THERE'S $7.3 million reasons for owners and connections to be talking up their chances ahead of the race that stops the nation.
1. Best Solution (Trainer Saeed bin Suroor) Jockey: Pat Cosgrave
"He is the right horse for the Melbourne Cup. He is very fit and he has held his form since he won the Caulfield Cup" - Saeed bin Suroor.
2. The Cliffsofmoher (Aidan O'Brien) Ryan Moore
"He's the form horse. He's placed in five Group Ones this year. Ryan (Moore) knows him well and hopefully he can get the best out of him" - Aidan O'Brien's travelling foreman TJ Comerford.
3. Magic Circle (Ian Williams) Corey Brown
"We've brought this horse here to win a Melbourne Cup. We haven't brought him here to mess about" - Ian Williams.
4. Chestnut Coat (Yoshito Yahagi) Yuga Kawada
"We had a long spell before the Caulfield Cup and I didn't think he had real fitness there. He's progressed well since the Caulfield Cup. We hopefully will be in the first 10 during the race" - Yoshito Yahagi.
5. Muntahaa (John Gosden) Jim Crowley
"All's gone well. The flight down took a bit out of him as you would expect. He's recovered well and is bouncing around the place happy and well so fingers crossed he handles the parade and runs all right" - assistant trainer Thady Gosden.
6. Sound Check (Mike Moroney) Jordan Childs
"I'm hoping we can sit in the first half of the field if we can. He's drawn a bit awkward but he's got some more fancied horses drawn outside him so I'll hopefully use them to get into a bit of a position" - Jordan Childs.
7. Who Shot Thebarman (Chris Waller) Ben Melham
"He really is a marvellous old horse and he is racing as well as ever. Typical of Chris Waller, he has the old boy peaking at just the right time," - co-owner Humphrey O'Leary.
8. Ace High (David Payne) Tye Angland
"I've put a line through the Caulfield Cup. It was just one of those days ... He should be a $26 chance not $71 so I'm hoping he can return to his best and I have not doubts about the 3200 metres" - David Payne.
9: Marmelo (Hughie Morrison) Hugh Bowman
"I think our expectations are running a decent race and finishing fourth or fifth and going home happy. Obviously we all wish for more and dream for more" - Hughie Morrison.
10. Avilius (James Cummings) Glyn Schofield
"He's really well. He looks strong, healthy, strong in the legs and he's coping with the work. He's just copping everything we've thrown at him this preparation" - James Cummings.
11. Yucatan (Aidan O'Brien) James McDonald
"The barrier is not the end of the world. Someone has to draw there. He'll stay in a nice rhythm. He's a European horse that covered ground last time, so it's not foreign for him. I know he can do it so that's a bit of a confident booster" - James McDonald.
12. Auvray (Richard Freedman) Tommy Berry
"I think he is a top 10 finisher and will run better than many people think. It's a great thrill. My horse who came from nowhere, was basically deleted and we've got him back to a Melbourne Cup" - Richard Freedman.
13. Finche (Chris Waller) Zac Purton
"He's run third to Cracksman and has beaten Avilius so he has the right form lines" - Chris Waller.
14. Red Cardinal (Darren Weir) Damien Oliver
"He's in good shape. His form has been a bit up and down but this has been his target race all the way through. Any give would be a help and he's drawn a good barrier. The way he worked on Friday suggests he's in the right shape and we're hoping to finish in the top 10" - Darren Weir.
15. Vengeur Masque (Mike Moroney) Patrick Moloney
"His trackwork has been phenomenal this week. He's kept on improving and in his action he has thrived. He couldn't possibly run bad the way he's going. If you watch his runs closely it's been a slow build up. I think he'll be in there for a long way" - Patrick Moloney.
16. Ventura Storm (Hayes, Hayes Dabernig) Mark Zahra
"We think we're a genuine top five chance. The horse is a last start winner and winning form is good form. He's been gelded and had a wind operation since he ran in this race last year and the stable feels he's a different horse now. We think he'll run a cheeky race with the good barrier" - co-trainer Ben Hayes.
17. A Prince Of Arran (Charlie Fellowes) Michael Walker
"The horse is fine (after Saturday's Lexus Stakes win). We won't know until the race whether he has come through it 100 per cent. If he hits the line well then we know he got over it, but he can't do anything more than what he's doing at the moment. So I wouldn't change a thing" - Charlie Fellowes.
18. Nakeeta (Iain Jardine) Regan Bayliss
"From my point of view, on paper you'd say he's probably going to struggle but from what I know about the horse and the race and the form, I'd say he will be the first of the roughies over the line" - co-owner Darren Dance.
19. Sir Charles Road (Lance O'Sullivan and Andrew Scott) Dwayne Dunn
"He will improve a lot in fitness off his third in the Bendigo Cup. He's got the credentials, he will run the two miles and it used to be a really good lead-up into a Melbourne Cup, being on a Kiwi stayer. And that's what he is. I'm sure he's going to run extremely well" - Dwayne Dunn.
20. Zacada (Baker/Forsman) Damian Lane
"He needs rain. But if he can tag on to the favourite Yucatan who drew 23 then who knows. We know he can run two miles" - part-owner Sir Patrick Hogan.
21. Runaway (Waterhouse/Bott) Stephen Baster
"We're really happy with him. He'll be a 33-1 pop, 25-1 pop, but he'll give them a great run for their money, both owners and the punters" - Gai Waterhouse.
22. Youngstar (Chris Waller) Craig Williams
"She's got the credentials as a Queensland Oaks winner. She has a light weight and a lightweight rider which is a key. And she ran second to Winx and that's the best form in the world" - Chris Waller.
23. Cross Counter (Charlie Appleby) Kerrin McEvoy
"I'm confident he's going to put forward a nice effort on Tuesday. He seems fit enough even though he had those few quiet days with the setback, - Kerrin McEvoy.
24. Rostropovich (Aidan O'Brien) Wayne Lordan
"He's done well and he's a happy horse and he's well in with very little weight. He's got a bad draw and has a lot to learn as well so it's probably going to be harder for him" - Aidan O'Brien's foreman TJ Comerford.