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Still haven’t ticked the Cup off your bucket list? I’m a starter!

I suspect there’ll be quite a few people around the country ticking Ashes cricket off their bucket lists over the next few weeks. And good for them.

Me? I’ve been there, done that … but that’s not to say I’m struggling to get excited about what remains one of the world’s truly iconic sporting events.

It’s just that, in terms of my own bucket list, I’ve been distracted by the thought that yet another Melbourne Cup has been run and won and I still haven’t experienced Flemington on the first Tuesday in November — in the flesh.

As it happens – not least because it belongs in the romantic age before all those foreigners started squeezing Aussie and Kiwi-bred horses out of the field – one of my great regrets is that we didn’t venture to Melbourne for the Cup’s 1990 edition.

That’s when close family friends, from the backblocks of New Zealand’s North Island, brought over a gutsy galloper by the name of Mr Brooker – to clinch a Cup start by winning the Geelong Cup and then claim third place in the big one behind Kingston Rule. (From memory, one of their party also cleaned up in Fashions on the Field!)

Anyway, if I have my way in this household, come this time next year, I won’t be kicking myself any longer for not ticking off the Cup.

Keep this under your hat, but I’m looking to treat my other half – fast approaching a “milestone” year in her life – to one of those Melbourne Cup cruises.

Any starters?

— Peter Thomson


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