It has become an annual tradition at The Urban List to produce a comprehensive Melbourne Cup betting guide that is not only highly informative, but incredibly accurate as well.
Once again, we have spent the last 12 months scouring form guides, watching horse races all across Australia and the world, attending countless dawn trackwork sessions in all kinds of extreme conditions and talking to strappers, bookies jockeys, trainers and the horses themselves, just so we can present you, the reader, with the most knowledgeable and in-depth Cup guide on the planet.
We have studied the runners in this year's race and have narrowed our list of favourites down to just 10 horses. Forget the rest of the field. One of these 10 horses WILL win the Melbourne Cup.*
Here is our famous Melbourne Cup cheat sheet, which in some ways has grown to become bigger than the race itself.
(*Disclaimer: Nothing you read here is to be believed. It is all the product of a Mescaline-induced hallucination the writer experienced in Guadalajara back in 2004. It should not be taken seriously, and should absolutely not be used for betting guidance on Cup day.)
Rose to prominence by winning the Japanese game show Takeshi's Castle a record four times. A superstar in his homeland, he is known as the 'Japanese David Beckham' due to his penchant for high-end fashion and sports star/teen idol crossover status. On the track, he is more than just a show pony, however, and is considered one of the favourites for this year's Melbourne Cup for good reason.
He'll win because: He's a potent blend of star quality and Samurai spirit.
He might not win because: Gossip mags in Japan suggest Admire Rakti has been enjoying the high life a little too much lately, and may be suffering from alcoholism and/or gout.
Learnt the ropes in the German street racing scene before switching to mainstream track racing. Always easy to spot in the field as he wears shimmering titanium body armour adorned with huge, menacing-looking spikes protruding from the sides.
He'll win because: Tends to scare the bejeezus out of the other horses, who stay well out of his way.
He might not win because: His body armour is incredibly heavy and he can't run more than a few hundred metres without collapsing.
A gorgeous-looking black mare, Lucia Valentina played Black Beauty in the 1994 movie of the same name. She is rumoured to be currently dating Willing Foe.
She'll win because: As seen in the film, she has a beautiful gait and wonderful free spirit.
She might not win because: Has never actually been in a race before.
Though his owners tried to keep the truth hidden, it was revealed last year in a British tabloid that Fawkner was orphaned as a foul and raised by a family of goats. He actually believes himself to be a goat, rather than a horse, and behaves accordingly. He bleats rather than neighs, for example, and is known to be quite stubborn.
He'll win because: Despite trotting like a billygoat (which, quite frankly, looks ridiculous), Fawkner actually moves very quickly.
He might not win because: Has been disqualified from several races for head-butting opponents.
Wise-cracking American Willing Foe is one of the most popular horses in the sheds, and he is not a bad athlete either. Son of the legendary Thunder Kitten, he hails from the glamorous Godolphin stable, so you know he is the real deal.
He'll win because: He is coached by legendary boxing trainer Mickey Goldmill, who you might remember from the Rocky movies.
He might not win because: Romantically linked to Lucia Valentina who everyone knows is a bit of a lush. She has dated at least three other horses in this field, and that can't be good for Willing Foe's morale.
The only morbidly obese horse in the field, Sea Moon has been hailed as a plus-sized equine icon. Often causes great mirth in the grandstands because of his puffy-cheeked, squat running style. He celebrates each victory with a cream bun binge eating session.
He'll win because: He has done it before. After his 2011 Great Voltigeur Stakes victory, Sea Moon ate an entire 5,000 litre vat of duck fat then went into a two-week coma.
He might not win because: Swallowed his long-time jockey, Jimmy Nutts, whole last Spring Carnival, and is said to have been in a state of remorse ever since.
This British mare is an absolute nutjob. Nobody knows what she is going to do at any time. She refuses to work with a jockey, and once shaved off her boyfriend's eyebrows when he was sleeping because she found the Tinder app on his phone.
She'll win because: When she manages to channel her crazy, she can actually run really, really fast.
She might not win because: Who knows if she'll even show up to the track, let alone run in the right direction.
Who Shot Thebarman
Being a Kiwi horse, Who Shot Thebarman would probably rather be watching rugby, drinking Steinlagers or talking about Lord of the Rings than running in the Melbourne Cup. That being said, this spunky 6-year-old gelding has got some zip about him and shouldn't be discounted as a contender.
He'll win because: New Zealanders may lack a sense of humour and have no real culture to speak of, but they are generally pretty good at sport, especially considering the population of the country is only about 12,000.
He might not win because: I say this every year. Horses with 'joke' names never win the Cup.
The story of Brambles is a really heart-warming one. Rejected by his parents because he was deemed to be useless and have an idiotic face, he worked as a stable hand for Peter Moody until one day the trainer needed a horse to make up the numbers in the Caulfield Cup, because one of the other better horses was scratched. Nobody expected Brambles to do well, but he finished fourth that day. He showed everyone that sometimes having a big heart counts for an awful lot in horseracing. He is now reunited with his parents who forgave him for being crap. Somebody should make a movie about his story.
He'll win because: Imagine what a good ending to the movie that would make.
He might not win because: He is actually pretty crap still.
Junoob will make history on Tuesday as the first mule to run in the Melbourne Cup. Junoob's mother was a horse, sure enough, but his father was a donkey. If you're unfamiliar with the rules governing the Equus genus, that makes Junoob a mule. Rather than making fun of him for being different, though, we should celebrate his ability to make it in a horsey horse world against the odds.
He'll win because: A weight of 55.5kg should not bother him in the slightest. He can carry way more than that without any trouble.
He might not win because: Well, he's a goddam mule. Have you seen how slowly those things run?
Image credit: Birget Schnapp