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Queenslanders will celebrate 2016 Melbourne Cup day at a record 14 official race meetings and hundreds of off course functions.

The major meeting will be in Brisbane where the return to Eagle Farm after three years is expected to draw a crowd of up to 20,000.

There will also be official race meetings at Bundaberg, Cairns, Charleville, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Kumbia, Longreach, Mackay, Mt Isa, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Townsville.

At least another dozen tracks will have functions without race meetings.

All Brisbane major hotels have Cup day functions as do all sports clubs.

UBET spokesman Matt Johnston said most agencies and PUBTABs would open early to take the pressure off later in the day.

“In peak periods we expect to take 43,000 bets per minute. Last year we took 4,822,940 bets on all races and we would expect to better that this year,” he said.

“We will have more than 1400 outlets open in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Last year nearly 25 per cent of all of our bets were taken through digital channels.”

 
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