The Race that stops the Nation! The Aussies are mad about their horse racing and today is the crowning glory of the Racing Season- The Melbourne Cup. Fashion, Glamour, Champers (Champagne), Stunning Horses, Lush Grounds, and the primitive pounding of the hooves all get right to the soul of the punters (folks who are out to “try their luck” or are “along for the ride”) all around Oz. It makes for a fabulously fun day and indeed many days for some people.
Victoria gets today as an extra Statewide Holiday- but the rest of us are stuck working away wishing, just for today, that we lived in Melbourne. However- all is not lost! Most work places will have a lunch and a Television to watch the GG’s run (horses) or unofficially let everyone go to lunch and not really expect them back afterwards.
Apparently Australians will spend over 120 Million dollars today placing bets on the Race. People send emails and texts like it is Christmas “Happy Melbourne Cup Day!” For days the event has been covered on TV like the Olympics- personal interest stories on the Jockeys, ‘Best of’ moments from years past, the fashion show moments, and of course constant coverage of the horses themselves. The Horses are magnificent- sleek, shiny and powerful.
It is an intoxicating event even for those not even able to attend. Today all over the Country- normal life will come to a stand still as people around the nation crowd into pubs and cafes to cheer on their pick. Whether Australia should bend to the inevitable and make today a nationwide holiday is still to be seen, but at any rate it is a beautiful moment in the country. We all collectively, in work places, at the track, in homes, or in pubs hold our breath and then cheer wildly- hugging the person next to you, all to watch the pretty ponies run.