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The Melbourne Cup
16/09/13

It’s surprising how few people in the UK realise just what a huge event the Melbourne Cup is. Everyone’s heard of it – but only racing fans realise just what an enormous event this is down-under, and even then a few racing fans still underestimate it.

Last year’s second, Fiorente, is a 7/1 shot
© Racehorse Photos

Fiorente

So for the relatively uninitiated, the Melbourne Cup almost literally brings the whole continent to a complete standstill on the first Tuesday in November each year at 3pm. In fact, it’s a national holiday each year in the state of Victoria.

Over 100,000 people gather at Flemington racecourse for the cup which is run over 3,200 metres (a smidgeon short of two miles). The cup is a handicap with Aus $6,175,000 in prize money, making it the world’s most valuable handicap over this distance.

Last year’s event was won by Green Moon from Fiorente with Jakkalberry third. This year’s running on November 5th will be mark 152 years for the race. During recent times, the cup has attracted a little criticism from home-grown supporters for the lack of Australian talent competing. In the 2012 event, there were just two Australian-bred horses taking part; Ethiopia and Niwot.

Puissance De Lune is the pre-race favourite at a best-priced 6/1 with the major bookmakers. His easy victory in the Lawrence Cup made him favourite and he will surely have a chance come November – but no horse has ever completed this double and he may have peaked too early. Time will tell, of course, but he clearly has a great chance.

Last year’s second, Fiorente, is a 7/1 shot and also in with a good shout of course. But with the weights yet to be announced and with Fiorente also heading for the Cox Plate, punters may be better advised to bide their time.

If you ever get a chance to visit the Melbourne Cup, it’s well worth the trip. Whether it’s really a punter’s race, though, is a different matter. It’s a notoriously hard race to call and your quid or two may be better invested in a lottery where at least it will be life-changing if it comes off – and would pay for your round-trip many times over! The Euro lottery seems to make most sense on a potential returns basis – so have a look at how to buy euromillions tickets online and you’ll find it’s surprisingly easy and you never know, you may be Melbourne-bound this year.

 

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