ALL eyes will again be glued on Flemington racecourse at 3pm for the running of the Melbourne Cup.
The international raiders are back in town trying to win the race again with British-trained Marmelo looming as the top pick among the 11 overseas-trained hopes and the biggest threat to last year’s winner Almandin, who will be one of six runners for Lloyd Williams, who has already won the race five times.
Millions of dollars will be wagered by both professional and once-a-year punters with those in the latter camp hoping they will have their small bit of hard-earned on a genuine fairytale result such as Single Gaze.
Connections have dared to dream and their horse who was badly injured in a race in Sydney in April last year is in the final field with her rider, Kathy O’Hara, faring even worse from the ordeal.
O’Hara was knocked out, suffered a punctured lung and a broken collarbone and ribs.
If she was able to get Single Gaze across the line first in the $6.2 million race in front of an estimated 90,000-plus crowd, O’Hara’s story of defying the odds, persistence and true grit would sit alongside the unforgettable triumph of Michelle Payne only a couple of years ago aboard Prince of Penzance.
The Melbourne Cup is that sort of race.
Achievements enter folklore and will be talked and written about for generations to come.
The Border won’t escape cup fever with race meetings at Wangaratta and Albury, but not Corowa after almost six decades of racing on the first Tuesday in November.
Corowa instead raced on cup eve for the first time in a move brokered by Racing NSW.
It’s worth remembering Corowa had its own brush with Melbourne Cup glory over a decade ago when Leica Falcon finished strongly to finish fourth behind champion mare Makybe Diva.
Sadly, a few months ago Leica Falcon’s trainer, Richard Freyer died, aged 69.
The region’s most recent link to the big race has been former Wangaratta Rovers footballer-turned racehorse trainer, Robbie Hickmott.
He is the trainer at Team Williams’ Macedon Lodge with his first success in the race being with Green Moon in 2012 followed by Almandin last year.
Our only piece of advice for the big day is if you are having a bet, gamble responsibly.