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27 responses to “2011 Melbourne Cup thread”

  1. Robert Merkel

    At the risk of starting a stoush…

    Virtually all of the top contenders for the cup this year are at the very least foreign-bred, and many foreign-trained.

    Does the Australian racing industry need protection?

  2. Link

    Aye, aye Mr Norton. The studs of the Upper Hunter are currently full to overflowing with the most delightful infant horses, a wondrous, heartwarming sight– until you think about their fate, or hear some facts:
    Only 20% of thoroughbred foals born will make it to ‘a’ track. Of that 20%, 5% will earn enough in winnings to keep the doggers away for a few years and the rest? Are referred to in the industry as ‘wastage’.

    The racing industry is arguably more chauvenistic than the AFL.
    History would attest that the combination of men, money and animals always produces suffering. Decisions about the welfare of racehorses owned by syndicate are invariably based on economics. Syndicates don’t care about individual animals.

    An anecdote about a foal with ‘choke’ (i.e, it was stuffing more grass down its gob than it could reasonably deal with). It was insured for $125,000, it had been to the vet twice to have this problem dealt with, but eventually the stud manager, the owner and the vet wised up and realised that $125,000 was a *dead* certainty for this tiny animal, compared to the possibility of it fetching $50,000-$100,000 at the sales. No prizes for guessing what was happened. The distressed and confused mare was unceremoniously returned to the stud on her own and chucked out into the paddock. Contemptuous, pretentious, balls bigger than their brains arseholes. On a micro and a macro level it is a courrupt, complete disgrace.

  3. Helen

    I’m with Link, unfortunately.
    The glitz and glamour and focus on relatively better cared-for beasts like Makybe Diva and Black Caviar hides a very inhumane reality.

  4. AJ

    Cant agree with the sentiment re syndicates above. I was a member of one who owned 2 horses. One of them a filly by Kingston Rule (who still holds the track record time for the Melbourne Cup) was nothing like her dad or grandad’s (Triple Crown winner Secretariat) in quaklity and she took 13 runs to finally win a weak maiden race at Alice Springs. She was a very dainty type, great looker but didnt treat racing as any more than a bit of fun. After a vote we retired her to rolling pastures in Sth Aust where she enjoys her life. She was much adored and well looked after and still is. The other a colt, never raced and is having a ball siring progeny now.

  5. Alex

    I detest horse racing.. I urge people to read and sign this

  6. Alex

    html failure!!

    [fixed ~ mods]

  7. Meee

    Yep…. Never seen the entertainment in watching small people hit horses with sticks.

  8. Helen

    The problem is over breeding. Only a tiny percentage of horses bred are good enough to race, and the 10-year drought plus draconian insurance regulations (which mean one has to fill in a form absolving the trail outfit of your death or injury before every ride – talk about a buzzkill) has killed off most of the riding schools for which a FEW of them might have been suitable. The young owners who might buy a FEW of the others are themselves fewer, for all the same reasons. Therefore it’s the dog food system for the rest, and do they build and operate abbatoirs suitable for horses? No, they do not. Horses are forced into a system made for cattle and other meat animals. With their greater intelligence and reactivity, they suffer scrapes, cuts, broken bones and psychological torture along the way, along with the ageing/lame ponies who were once some little girl’s “best friend”.

    You’re welcome.

  9. Link

    Helen there is at least one horse abbatoir I know of in Willow Tree, handy to the studs of the Upper Hunter. You can always tell the horses on way as they are trucked en masse in open roofed trucks.

    Worked on a stud where Makybe Diva was sent to be covered and foaled down. Supposedly ‘retired’ to an easy life she is now kept permanently in foal. Hardly an easy life.

    I won’t begin to describe the damage done to the cognitive development of yearlings as they go into yearling prep.

  10. Fine

    Alex, I have to say that the Animals Australia petition website is full of inaccuracies. This leads to people who actually know about horses to shake their heads in despair. Happy horses win races. Unhappy horses don’t.

    Yep, some horse have it good; some bad. Sadly, just like dogs and cats. The answer is to force reforms to change the bad stuff and support programs like the Racehorse Outplacement Program.

    Anyway, I’m taking a five horse trifecta; At First Sight, Americain, Dunaden, Unusual Suspect and Niwot.

  11. Adrien

    Aye it’s that time of the year again. For all the bogans to wear something they think is stoilish and wander ’bout the CBD at 9am with their snouts in the air before going off to blow a bunch of money within 50 yards of some famous people who paid a lot more for their appalling apparel. And then return at dusk and prowl the streets with rituals that come straight from some inbred east Texas town c. 1901. Git some moonshin n’ holler at the hawgs.

    Lock up the livestock. 🙂

  12. Charlie

    Re: Horses
    On the weekend, the Chief Steward spoke well of ‘At First Sight’ during a radio interview. (for what it is worth)!!

