Once upon a time, it would have been a huge story for the Melbourne Cup to go to an overseas trainer. Today, after French horse Dunaden nosed out English horse Red Cadeaux in a thrilling finish, exactly the opposite is true.
How ironic - in a week when an Australian icon in Qantas has bulldozed a path towards an ostensibly less Australian future - that another Australia icon, the Melbourne Cup, is now as distant from its origins as Qantas is from a dinky-di outback air service.
Dunaden prevailed in the narrowest of narrow finishes and as ever, provided a great story. The horse’s jockey, Christophe Lemaire, flew out just yesterday after local jock Craig Williams had an appeal against a suspension dismissed. In a further irony, his arrival was delayed by the Qantas shutdown.
It’s on again. The Melbourne Cup. The race that stops the nation. Or at least, the race that stops the nation working.
This year’s Cup is like no other. Well might we say “stop the boats” as refugees seek asylum on our shores, but maybe we’d do better to stop the planes. This year, more foreign raiders than ever before are trying to steal our riches and destroy our way of life. It’s just not horse racing.
So who’s going to win? The Punch proudly presents Australia’s most devastatingly honest and accurate form guide to help you decide for yourself.
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Tom Waterhouse has driven me to this.
The scion of the Waterhouse racing family appearing far too often on my television to declare that while he possessed no actual talent he would happily part me with my money was – as they say – the last straw.
Watching the Wallabies get smashed by the Kiwis in the World Cup was hard enough without watching Waterhouse continually pop up on my screen asking for cash like some transient beggar.
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There are countless stories about millionaires and their pampered thoroughbreds at this time of year. This is not one of them.
This is a story about a 74 year old bush harness racing trainer, an 84 year old owner and the slow, hopeless horse they wouldn’t send to the knackery, despite the fact it had raced 85 times without winning.
Something’s in the air and it’s not just a truckload of pollen. National stockpiles of Zyrtec, Tuscan Tan and ostrich feathers are all being hammered relentlessly.
The Spring Racing Carnival is upon us. Originally a celebration of the finest in equine flesh, the event has diversified into an exposition of both equine and female flesh.
Like musk sticks or anchovies, etymology either does it for you or it doesn’t. I would be happy to see the recipe for musk sticks go up in flames, but I do dig a bit of etymology.
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The Spring Racing Carnival is well under way and the racing industry is doing its best to put on a brave face and pretend all is chipper.
But deep down in the racing industry, hidden behind the glamorous façade filled with celebrities, celebrations, fashion and booze, there looms a very dark secret that the industry is working hard to quell.
Racing lost its first line of defence when it negligently allowed jumps racing to continue in 2008 despite opposition dating back more than twenty years.
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It’s that time of the year again..Spring Racing, a time when any retailer can bump up their collections by 30% and still see them walk out the door, a time when putting multi coloured feathers and novelty oversized hats on suddenly becomes acceptable and a spray tan fog mist fills the air.
The Spring Racing carnival gives us females the opportunity to stand around in 14 inch heels from dusk to dawn..providing that is that one is included in some form of ‘pre- races champagne breakfast’, which although may seem like a brilliant idea in the morning, may not work to your benefit by 3pm.
A day at the track can be enjoyable, however, it can also be an horrific ordeal ending in blisters, smudged mascara and crusts of what was your lunch smeared on your cheek.
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