The Race that stops the Nation – Auther Bill Sayers
Melbourne Cup is a unique Australian event that harks back to 1860 when it was first run at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. What you may not know is that the first winner in Archer (who also won the year following) , had to walk from Sydney to Melbourne return, as it was before the time of cars, trucks and horse floats.
Traditionally, the race is held on the first Tuesday of November, every year.
Famous names such as Phar Lap (lightning in Chinese), Makybe Diva and Rain Lover are part of Australian folklore but even greater are the legends that are made at the Headway ADP Melbourne Cup gatherings. Our fabulous Headway ADP ladies with their lovely fascinators, the blokes dressed up for the race and everyone keen to enjoy the lunch and the sweep.
On November 5 at approximately 3.00pm the race, the names and barrier numbers had been passed around, the names of the horses drawn out of the hat, and selections published on the whiteboard. What had been a very social and lively occasion suddenly became quiet as everyone looked at the television screen in front. With the simple words “their off” the race began and captured the attention of the room.
In a little over 3 minutes and 20 seconds the race is run and won.
For the winners of our sweep. (see bottom two frames left) it makes the day just that little bit more enjoyable, but for everyone who attends, it is just about the fun. It is, like Australia Day and Anzac Day for some, one of the few occasions that is truly about our National culture and heritage, and brings together people across nearly every cultural group in a way that is fun and enjoyable. This year was no exception.