Melbourne Cup – the race that stops the nation – is nearly here. Women would have shopped for the best fascinators and dresses, men would have dusted off their best suits, and the spectators are getting ready to party. And all this effort for three-and-a-half minutes of speed, drama and the heated relationship between horse and jockey.
However, not everyone can make it to Melbourne’s famous Flemington Racecourse on race day. There’s no need to fret, though, if you don’t have a telly in your office, as you can stream Melbourne Cup 2018 live from anywhere in the world on your computer or mobile.
What is the Melbourne Cup?
For the uninitiated, the Cup is Australia’s most prestigious – and richest – ‘two mile’ handicap race for thoroughbreds aged three-year-old and over. The event is part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and was first held in 1861.
While it’s still referred to as a ‘two-mile’ handicap race, that’s not the actual distance the horses gallop. It was originally run over a distance of two miles (3.219km) but was shortened to 3.2km in 1972 when Australia adopted the metric system.
Winners of the Melbourne Cup have always pocketed a hefty bag of prize money and trophies that cost a pretty penny too. This year, the prize money is at an all-time high of AU$7.3 million – AU$1.1 million more than in 2017.
With a purse that's a whopping $7.3 million, the stakes are extremely high. Last year's winner was Rekindling, with jockey Corey Brown in the saddle. There are 24 horses competing in the main event this year, of which the hot favourites are Best Solution with jockey Pat Cosgrove, The Cliffsofmoher ridden by jockey Ryan Moore, and Magic Circle with last year's winning jockey Corey Brown.
However, the hottest of them all is Yucatan Ire, jockeyed by Sydney's own James McDonald.
For stat fans, a Bart Cummings-trained horse called Kingston Rule famously smashed the record time back in 1990 with a 3 minutes and 16 seconds finish. Will that record be broken in 2018?
When is the Melbourne Cup?
The Melbourne Cup is always held on the first Tuesday of November each year. That means this year, the race that brings a nation to a halt will be held on Tuesday, November 6.
While Victoria enjoys a public holiday on the day, most Aussies around the nation drop whatever they’re doing and become horse racing experts for an entire afternoon.
The race begins at 3pm AEST, so Queenslanders will need to tune in at 2pm, while South Australia and Western Australia can set an alarm for 2:30pm and 12pm respectively.
How to watch the Cup on TV in Australia
The Seven Network has held the broadcasting rights for the Melbourne Cup for 15 years, and they’re back on board for 2018 as well.
For those who want to watch all the racing actions, including interviews and all nine races held on the day, Channel 7 will begin free-to-air coverage from 10am AEST.
Seven West’s partnership with Racing.com ensures you can also watch the Cup on channel 78 (for metropolitan areas) and channel 68 (for digital). Racing.com is also available on Foxtel on channel 529.
If you do have a Foxtel subscription, the Cup will also be broadcast live on Sky Racing 1 (channel 526).
How to watch the Melbourne Cup online in Australia
If you find the Melbourne Cup captivating but can’t get to a telly that arvo, there are quite a few options for live streaming the event in Australia.
Another option is to catch the Cup on bookmaking sites. Many betting sites – like SportsBet, CrownBet and Ladbrokes – offer free live streams during Melbourne Cup, but you will need to create a user account to use their services. And if you are planning on placing bets during the Cup, please remember to gamble responsibly.
How to watch the Melbourne Cup on mobile or tablet in Australia
As mentioned above, Twitter will stream the main race at 3pm live and free, so users can watch on their handheld devices if they’re nowhere near a computer.
Seven’s online web streaming platform also has an app. The 7Plus app is available to download for both iOS and Android.
Foxtel subscribers can also watch the Cup on the Foxtel Go app, although you will need access to the Sports package to watch on mobile or tablet.
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