Monday, November 05, 2007

I Like To Watch

Purple Moon is a Ginger? What the?

. . . Well I do! I like to watch planes flying overhead while I'm hanging my washing out and wonder what their destinaton will be. I like to watch people at bus stops and stations and make up little scenarios like the time I saw a really well dressed businessman scavenge in a bin to retrieve a newspaper that had barely been opened and commence reading it whilst waiting for his train. I like to watch people in shopping queues at the supermarket, the haggard, the excited, the naughty kids, the glum checkout chicks. I like to watch theatre, street art, concerts. I like to look at paintings, sculpture or even sit in my garden at twilight and watch the green gums turn black against a salmon sky (ooh that was almost poetry). But tomorrow, the only thing the whole country will be watching is the race that stops a nation. And if you don't, you're a stick in the mud!

That's right, on the first Tuesday in November a horse race called the Melbourne Cup, starts at about 3:05pm and the world as we Australians know it, comes to a halt for about 3 minutes while 15 or so thoroughbreds run 2 miles. Whether you're a hard core gambler or a sweep recipient like me . . . it's a phenomenan. In my younger days, it was the excuse for a Ladies Lunch, fashion parade and lots of hilarity . . . now I'm a working girl so it's time out during the work day.

Victorians get a day off (lucky lucky bastards). We do 'lunch' wearing a range of assorted silly hats - yep the Nepalese mountain hat gets a guernsey as do the facinators and silly noggin warmers. Tomorrow, we're ordering in Thai, placing our $1, $2 and $5 bets (big spenders all!) and huddle around the television watching the race.

I don't know who's running . . . I don't really care, I'm usually lucky and manage to win a few bob . . we'll drink Champers, pretend we know the form. Wank lyrical about how pretty the little horses are and what a clever trainer Bart Cummings is then knock of earlyish - or go back to our desks at 4.00 and pretend we're working!

If you're lucky enough to go to Flemington in Melbourne, there are three classes of people. The Car Park silly crowd. They dress up, drink a lot and enjoy the race on the big screen. The terrace serious crowd who don't rate the actual Melbourne Cup but place bets on all the day's races and the "Ooh, look, I have a ticket to a corporate tent" crowd who wear ridiculous hats, show too much cleavage and manage to get their photos on the society pages.

Either way, the cup is a great leveller, they'll all stumble back to the station with their stillettoes in hand, hair bedraggled and their hats lolled precariously on their heads. The ties will have been dispensed and thongs replace the highly polished Julious Marlows as the dishevilled mob begins to feel the effects of too much champagne, too many horses, too much gambling . . . it's a wonder any remember who actually wins the event.

My choice "Purple Moon" - I like the name. Irish horse with an Italian Trainer and Australian Jockey . . who says I'm not multinational! Then again, Tawqeet is being ridden by my maiden namesake. Blue Monday is a really nice name and the way I feel most Monday mornings. Scenic Shot is reminiscent of Phoctober. The Fuzz is just a funny name for a slick racehorse and Sermione is trained by one of the best . . .I just hope Mahler comes last . . .probably one of the most boring classical composers ever! Decisions, decisions . . . I'm really glad it's a sweep! Wanna hear something funny? It's going to be a wet track and the European horses like it dry! What the?

