They filed along in an orderly line but on Tuesday they will do everything they can to get a nose in front.
There were 24 contenders in the parade, and while each horse and jockey will do its best to cross the line first, there’s plenty of talk of whether it will be the year for Gai Waterhouse.
Her horse Fiorente, the runner-up in the 2012 Melbourne Cup, is being widely tipped as the one to watch this year.
Jockey Damien Oliver said the horse had been trained specifically for this year’s Melbourne Cup.
“He ran second last year and (Waterhouse) had a full year with the horse now from last year and he’s been trained specifically for this race,” Oliver said.
“He’s had a great preparation.”
WATCH: SBS reporter Glenn Osbourne reports from the Melbourne Cup parade
But for Waterhouse to claim her first Cup win, she will have to overcome last year’s winner Green Moon, whose jockey Brett Prebble is also feeling confident.
Asked if Green Moon could do it again, Prebble simply said “he’s proven”.
However, he is mindful of the close field.
“It’s a very even, very competitive field,” Prebble said.
“There are probably 18 horses that you could make a case for a win.”
Melbourne Cup devotee Tom Blair picked Green Moon to win last year, but the Cowra resident – who has travelled to Melbourne for the race every year for the past 33 years – doesn’t think Green Moon has it in him to do it again.
For 2013 his money will be on Hawkspur.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle is tipping Seville from Lloyd Williams’ stable.
“My grandad used to say ‘it’s not who owns the Melbourne Cup who surprises you, it’s who doesn’t,” Mr Doyle said.
“There are so many good horses in it that many of them can win.”
Lisa Glasby, who came all the way from Tweed Heads to watch the Melbourne Cup, said the parade was part of the exciting lead-up to the real thing.
“We’ve been a racing family from way back … but it will be my first time at the Cup.”
Television host Matt Preston, who was studying a form guide despite accessorising his sage-coloured suit with a Mount Athos cap, urged punters to use it as an opportunity to improve their betting odds.
“It’s a great chance to get last-minute tips,” Mr Preston said.