GREAT OZ: Warwick bookmaker John Thornton said the Melbourne Cup had
GREAT OZ: Warwick bookmaker John Thornton said the Melbourne Cup had "changed completely" with the number of European horses, but he'll still be backing a local. Marian Faa

MELBOURNE CUP: Bookie's top tip for a big dollar win

WITH European horses now making up most of the Melbourne Cup, Warwick bookmaker John Thornton said Australia's biggest horse race was changing by the stride.

When the golden gates open at Flemington Racecourse at 2pm tomorrow, 17 horses from Europe and Great Britain will emerge.

Four of the 24 entrants were born in Australia.

Mr Thornton said European blood was changing the nature of the race.

"It has made it so interesting," he said.

"They have better stayers, the long-distance runners, over there."

Nevertheless, Mr Thornton will take a patriotic gamble when he backs the Australian-born Youngstar.

Mr Thornton said the four-year-old bay mare, a High Chaparral cross Starspangled horse trained by Chris Waller, was the "best of the locals".

"It's got a light weight and it is bred for distance... there is a lot to like about it," he said.

"That's the one we'll be having our money on."

But professed "sensible gambler" Barry Krause has stood by the international breeds from the beginning, and has been trying to find another win ever since.

In 1993, Mr Krause backed the first overseas-trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup.

Vintage Crop was the UK gelding that landed $160 in Mr Krause's pocket all those years ago.

This year, Best Solution got his vote.

Mr Krause got in early and placed his bets at the Warwick's newest TAB at the Horse and Jockey.

"Always back the top weight, if in doubt," Mr Krause said.

For TABs around the town, the event will mean an 8am start so workers can pair their morning coffee with a spot of gambling before they head off to the daily grind.

Criterion Hotel manager Kylie Jenner said: "It's an absolutely huge day for us."

The 2018 Melbourne Cup will be held tomorrow at 2pm AEST.