Copyright 2008 Swamp Productions Pty Ltd
I am told that patience is a virtue ... I am not feeling all that virtuous at the moment.
(Photo - AFP/Getty)
The weather will probably have more effect on the parties in the carpark than the condition of the track, even though there has been discussion about that during the last week. Melbourne weather is renowned for it’s changeability, with the weather boys and girls predicting shattered scours, oops sorry, scattered showers, for the morning. I don’t think they would dare predict rain for the afternoon unless water was already a metre deep on the ground and the Yarra was overflowing its banks, ‘cause the punters might not come. It is mostly about money, you know.
The financial crisis may have caused Kerry Packer’s boy Jimmy to pull out of Millionaire’s Row this year, but frankly, I don’t think he will be missed. There will be plenty of other “tents” in there, with ladies tottering in their fashionable five inch heels, sipping bubbly and justifying the million dollar price tag for the sponsor.
One lady who will leave her heels in the kit bag for the race is Clare Lindop, who is riding a Bart Cummings pony, Moatize, in the big race. I guess that there won’t be any gentlemanly manners extended to her as they all approach the argy bargy of the home turn. It will be everyone for themselves.
With eight European horses expected in the line-up, those ponies from across the ditch * are almost to be considered locals, even if one has gone “all European” with a French name. I guess, however, it’s all in the game.
Ah well, maybe next year I’ll make it to the Birdcage, but tomorrow it will be a couple of horses in the office sweep, chicken and salad off a disposable plate and a short break while we gather around the TV to watch the race that stops a nation on the first Tuesday in November.
ps I like that Kiwi horse with the French name, but I don’t like the colour of his outfit.
*reference to the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand
For a few more salient details about the history of the event, click below.