With horses and jockeys frantically vying for a good position at the finish line, sometimes more than just the naked eye is needed to judge who takes home the prize money.
I just hold the trigger for a few seconds until the last horse goes through.Photo finish judge Sam Constable
Just five years ago Tathra's Sam Constable didn't know much at all about horse racing, now he's an experienced photo finish judge covering tracks from Adaminiby to Kalaru.
"The one time I went to the races was when Princess Diana went to the Melbourne Cup in 1985, and I remember Paul Hogan was there," he said with a laugh.
Head judge Michael Bennett said a photo finish is needed at least once at every race meet, with the technology deciding "probably three or four" races on a busy day.
"If it takes more than 30 or 40 seconds for us to make a decision then you know it's a really tight race," Mr Bennett said.
So close was the final race of Tuesday's Melbourne Cup day at Kalaru's Sapphire Coast Turf Club, it took as long as 10 minutes, which included a review of the photograph by the losing jockey, to decide the winner.
The technology was also needed to name Vow and Declare the winner of $4.4million in prize money at the finish line of Tuesday's big race at Flemington.
The first documented use of a photograph being used to determine the results of a horse race was in the United States in 1881, and Mr Constable said on occasion it is so close, even with technology the race is called a dead heat.
Armed with a camera just like ones used in the Olympic Games, Mr Constable takes 8000 photographs every second as the horses cross the finish line, before software sews the images together into a panorama.
"I just hold the trigger for a few seconds until the last horse goes through," he said.
In his left hand is also a stopwatch, as he also times the last 600 metres of the race.
Once his decision has been made, it is sent upstairs for the chief steward to review, and in extremely closely run races with horses and jockeys vying for best position on the track, there can be protests from jockeys and trainers on a result.
"My first day on the job was a double-header. I spent the whole first day just watching everything, then the next day I did the last three races. After that I was by myself," he said.
His team have the best seat in the house, looking over the lush green track surrounded by bush.
"The track here at Kalaru is exceptionally good, and the scenery is awesome," Mr Constable said.
"The best thing about it is being up here, and being able to watch everybody below."
Situated above them, and alongside the chief steward, for race meets is race caller Scott Miers.
"The key to calling a good race is staying composed, knowing your colours well and having a good vantage point like this," Mr Miers said.
Down below him, Canberra jockey Patrick Scorse, who rode a winner at Kalaru on race day, said his job satisfaction isn't all about winning.
"I like seeing owners proud of their horse, and just happy it ran well," the 21-year-old said.
"It's not all about winning races but being recognised for doing your best.
He said he's like to follow the career path of his idol Blake Shinn, who he described as "a gun".
"Eventually I want to go to Sydney because they have the best in the world," Mr Scorse said.
"Most of the best jockeys in the Melbourne Cup are from Sydney."