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Melbourne Cup at Epsom … now there’s a long shot for you!

As former tennis firebrand John McEnroe once famously exhorted: You can’t be serious!

I may have missed something during my recent sojourn across the ditch, but that was my reaction when I read that American golf officials are considering taking the US PGA on the road, internationally  – and that Australia has put its hand up to host one of men’s golf’s four “majors” somewhere down the track.

Reading that golf yarn, as I did, on Melbourne Cup day, I couldn’t help but feel it made about as much sense as taking our great race abroad and staging it at, say, America’s famed Churchill Downs — or, perhaps more pertinent, England’s Epsom Downs.

Sadly, on further reflection – given the stark reality that the Cup’s now all but totally dominated by European raiders and imports – I came to thinking that such an outrageous proposal may actually have some currency.

For starters, consider the money it would save some of those poor battling Sheiks – not to mention Gai and co, desperate to find another ready-made Cup winner they can fly in from Europe – if we simply sold the Melbourne Cup to the Northern Hemisphere.

It’s just a little hard to imagine Australian racegoers flocking to Flemington on the first Tuesday in November for a midnight big-screen viewing.

Crazy times? You bet.

— Peter Thomson



One Response to Melbourne Cup at Epsom … now there’s a long shot for you!

  • Leo says:

    What we are likely to see, Pete, if we’re not seeing the beginnings of it already, is diminishing interest amongst the “Aussie battlers” who don’t recognise 80% of the field and have little way of analysing the form.
    For the first time since, ever probably, there was not a NZ-bred runner, and the Oz-breds oozed even less stamina than they have traditionally done.
    Unless Australasian racing administrators, especially in NZ, take urgent and substantial steps to promote the breeding, ownership and training of stayers again, I have no doubt that the Cup that stops a nation will get to the point where it just somewhat interests a nation.

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