7:20pm - Exhilirates ($2.20) has come home first in the final race of the day, with The Astrologist ($2.20) second and Sirius Suspect third ($4.70).
That will do us for Melbourne Cup day 2020. Thanks for tuning in.
6:42pm - Outsider Rich Hips has taken first place in race nine at Flemington, with Lyre in second and Wild Voxen in third.
Rich Hips was paying $23 to win, while Lyre ($1.70) and Wild Vixen ($2.60) were at much shorter odds.
The final race on the card will run at 7:15pm.
6:06pm - Favourite Purple Sector has taken out the Furphy Plate at Flemington, paying $2.20 for the win and $1.40 for the place.
Goldfields was a long-odds second, paying $9.60, with Odeon third ($2.40).
Two more races on the card - the Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes is next at 6:40pm.
5:43pm - Sad news from the track, where Anthony Van Dyck has been euthanised after breaking down near the end of the Melbourne Cup.
The horse was seen to stop running down the home straight and was transported off the course in an ambulance.
It was diagnosed with a fractured fetlock, which corresponds to a human ankle.
5:34pm - Believe it or not, there are still two more races on the card at Flemington, with the Furphy Plate time for 6pm NZ.
Purple Sector is the favourite at $3/$1.90, with Harbour Views ($5.50/$1.50) and Homesman ($6.70/$2.50) next.
5:23pm - Best Kiwi horse was The Chosen One, which rattled home for fourth.
Other placings were Persan fifth, Sir Dragonet sixth, Verry Elleegant seventh, Russian Camelot eighth, Finche ninth and Ashrun 10th.
Favourite Surprise Baby finished 13th, eight lengths back.
Apparently Anthony Van Dyck was pulled up before the finish, so Avilius claims last place in the office sweepstake, 21 lengths behind the winner.
5:14pm - Winning jockey Jye McNeil admits leading all the way was Plan A, but he felt the pressure to fufill that strategy.
5:11pm - Tremendous run from Twilight Payment, which led from the start and stretched out the field, just holding on for victory.
Provisional results have Twilight Payment paying $27.20 for the win, $8.10 for the place.
Tiger Moth, which stood as favourite for most of the day, offers $2.90 for the place and Prince of Arran has missed out again, paying $3.20.
5:06pm - Twilight Payment has held on from Tiger Moth and Prince of Arran... Surprise Baby never ran on to finish well back.
5:05pm - Turning into the straight Twilight Payment still ahead of Finch...
5:04pm - 1400m to go Twilight Payment, Finch and Tiger Moth
5:03pm - Twilight Payment, Tiger Month, Vow and Declare with 2200m to go...
5:02pm - Finch and Vow And Declare lead the early stages...
5:01pm - Surprise Baby continues to firm as favourite...
4:58pm - They're heading to the stalls for the big race. Shame there's no-one at the course to cheer them on.
4:18pm - Surprise Baby is firming as favourite for the Melbourne Cup. Someone just laid down $49,000 for a payout of $367,500!
Here's a rundown of the top chances...
Surprise Baby $7.40/$2.90
Tiger Moth $8.10/$3.10
Prince of Arran $8.40/$3
Verry Elleegant $11.10/$3.70
Anthony Van Dyck $11.60/$3.80
If your sweepstake pays out on last place, Mustajeer is trailling the field at $63.30/$19.30.
4pm - Outrageous has taken out the Grinders Coffee Roasters Trophy at Flemington, paying $9 for the win and $2.50 for a place.
Ocular ($2.70) finishes second and The Difference ($5.20) third.
Next up is the main event - the Melbourne Cup - at 5pm. Have you made your selection yet?
3:31pm - Kiwi jockey Michael Walker has received a show of support from his Melbourne neighbours, awaking to a message scrawled on the road outside his house.
"Melbourne Cup 2020... good luck, The Cuz."
Walker, 36, has never won the Melbourne Cup and will ride longshot Dashing Willoughby in this year's edition.
3:23pm - Favourite Ain'tnodeeldun has taken out the TAB Trophy - the fifth on the card at Flemington - with Confrontational and Grinzinger Lord filling minor placings.
The winner is paying $1.80/$1.30, with Confrontational returning $3.20 and Grinzinger Lord $2.20.
Next race is the Grinder Coffee Rosters Trophy, timed for 3:55pm.
2:44pm - Sin to Win has run out winner of The Macca's Run, storming down the middle of the track to prevail by a couple of lengths from Naval Warfare and favourite Yonkers, with a photo required to separate the minor placegetters.
Sin to Win is paying $8.60 and $2.50.
Next race is the TAB Trophy, timed for 3:20pm.
2:27pm - Yonkers, paying $4.70/$1.90, looms as the favourite for The Macca's Run, timed to jump at 2:40pm.
Knights Order ($6.50/$2.40) and Sin to Win ($6.90/$2.20) are next among the entrants.
2:07pm - Thank goodness, a favourite finally came in at Flemington, with Alleboom taking out race three, paying out $3.30 and $1.50.
Hard Landing finished second and Mr Moppett third - the quinella of the two most-favoured horses paid only $7.70.
Next race - The Macca's Run - will run at 2:40pm.
1:52pm - Alleboom looms as favourite for the Schweppervescence Plate, offering $4.10 and $1.70 at the tote.
Hard Landing ($4.70/$1.90) and Harlem Blues ($4.90/$1.60) are also well backed.
1:35pm - While there can be no Fashion in the Field under COVID protocols, Myers department store has rebranded the event 'Fashions on Your Front Lawn'.
