The day Australia freezes
Every year on the first Tuesday of November, Australia inevitably falls into a slight insanity. It covers the country for 142 years, long passed directly with genes. They are waiting for this day with lust, preparing to throw out the accumulated charge of emotions in the cherished 3.5 minutes. That is how much the average takes the crown race in the races for the Melbourne Cup.
For the fifth continent, one of the most prestigious races of the world means immeasurably more than just a competition of two dozen eminent horses, whatever the prize pool. By the way, this time it amounted to a record amount of 4 million Australian dollars, or 2.2 million US dollars. This is the day of “absolute democracy”, almost permissiveness, when statuses, positions and titles cease to exist, when you can and should relax, forget about sorrows and worries, completely surrendering yourself to the power of sports excitement. But at the same time, of course, every Australian who respects himself will certainly make his bet, which can range from a few dollars to hundreds of thousands. This year, bookmakers noted 90 percent of adult citizens of Australia, and the rates exceeded 150 million (80 million US dollars). Even taking into account that approximately one third of the total amount should be transferred to the account of foreign “deposits” by phone and the Internet, it is not difficult to calculate that for each of the 20 million inhabitants of the continent, including newborns, there were 5 Australian dollars.
The Melbourne Cup has long been called “horse racing that stops the whole country.” Almost all institutions, regardless of their affiliation, switch to answering machines from noon. Yes, here it would never occur to anyone to call this “fateful” day for any business. Well, for emergency situations, all the duty services, especially the police, have been put on high alert. The rest are already occupied by favorite restaurants, cafes and pubs for dinner, where a TV screen is always present. After all, for a holiday to succeed, you need a company, and this “sense of elbow” in the Australians is in the blood. The wording “but to talk” is familiar to everyone and does not need explanations.
Fans of especially large extras preferred sports complexes with multi-meter screens. So, at the central hippodrome in Sydney, where no competition was foreseen, at least 40 thousand fans gathered. But this is all the little things compared to what was happening directly on the scene – Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. 130 thousand tickets to the lawns for $ 40 each “left” six months ago, as, incidentally, to the stands of $ 100. As for the opportunity to show oneself and breathtaking outfits in the boxes – this is a special thing, both in monetary and prestigious terms.
For the first time in the entire 142-year history of racing at a distance of 3200 meters, 8 foreign styers took part in them at once. 5 of them were considered clear favorites. But all the same, the overwhelming majority of local lovers (not talking about profi) preferred “their own”. And for this they had significant “historical foundations” – only once in 1993 did foreigners win the main prize. In addition, almost a century and a half, indisputable favorites won only 31 times. Before the bookmakers closed, the bets on the main applicants were 6 to 1, and on outsiders – 80 to 1.
At 15.10 local time at the Flemington Racecourse, the starting target flung open, and under the multimillion-dollar roar of fans, the entire continent literally “went into a stop”. The plot developed in accordance with all the rules of the adventure genre – with a repeated change of leader, which intensified passion. But at the final stage, as many experts predicted, the Irish stallion Media Puzzle (Media Riddle) broke out, which was two corps ahead of the rivals. And coach Dermont Veld, who had already entered his name 9 years ago in the race annals as the first foreign winner, became twice the hero of Melbourne.
As for the fans who put on the wrong horse, they did not long experience the bitterness of defeat, philosophically reasoning that their pride was not prejudiced, since the Australian jockey and universal favorite Damien Oliver controlled the “riddle”. Fans paid tribute to him for his professionalism and personal courage. The whole country knew that after the races he had to fulfill a mournful mission – to attend the funeral of his brother, who crashed a few days ago during the races. Moreover, this family rock comprehended their father and jockey in 1975.
With an Irish owner and trainer, Damien will share a prize of $ 1.3 million. The second Australian stallion, Mr. Prudent (Mr. Razumnik), who came in for the second time, got 350 thousand, and the closest three leaders, the Bikiper (Beekeeper) styer from the UAE, got 160 thousand.