Now, where's my money bags, Goong Pad and Pad Thai? Here's the field (apparently Master O'Reilly and Purple Moon are the favourites thanks to Aussie runners being denuded by the impact of flu!
  1. Tawqeet (USA), David Hayes, D Dunn, 57, 3
  2. Blue Monday (GB), David Hayes, N Rawiller, 56, 14
  3. Blutigeroo, Colin Little, L Nolen, 55.5, 12
  4. Gallic (NZ), Graeme Rogerson, S W Arnold, 55.5, 24
  5. Railings, Roger James, G Childs, 55.5, 18
  6. Efficient (NZ), Graeme Rogerson, M Rodd, 54.5, 10
  7. Maybe Better, Brian Mayfield-Smith, C Brown, 54, 7
  8. Tungsten Strike (USA), Amanda Perrett, Darryll Holland, 54, 2
  9. Zipping, Graeme Rogerson, D Nikolic, 54, 22
  10. Black Tom, David Hayes, P A Hall, 53.5, 21
  11. Master O'Reilly (NZ), Danny O'Brien, V Duric, 53.5, 17
  12. Purple Moon (IRE), Luca Cumani, D Oliver, 53.5, 15
  13. Lazer Sharp, David Hayes, B Shinn, 52.5, 16
  14. On a Jeune, Andrew J Payne, K McEvoy, 52.5, 4
  15. Scenic Shot, Daniel Morton, M J Zahra, 52.5, 19
  16. Sarrera, Michael Moroney, S Murphy (a), 52, 23
  17. Sculptor (NZ), Peter Mckenzie, Ms L Cropp, 52, 8
  18. Dolphin Jo, Terry & Karina O'Sullivan, Ms C Lindop, 51.5, 1
  19. Douro Vallery, Danny O'Brien, J M Winks, 51.5, 13
  20. Sirmione, Bart Cummings, P Mertens, 51.5, 20
  21. The Fuzz (NZ), David Hayes, C Williams, 51.5, 11
  22. Eskimo Queen (NZ), Michael Moroney, C Newitt, 51, 5
  23. Princess Coup, Mark Walker, N G Harris, 51, 9
  24. Mahler (GB), Aidan O'Brien, S Baster, 50.5, 6

Well I guess all's well that 'ends' well - Car Park Punters after the race!


Ryan said...

Mt mother and i both tipped purple moon and now that I know it's a ginger i'm much more confident.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Are there any greys running? I once enabled a friend to win a small fortune on a grey in the Durban July - we were both fifteen...

Baino said...

Ryan: Maybe it's a reference to the back end rather than the coat colour! I didn't know you had a penchant for red heads?

AV: I have no idea. But my Grandpa was a mad punter and said 'never bet on a grey' you must have been lucky. Then again, as the proud owner of two grey's, gotta love 'em . . um and isn't 15 a little young for gambling! Those SP Bookies will take candy from a baby!

Terence McDanger said...

I think you deserve some sort of an award for getting both 'wank lyrical' and 'bart cummings' into the same sentence.

I'm well impresssed. You're a terrible woman altogether but I like it.

Grannymar said...

Enjoy the flutter and the fun.

I would not know the frontend from the backend of a horse but always picked them by the sound of their names.

I often had a winner. Looking at your list, Purple Moon sounds good.

Baino said...

TMc: It was unintentional - really!

GM: I know which end's which and they can both be messy but flutter is all I do. Although there's a female jockey somewhere in the field so I might have a bet on her horse as well. Solidarity and all that!

Anonymous said...

HAHA great writing! I just hope Bearman doesn't blow the rent and the 'boys' have finished their work in time otherwise there might be a few crashed trucks about ...

Nonny said...

It brings great shame to admit this but on the eve of the Melbourne Cup sitting in a pub surrounded by an array of horsey decorations, I had the audacity to ask which teams were playing, yes I thought it was a football match. FOR SHAMMEEEEE

Enjoy yourself have a Hungry Jacks for me when your finished. Come on Purple Moon!!

Baino said...

Anon: Better grab the rent money quick! I've already blown a motzah on the sweep!

Nonny: you have an excuse - you're Irish!

Now, I have scored a bunch of DOGS . . two were scratched The Fuzz and Maybe Better (obviously he could have been much better). So I'm left with:
Dolphin Jo in the $2 and $5
Eskomo Queen and Princess Coup in the $5
Sarrera in the $2.00
Blue Monday, Sarrera and Sculptor in the $2.00

Told you I was a big spender!

Ian Poulton said...


How could you let a Kiwi come and win your Cup?

Baino said...

AV; Should have taken your advice. Lost everything and a grey came from the 50 metre mark to take the cup - all $2 million of it! You are now officially my 'tipster'!

Baino said...

Ah Ian, Welcome back. I browse your site but I apologise for not commenting. If it hadn't been a Kiwi it would have been and Irish horse but at least it wasn't American! I'm not sure which is worse! Our flu has denuded the aussie contenders. Did you have a flutter?

Ian Poulton said...

Hi Baino,

I only ever bet on course and haven't been racing for a couple of years. Even then it's a lady's bet - 2 Euro!