Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dunaden the name of the horse that won "the race that stops a nation". That's the Melbourne Cup.

I've been hearing about the Melbourne Cup since I moved to Australia five months ago, as one of my clients is a sports and race betting major. It's one of the biggest sporting events of the year in Australia, with horses being flown in from across the world and a crowd of close to 100,000 turning up to watch the race.

To be honest, I've never been into the races. Maybe because we don't have too many horse races in India apart from the one in Bombay at the Mahalaxmi Race Course, and that too is known more because of the socialites and the fashion parade than the race itself. But Aussies are different - they love their sport and nothing comes between them and their sport. Except beer.

A public holiday was declared in the state of Victoria (that Melbourne is a part of) to honour the races. And the rest of Australia pretended that the race was taking place in their own town/city. Women everywhere wore dresses and fancy hats, work stopped at 2pm and pubs got flooded. The party continued well into the night even though the race was over by 3.15pm. Don't ask me why.

Our office too came to a standstill between 2-3.15pm. Pizzas were ordered, beer bottles were plonked on the table, and people started betting on their favourite horses. The more risk taking of the lot went to the betting outlet to gamble away hundreds of dollars.

The race itself was enthralling! The gallopping horses were a beauty to look at. So fit, so lean, so well cared for. And they must've been running really fast because they covered more than 3km in less than 5 minutes! It was the closest win in the 151 year history of the Melbourne Cup. Dunaden, a French horse, defeated the English Red Cadeaux by 1 millimetre! That too because she decided to stick her nose out in the end to win!

Besides being gorgeous, these horses are also pretty smart! I wonder how much it must cost the owners to maintain them. But then, Dunaden's owner won $3 million from the Melbourne Cup victory alone, I'm guessing that's enough and more to go around for the year.


Moonshine said...

I have never appreciated horse racing till recently. Even now, its not as if I have seen a race.. but I have watched movies pertaining to horse racing. And I wouldnt mind watching the race on TV. Horses just look so gorgeous. I would love to watch horse racing sometime. There is a turf club here too in Bangalore!!

You take me horse racing when I come down to Sydney. :))

And seems like you guys just need an excuse to party :)

Scarlett said...

Race horses are so lean & muscular, watching them gallop can leave one spellbound.

Yes, we do party a lot at work. Once a week on average. We had a 90s music party last week...played all the rap and hip=hop music we've grown up with :)

mêlée said...

your office sounds like a fun place to work :)
Horses are beautiful, intelligent and damn proud. The pride part I find funny, but yeah they always are :D
In my riding training I used to like the galloping part as I didnt have to do anything other than sitting firm and praying for dear life :D

mêlée said...

hey you can find me here
sorry for the late response, I was a bit busy in 'tying to be a sincere student' :)

Scarlett said...

@Melee - I'm not able to add you to my friend list :(

I think you've blocked friend requests from "strangers" :)

Anonymous said...

Scarlett you are hardly blogging these days. Just 48 posts this year, most of them coming in the 1st half of the year. I guess you are keeping very busy with work + household chores + seeing the country, or maybe Aussie doesnt provide as interesting things to write about ;)

mêlée said...

hey I m sorry, I think with the changed privacy settings, now we can be fb friends :) can you pls look up once more and add?

eye-in-sty-in said...

Nice! The pic says it all and you make me crave for a beer now!