Australia’s nation-stopping horsey event — AKA the Melbourne Cup — kicks off today at Flemington Racecourse. The event is expected to attract more than 100,000 eager punters, with millions more watching in pubs and offices around the country. Whether you're cheering from afar or attending in the flesh/hide, here are nine mobile apps that will help to streamline your day.
Photo: Flikr, Chris Phutully
Your official guide to all things Melbourne Cup. The app includes a review of all 24 horses in this year's race based on AusRacingStable's base star rating on recent form, preparation and ability at cup distance.
Melbourne Cup Sweep (web)
If you work in admin/reception, you've probably been roped into running the Melbourne Cup office sweepstakes. This web app will make your life much easier -- no more faffing about with scissors and tiny bits of paper! It lets you select friends from Facebook, your contacts or enter people manually to take part in a sweep. An iOS version is also available.
Pose is a fashion app that suggests personalised outfit ideas based on your weather and location. It also shows you what the fashion bloggers and stylists you follow are wearing in real time: handy if you're torn between several frocks and need some outside inspiration.
See also: How Melbourne Cup Betting Works
goCatch (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)
If you're attending Flemington Racecourse tomorrow (or going anywhere in Melbourne) it's essential that you book your transportation well in advance. goCatch can help in this area: it comes with a pre-booking fuction and allows you to book a maxi cab for the whole group.
For an extra splash of style, go with Uber Lux instead: this service lets you hire a driver and a decked-out luxury car to get you from A to B.
Instagram (iOS, Android, Windows Phone)
This one's a no brainer: if you don't have Instagram on your phone, download it now. It's the best way to quickly edit and share your Melbourne Cup photos and/or videos. It also boasts inbuilt integration with all major social networking services, including Twitter and Facebook.
If you're a Windows Phone user, Lumia Selfie is also worth a look -- it allows you to fine-tune your facial details.
Yelp (iOS, Android, Windows Phone.)
The best way to get maximum mileage out of your race threads is to swing by a restaurant for some post-Cup posh nosh. But where to go? Yelp is an excellent restaurant reviews database that generates its ratings via a mix of local moderators and an intelligent, active community.
Urbanspoon is also worth a look: in addition to crowdsourced menu recommendations, it comes with a randomising "Dinner Spinner" tool for those who like to live dangerously.
It wouldn't be an Australian sporting event without alcohol. Clipp is a simple app that lets you run up a bar tab before paying it on your phone via PayPal or credit card. (Click here to read our on-hands review.)
"Drink responsibly and have a glass of water with every drink you have," reminds Clipp's manager and co-founder Greg Taylor. "You will appreciate it the next day. Most importantly... drink driving is just not cool. Don't be that person!"
Not sure where to go for refreshments? The appropriately named Where The F*ck Should I Drink? can help to steer you in the right direction.
iHorse (iOS, Android, Windows Phone)
Billed as the most comprehensive horse racing game in the world, iHorse covers all elements of the sport; from horse auctioning and stable management to horse training and jockey hiring. Beware though: like many mobile games you're enticed to pay real cash for in-game credits.