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The Melbourne Cup has been nostalgically titled the race that stops the nation and the 2008 event did just that.
With punters buying stakes in calcutta draws and sweeps across Australia, every person seems to have a tip and a reason why they are backing their favourite horse.
The champagne flows at Flemington, in fact the champagne and beer flow just about everywhere. Office functions, local pubs and clubs turn it on and regional race meets draw higher than usual crowds.
In reality, the Melbourne Cup is one of the hardest races to pick a winner because everyone is talking about it and everyone has a friend of a friend that trains or has some connection to one of the starting runners.
So how do we make our tips for the big race? Some read the form guide pretending to be experts, others put on random bets at their local TAB. However you do it, there is method to the madness in all of our eyes.
A good a reason as any is to look at the trainers and see what fairytales could come true.
In the 2008 Emirates Melbourne Cup, you only had to look to Bart Cummings for a fairytale and a quality trainer.
Cummings, who unbelievably is allergic to horses, is one of Australia’s most decorated and best known trainers. He began training in 1953 and has won 11 previous Melbourne Cups, his last in 1999 with Rogan Josh.
Some astute punters or readers of racing news may have known his was vying for his 250th Group One winner with his horse Viewed in the 2008 Melbourne Cup.
If you ask me, 11 previous Melbourne Cup winners and the chance for Cumming’s to reach 250 Group One winners would set the scene. As the nation crowds around televisions, radios and bars, it was magic to see Cumming’s Viewed gallop down the final straight and hold off a European raider to claim this year’s Cup. A week before his 81st birthday, what a present for Cummings!!
Well done Bart – you deserve it and punters look forward to seeing more Cumming’s magic in 2009.
So when it comes to talking the talk on the first Tuesday in November 2009, have a look at the trainers and their history to see if a fairytale is on the cards….It’s as good a reason as any to put your money where your mouth is.