Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Diva

For my Aussie readers - how good was Makybe Diva's win yesterday in the Melbourne Cup??!!! Gave me goosebumps!

For readers from everywhere else a bit of an explanation - the Melbourne Cup is THE biggest horse race in Australia, and when they say it's the race that stops a nation, well that's no exageration. Even those that don't follow horseracing (like myself) watch the Cup because it's more than a race, it's a tradition, it's fun, there are always fantastic stories of triumph over adversity or unnatural skills associated. And yesterday was no exception - Makybe Diva was the first horse to ever win 3 Cups in it's 144 year history, she's a mare (go girl!), she was only entered on the weekend, she was carrying 58kg (it's a handicap race) and she is the most successful Australian race horse having won AUS$14.4m prize money. This site and this one have some history of the race - how's this for a great story - "The first Cup was run in 1861. There were 17 starters and, paradoxically, the prize - apart from the money (170 pounds) - was not a cup at all, but a hand-beaten gold watch. Archer, the winning horse, had walked to Melbourne from its stable in Nowra, New South Wales, a distance of 500 miles (800km)." Aussies love a battler, they love sport and they love a good time - the Cup always meets all these criteria. So if you are ever in Australia on the first Tuesday in November try to get to Melbourne. But be aware - you must get dressed up (dresses, hats, suits, ties, etc are compulsory!) and you will need to book accommodation in advance as Melbourne will be packed! Being miles away from Melbourne, we celebrated at work by watching the race while enjoying afternoon tea and champagne.

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