Melbourne Cup, 2017, Bathurst | Photos, pictures

AS Bathurst paused on Tuesday afternoon to watch the Melbourne Cup, many punters headed to their nearest hotel or restaurant.

Work colleagues Jarrah Hale, David Ten Broeke and James Lloyd were among the afternoon crowds at The George Hotel.

The trio were there for a long lunch to take in the race action.

The George Hotel owner Matt Harrowsmith said 40 people booked into the pub’s annual Melbourne Cup luncheon.

“Numbers were down a little on last year, but there’s so much going on around Bathurst,” he said.

Mr Harrowsmith said punters were offered a special menu to mark the occasion.

“We offered a two course special menu for the day with a glass of prosecco on entry,” he said.

“They’re here enjoying themselves.”

As the nation paused and held a collective breath at 3pm for the 3200 metre race, many Bathurstians kept a close eye on one particular horse.

Bathurst couple Mick and Stacey Whittaker have shares in Tiberian, a French horse that had its maiden Melbourne Cup race on Tuesday.

In the end, Tiberian placed seventh in the race that stops the nation.

The Cup winner was Rekindling (22), followed by Johannes Vermeer (7) and Max Dynamite (9).