"The competition will be conducted completely online and this year will see opportunity like no other, as all entrants are invited to upload and submit up to four individual racewear outfits, through the duration of the competition."
Here are some of the entries so far, with winners due to be finalised on Thursday...
1:22pm - No Restriction has taken out the World Horse Racing Desirable Stakes, paying $40.10/$8.90.
Favourite Joviality got trapped on the fence and back in the field, and couldn't make a run.
Race three - the Schweppervescence Plate - is timed to jump at 2pm.
1:12pm - Race two at Flemington is just seven minutes away. Jovialty ($3/$1.38) is favourite, with Twain's Express ($3.70/$1.55) and Sweet Reply ($6/$2.25) also well backed.
12:55pm - Meanwhile, legendary horse trainer Gai Waterhouse has joined those slamming state government restrictions on the Melbourne Cup Race Day, with no spectators allowed at Flemington under COVID-19 protocols.
Initially, owners and connections seemed able to attend, with a limit of 500 people, but the deal between the Moonee Vally Racing Club and the Victorian Government fell through, leaving only essential staff exempt.
"It's quite ridiculous really, the way they've gone in Victoria," the 'First Lady of Racing' has told 2GB radio. "The Premier there should wake up and let people go on with their business. The state will go broke with the way he's going.
"COVID's here to last, we may as well start to live with it, otherwise Australia will go belly-up. By all means social distance, but you can't have a country cut off at the knees!"
Sydney-based Waterhouse has no horses in this year's edition, but became the third woman and first Aussie woman to train a Melbourne Cup winner in 2013, with Fiorente.
12:48pm - Finance Tycoon has taken the first race on the card at Flemington, outlasting a late run from favourite Ingratiating, who missed the jump.
The winner paid $8.10/$2.90 at the NZ TAB, with Ingratiating on $1.30 for the place. Marine One finished third, but with only seven starters, there was no third dividend.
11:53am - Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs has reminded Kiwi punters that firearms, liquor, tobacco and sexual services cannot be used as prizes for Melbourne Cup sweepstake prizes.
In an official press release, the agency also warns...
- Prize money can't exceed $500
- All money must be returned as prizes
- Organisers can't profit in any way from holding a sweepstake
Good to know! Get your TAB-approved sweepstake kit here.
11:45am - One hour until the Melbourne Cup meeting official begins at Flemington, with the Darlely Maribyrning Plate first on the card.
Top pics for this race, with NZ TAB fixed odds, are:
Ingratiating - $1.60/$1.10
Marine One - $4.60/$1.30
Own The Night - $7/$1.65
Finance Tycoon - $9/$2.05
Treporti - $11/$2.30
11:40am - Maybe you should steer clear of these Melbourne Cup tragics during a coronavirus pandemic...
11:16am - Tiger Moth has emerged as the early Melbourne Cup favourite on the NZ TAB, paying $6.50 on fixed odds and $2.40 for the place.
Surprise Baby ($8/$2.80) looms as second favourite, with Anthony Van Dyck ($9.50/$3.10) also highly favoured.
If your office sweepstake is paying out on last placing, Etah James ($71/$18) is the longshot punt.
Meanwhile, those celebrities that usually flock to Flemington will be
10:41am - Drama at Flemington, with King of Leogrance a late scratching for the Melbourne Cup.
A vet inspection this morning has revealed the horse was lame in its off fore leg.
King of Leogrance was considered a long shot to win and its withdrawal leaves trainer Danny O'Brien with only three entries this year, after winning with Vow and Declare last year.
"You come this far and think you're there, but with a twist of fate, you're not," owner Nick Williams tells The Age. "But if you've been in racing a while, you get used to these things."
Significantly, King of Leogrance was drawn in barrier 18, which is famously cursed. No horse has ever won the Melbourne Cup from that position - so the curse continues.
Meanwhile, there's talk that the Melbourne Cup race record of 3m 16.3s, held by Kingston Town, might fall today, with conditions considered ideal for a fast race over 3200 metres.
10:18am - Victoria Racing Club chair Amanda Elliott is "puzzled" at the inability to host spectators at Flemington, despite the lifting of Victoria's coronavirus lockdown.
The club has launched the Melbourne Cup Foundation, consolidating its existing charitable initiatives.
Today's big race will proceed without the massive crowds that normally pack the racecourse, as state authorities try to limit the prospect of another COVID-19 wave.
"The restaurants are open, the pubs are open, the shops are bursting with people, and Flemington - an outdoor venue sitting on 250 acres - no-one can come," Elliott has told Herald Sun Confidential. "Certainly was a little puzzling to me.
"This year is a little weird, but I'm still just as excited, because the race itself is magnificent.
"I'm not sure I've seen a stronger edition of the Melbourne Cup ever. The quality of the racing has gone to a new level."
Elliott also suggests the foundation would support animal-welfare causes, an element that brings activists to the venue every year, protesting against the over-use of whips on racehorses.
Kia ora, good morning and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the 'race that stops two nations' - the Melbourne Cup from Flemington.
While the event is an Australian institution, with Victorians celebrating a public holiday on the first Tuesday of November, New Zealand also enjoys a rich history in this race.
If you're only a casual punter, this is the one day each year you reach for your wallet for an entry in your office sweepstake.
Fortunately, Newshub and the TAB have produced a sweepstake kit and form guide just for you.
Of course, this year's Melbourne Cup will lack much of the pomp and ceremony that comes with it. Victoria's recent COVID-19 lockdown had put a real damper on proceedings and while locals will be relishing their newfound freedom, no crowds are allowed at Flemington Racecourse.
That means presumably we won't be seeing scenes like this...
But we will likely still see scenes like this...
More to come