    Re: Victorian Melbourne Cup super weekend
    Me thinks it is about time that some did a real analysis of the costs, impact and benefits (if any) of this ‘super weekend’. Not just 4 days, but with a lot taking Friday as well – becomes 5 days. Basically, Melbourne now takes the Monday as well as the Tuesday off. It is one of two public holidays between June and Xmas. Years ago, it was just the Tuesday. Monday was a usual working and school day – but no longer. If the state schools are open there is hardly anyone there and the non-state schools take the day off.

    So why not just have a holiday in October and forget about Cup Day as a holiday!! That would be a more equitable break around the middle of 2nd half of the year. It would work better as a public holiday and end this 4-5 day nonsense. Also, it would stop those that want to go the races from having their day off. They still can. For attendances, witness Oaks Day etc.

    Maybe we should have a look at a little efficiency and productivity as well. Keep the Cup and can the holiday.

  13. Fine

    Yeah, I was shocked the Catholic schools had Monday off. But, horse-racing has always been very Irish Catholic.

  14. Granny Anny

    Gee – a lot of negativity here!!!

    When I was very much younger than now, I volunteered to do some work at the Wyndham race course early in the morning of cup day. At the time there was a famous race horse in Australia called Gundsynd, also affectionately known as the Goondiwindi Grey. At the local race course I saw another small grey horse, the name of which I have forgotten. Anyway it was running in the cup and I decided to come back later and back it.

    The odds were 25 to 1 and I wagered five dollars, quite a considerable sum at the time. Anyway, it won and for a few hours after I was both very popular and very wealthy. I wouldn’t dream of giving my money to a Bookie these days (do they have them still?) but if anyone out there does, put all your assets on the grey Jukebox Jury.

  15. Helen

    Fine – the public schools generally have a marking/planning/Pupil Free day on the Monday. I guess they’re going with the inevitable fact that many parents want to take the day off to make a long weekend of it, as many people do now that many people get to allocate their annual leave, or have RDOs etc.

    Lovely interview on the ABC this morning with ex-jockey John Letts about his horse Banjo who has led the winners back to scale for years and years. “There’s only one who’s tried to bite him and that’s Americaine.” Banjo is 24 and has been doing the job for 18 years with apples and lollies from his fans. One of the lucky ones.

  16. Lefty E

    Nags … meh.

  17. David Irving (no relation)

    Woohoo! I won some money in the offece sweep.

    Not sure how much or which horse yet …

  18. Jacques de Molay

    Even though I find horse racing abhorrent my money is always on the horse.

  19. Fine

    I suspect people who find horse-racing abhorrent know nothing about horses.

    Anyway, my mare won at Bairnsdale. So, that was sweet. Extra carrots for her tonight.

  20. Jacques de Molay

    I suspect people who find horse-racing abhorrent know nothing about horses.

    They like being whipped and pumped full of stimulants?

  21. Link

    Fine. Congratulations. I don’t find horse-racing abhorrent I find the ‘industry’ abhorrent.

    Are you personally going to give her extra carrots tonight?

    I would urge all race horse owners or part-owners to take a very close interest in their horses’ welfares and not leave it up to stud managers and trainers. Visit your horse often in all the different locations it resides. Make sure it has shade in summer is not being driven crazy by flies. The most expensive studs in the Hunter have many a paddock with no protection from sun at all. Check that it is not developing nasty vices such as windsucking, crib weaving or biting as all suggest terrible boredom and lousy care. Find out about its handlers and their attitudes.

    Until such time as you do all these things you don’t really have a leg to stand on as far as knowing jackshit about the welfare of your animal.

  22. Anthony

    Now what is it with men’s fashions at the Cup? I don’t mean those blokes who dress in some weirdo outfit for a larf and to get attention. But all the fashion advice directed to men around the Spring carnival is to wear a lounge suit and silk tie: in short, dress like another day at the office. Does any other country think it’s appropriate for men to dress for a race meet as though they were spending the day at work? In Britain you’d wear a tweed sports jacket, brown trousers, brown brogues, perhaps a wool or other knitted tie. The Kentucky Derby demands a seersucker sports coat, odd trousers and perhaps a patterned belt and a sadle shoe or two-woned spectator.

  23. jumpy

    FWIT, Abbott tipped the winner, Gillard tipped 5th.
    Kind of sums it up, Wonder if the evil MSM (Murdochistan) will labour (hehe) on that point tomorrow ?

  24. Helen

    “odd trousers”?

  25. Anthony

    “odd trousers”: that is, trousers that are not part of a suit

  26. tullamore

    @Robert Merkel

    I think having foreign-bred and foreign-trained horses brings good competition to our own horses.

    @Paul
    i absolutely agree.