Wednesday, 2 November 2016

2016 Melbourne Cup

No doubt, we are in the right place
The race that stops the nation, The Melbourne Cup, drew us to Melbourne on the 1st of November 2016 to see what all the fuss was about. Although horse racing isn’t our thing, this iconic event does not go unnoticed in our household.

A support race
Our preprinted general admission tickets successfully operated the electronic turnstiles and we were in and heading to The Park for a coffee and a packet of BYO shortbread. It was only 9:30am but the place was already alive with fashionistas, flaunting high heels and hats and the loveliest cocktail dresses. Our attire, of jeans and outdoor sandals, was not popular amongst race goers and we felt like we’d sneaked in against the dress code and would be kicked out at a moments notice.

Parade Ring and Stables
We watched a couple of support races and then proceeded to the stables. By midday, all the Race 7 horses, The Melbourne Cup, were in residence and I was surprised to find how close we could get to the horses that were about to race for a $6 000 000 prize pool, with 1st place taking $3 600 000. I decided to pick my three possible winners based on their behavior three hours before the race. I accurately wrote down the barrier number of Beautiful Romance, Secret Number and Qewy.  As horse racing first timers, I hadn’t realised that the horse number and the barrier number are different and I ended up betting on three completely different horses (Big Orange, Gallante and Excess Knowledge), even though I asked the  betting agent if I had placed my bet correctly.

The odds
We found ourselves in a plumb spot when the horses were led into the mounting yard for the start of Race 7.  By now I was fully committed to my new set of three horses and when the race started, and number 15, Excess Knowledge, was leading, I jumped on the band wagon and shouted out “come on number 15, come on.”  By race finish none of the six horses that I’d had an interest in won the race with Almandin taking 1st, Heartbreak City 2nd, and Hartnell 3rd.

The Mounting Yard, the race is getting closer
We had never been to a horse race before and we started at the top with Melbourne Cup Day, the race that’s been running since 1861. It obviously made an impression on me as I’m still wearing my Melbourne Cup badge on my jacket.

2016 Melbourne Cup Jockeys

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