Melbourne Cup: A Punter’s Woe


Peter Sawrey

Today’s guest blogger is Peter Sawrey of Angaston, and today is, of course, Melbourne Cup day.

The Melbourne Cup is truly the race that stops this nation. Everyone, be they horse lovers or not, watches the race and everyone has a bet on a horse, in the most “difficult to pick a winner” race of the year.

I have many fond memories of the Cup.

My first visit to the track was in 1970, the year Baghdad Note won. I did not back ‘Baggers’; I was having a very pleasant time standing around my old Holden ute brimming with beverage and ice. It was definitely the days of boys behaving badly back then. In 1976, I returned to see Van der Hum win on one of the wettest Cup days. I didn’t back Van der Hum; I was a special guest at the Flemington Police Station at the time of running.

I was married in 1979 and no longer attended the track with the boys but continued to have a bet. I can honestly say I did not back Hyperno in 1979 all the way through to Rogan Josh in 1999. But in 2000 I got very, very close.

At 49 kgs Brew was an omen ridden by young Kerrin McEvoy. I had also been watching with interest the Waterhouse horse, Yippiyio, and a mate slipped me Second Coming as a sure thing to run a place. That is exactly how they finished 1,2,3 and the trifecta paid a tad over $2800 for ONE dollar. I did not have the trifecta. I was preoccupied and only realised my fate when I heard those immortal words, “they are off in the 2000 Melbourne Cup.”

No way can Ethereal win the Caulfield AND the Melbourne Cups in the same year, I said. It did. No way can an international horse win the Melbourne Cup, I said. Media Puzzle in 2002. No way can Makybe Diva carry that weight and win three in row, I said. She did it easily in 2005.

And my selection for 2009 is Daffodil. My trifecta will be Daffodil, Viewed, Alcopops and Efficient. I am confident THIS is the year and THIS is the day!

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