Apr 20

Cup day binds us together

AUSTRALIA’S remarkable affection for sport and a social gathering will again be on show today as the Melbourne Cup rolls around once more.

Popularly referred to as “the race that stops a nation”, the roughly three minutes, 20 seconds $6.3 million event has become a race the world watches.

In the years since the British-bred, Irish-trained Vintage Cup stole a cup win in 1993, international raiders from France, Japan and the United States have arrived on our shores and departed with the cup.

Is it any wonder one of the owners of the best performed Australian runner Fawkner has called on Australians to get patriotic and support one of their own in the Cup.

In a pointer to the race’s international appeal, todays field will include a record 11 overseas-trained starters, a further seven imports and four New Zealand-bred hopes.

On those numbers, the odds of an overseas win are again strong.

Allegiances aside, what the Melbourne Cup does do more than most is it galvanises people.

In Bendigo, where Cup day is not a holiday, people will still clamour around TV sets in workplaces, nursing homes, hotels etc., and share some food and a drink and advice on that once a year bet on the horses.

Even for those who have no interest in horse racing, it’s a day that seemingly brings us all together – even if only for a few minutes.

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