Today is Melbourne Cup day, one of the biggest days of the year in this city, and pretty big across the nation too. I think it’s a great day.
I’ve attended many Melbourne Cups over the course of my lifetime – at a guess, about 15. In my memory cup day is either brilliant, sunny and warm, or cold and wet. This year, fortunately, it looks to be the first. I’m not going to the cup, but I’m happy to enjoy the occasion. I sit here with the morning sun entering the house, the birds outside happy to celebrate the fine weather all a twitter, and the prospect later today of a barbecue, a bottle of bubbles, and the big race.
The jury is out whether I’ll have a punt or not. I really think I should, if only for traditions sake. What would I back?
The Cup seems to have a better field every year. Over the last 10 years particularly we’ve seen a plethora of well credentialled northern hemisphere horses come to try to take the cup. There’s a few who have, and a few more again that have come close. It adds to the glamour of the race I think, and elevates it perhaps to the very pinnacle of horse racing worldwide.
The favourite today is Fiorente, and with good reason – I just don’t think it’ll win. There’s nothing scientific about that, just a hunch. If I am to have a bet I’ll be choosing between Sea Moon, and the French mare, Verema. I have a sneaky feeling also that Hawkspur might be prominent. There are other great contenders, but for one reason or another I’ve settled on these three, though a Mount Athos, a Royal Empire, or even Dunaden, could easily fill the places.
There it is then. Last year I plumped on Ethiopia and it ran just about last. Hope to do better this year, and actually have a good punting record with it. Always good value on Cup day.