02 November, 2010

The Race That Stops a Nation

It never ceases to amaze me- the first Tuesday in November is Melbourne Cup Day and while it is a holiday in Victoria, the whole of Australia comes to a halt for the running of "The Cup". There is a plethora of betting advice available from all and sundry- form guides and trainers' records, colours of the jockeys' silks, weather forecasts, track conditions, on and on it goes. And I guess that's all part of what makes this an event that everyone feels they're involved in.

Businesses hold lavish Cup lunches with prizes for best dressed and worst tie- funnily enough at our office, men never won the first and women never even got a look in for the second. Sweepstakes are run with all of the newspapers printing sweepstakes forms in today's editions. A good number of turf clubs around the nation will hold local meetings in conjunction with the cup with big screens displaying all of the action from Flemington.

I think this is our 16th cup and in true annual tradition, I trundled off to the TAB to place my annual bet. I think aside from the Melbourne Cup, I may have placed about 3 bets at the local track and my winning percentage from those is 0.0%, nada, zilch, nichts, rien.

The Cup has always been good to me. Of the 16 Cups, I have missed placing bets at the TAB on 2 occasions- once in 2002 when I could not get away from work to place my bet and the while I was in Canada in 2004. Turned out in '02 I won two office sweeps and a bet with one of the employees who decided to run his own little book on the day.

In the years in which I have placed a bet, it would probably be running at about 80% in my favour. And with that, I present my ticket for the 2010 Melbourne Cup:

A straight $5.00 on the nose for Americain. I think it pays out at 12:1- so my 5 bucks gets me $60. I will never get rich, but gee, I love the Melbourne Cup.

I have also included a new blog link to Ruth Corset's Olympic journey. Ruth is a local racer, mother of two great girls, Australia's 2009 Women's Road Racer of the Year, rider with Team Tibco, Commonwealth Games rider and amongst other accomplishments in the last 12 months, a podium finish in the Tour Feminin en Limousin 2010. Oh, and I forgot to mention she is coached by her husband Jason- what a great team!!!!!

Cheers- ride safe


Dee said...

We had a "bring a plate" luncheon, with wine and a sweeps. I spent 5 bucks and won nothing, which means I am batting 1000 with no win recorded in 16 years.

Trevor Woodford said...

I have only recently found your blog and I am enjoying reading your postings.
We have a big race in the UK 'The Grand National'-even people who wouldn't usually place a bet gamble on it. It's the only race I have ever won anything on although like you never a huge amount....

BoaB said...

Yes the "bring-a-plate" functions generally end up with each individual bringing enough for all attendees.

Hi Trevor and thanks for your comments. I'm afraid all of my familiarisation with the race scene in the UK comes from Dick Francis but if the Grand National is anything like today's Antipodean equine event, it must certainly be une grosse affaire...

Groover said...

Congrats on the win. That broke your daught while I still enjoy my 0.00% win rate. I had drawn Campagnolo (or something to that effect) which made this year's Melbourne Cup at least something that resembled what I could somehow slightly relate to ... if you know what I mean ... :-)

BoaB said...

I know what you mean Groover- a lot of the terminology around horse racing leaves me somewhat puzzled. If I were going strictly on the name though, I think "Zipp"ing would have been another really good choice for all of us cyclists. I mean how many times have we seen races won on Zipps??