'm thinking."

Mr Key says his choice of Big Orange was nothing to do with liking a certain U.S. presidential candidate.

"Is he orange though? He's more red isn't he."

But he says even if his bets pull through he's unlikely to see any of the winnings.

"Every year I haven't seen a single cent of any dollar I've invested in this place because even if I win, which I have occasionally, people in my office take it and shout morning tea for everyone so this money, I may as well kiss it goodbye now."

He wouldn't be drawn on whether champagne would be popped on the Beehive's ninth floor if his bets come through.

Racing Minister Nathan Guy says he has a box trifecta he's having a crack at.

"Hartnall will be up there, Big Orange, Oceanographer, they should all be in the top three or four," Mr Guy says.

Australian bookmakers are backing Hartnall to win tonight's $6.4 million race at Flemington, which starts at 5pm NZT.

The TAB is paying $8 for Oceanographer to win and $15 for The Big Orange.