Are you being laughed at for your lack of Melbourne Cup knowledge? Kids being teased at school because mum and dad missed the barrier draw? Friend, help is at hand.
Face it, we all want to back the Cup winner. Even for a dollar. Bragging rights can last for years.
You need something easy to digest, with no punches pulled. And here it is. The first annual Hold All Tickets Melbourne Cup guide.
I hear scornful giggles. Fair enough, my Cup record isn’t flash. Before the great Makybe Diva, we go back to Kiwi in 1983. There may have been one or two in between, but my memory of Cup afternoons is hazy at best.
Anyway, here we go. A highly researched document, some of which may or may not have been made up.
1/ Americain - Gerald Mosse (jockey). Won last year. Won’t win this year. Too much weight. And I can’t pronounce the trainer’s name.
2/ Jukebox Jury – Neil Callan. Big wraps overseas, but has never raced here. Would be like backing Meat Loaf to sing at a footy grand final. As if that would happen.
3/ Dunaden – Craig Williams (appeal pending), or some French bloke. Not for me. Won the Geelong Cup, now a popular form race. Except Geelong’s population is the same as Ipswich. I won’t be backing the Ipswich Cup winner either.
4/ Drunken Sailor – Dwayne Dunn. Nope. But anything with ‘drunk’ in the title on Cup day is worth a cheer.
5/ Glass Harmonium – Lisa Cropp. Should be leading early. Will be overtaken like there’s a sniper in the Flemington grandstand about 600 metres from home.
6/ Manighar – Damien Oliver. No chance. Only because he was my initial tip. Even the great D. Oliver won’t overcome that hurdle.
7/ Unusual Suspect – Nash Rawiller (appeal pending), or any small bloke with riding boots. A visitor from the U-S. Not even with help from NASA.
8/ Fox Hunt – Silvestre de Sousa. I think the jockey played for Portugal in the soccer World Cup. Can someone check that for me?
9/ Lucas Cranach – Corey Brown. Great run in the Caulfield Cup. And that was on three legs. Fully fit now. Will give this a shake. (Note, that’s a racing term).
10/ Mourayan – Hugh Bowman. The winner. Go and collect now. Order the Chinese for Tuesday night. Bowman’s riding so well he could go out on a rocking horse and still run a place.
11/ Precedence – Darren Beadman. Bart’s best hope. The horse hasn’t won since Bob Hawke was Prime Minister. Will have support from above.
12/ Red Cadeaux – Michael Rodd. The jockey is a Queenslander. At least that’s something.
13/ Hawk Island – Glyn Schofield. Couldn’t win if he started an hour early.
14/ Illo – Jim Cassidy. German horse, trained by Bart, and ridden by jockey who has won the Cup twice. No third time lucky.
14/ (a) – Mister Ed – Wilbur. Would give the best post-race interview ever. Might be a bit old now.
15/ Lost in the Moment – William Buick. Has all the pace of me striding home from an afternoon at the tavern. Possibly with better steering.
16/ Modun - Kerrin McEvoy. Jockey is another winning plenty of late. Just as well, because he won’t be saluting here.
17/ At First Sight – Steven King. Two jockeys tossed a coin to ride him. Nice throwback to ANZAC tradition. That gives him a chance.
18/ Moyenne Corniche - Brett Prebble. My outsider. Saw him score an amazing win in the UK before he came over. Jockey knows his way around the big track. Include him in multiples. (Note – another racing term).
19/ Saptapadi – Chris Symons. If you get him in a sweep you’ll get your money back for last. They might have to delay the start of the next race he’ll be so far back.
19/ (a) Phar Lap – Jim Pike. He’d lap this lot. God bless the mighty horse.
20/ Shamrocker – Luke Nolen. Black Caviar’s jockey. He’ll notice the difference.
21/ The Verminator - Craig Newitt. When did the Wyong Cup winner claim the Melbourne Cup? On the First of Never, that’s when.
22/ Tullamore - Chris Munce. Brisbane Cup winner. Queensland jockey. Trained by Gai. Will try his heart out.
23/ Niwot - Dean Yendall. Made the field with a slashing win last Saturday. Stranger things have happened.
24/ Older Than Time – Tim Clark. And will take his time to finish. Hopefully before sundown.
So, there we have it. You are now a Cup expert. Feel free to pass these expert comments on. Go and have fun taking on colleagues who pretend they know what they’re talking about.
Time now to look at the rest of the day’s races. Does anyone know if that Portuguese soccer player is riding in the last?