Melbourne Australia, so what exactly is the attraction of travelling for over thirty hours to win a race? Well, it’s the most prestigious race in Australia for a start, then; take into account the prize money, this year the winner stands to make $6.2 million dollars which is not too shabby, the winning trainer will take ten percent of this, that’s $320,000. This equates to around £180,000. Second place gets $900,000 and the winning jockey gets five percent of the winnings so around £90,000, which let’s face it, is a huge amount of money.
There are a lot of entries in the race, there are 134 entries this year, of which 33 are from Europe and seven are from the famous Ballydoyle stables. Aidan O’Brien is yet to win the prestigious race, one of the only titles he hasn’t won, but he could be set to add another title to his already booming trophy cabinet with his entries.
The Australian press are calling him The Irish Maestro but are maybe not so impressed on the number of overseas entries in their most prestigious race of the year. Headlines in The Sydney Morning Herald, state, ‘Foreign Raiders set their sights on Melbourne Cup Riches.’ There are nine entries from overseas trainers including O’Brien and Willie Mullins.
Here’s a tantalising list of the entries from the Irish contingent, Mullins has Clondaw Warrior and Wicklow Brave entered and O’Brien, with no less than seven entries has Order of St George, Bondi Beach, Sword Fighter, Unicorn, The Major General, Idaho and Housesofparliament. Order of St George Is the Gold Cup winning horse but all of these entries are potential places, Idaho being the Ladbrokes St Ledger winner.
O’Brien and Mullins aren’t the only trainers on the way over though; Sir Michael Stoute has one entry, Exosphere, Roger Varian has Barsanti and Ralph Beckett has Kinema. There are 30 horses heading over from the UK and Ireland, the big problem is shipping them over. They will fly and the typical flight takes around thirty hours from London to Melbourne, during this time the horses will have hay, no grains, and water. There is, of course, a vet on board and an experienced flying groom. All the horses are stabled and we must remember horses have been travelling by air for over forty years so these guys know what they’re doing.
With stiff rivalry between Mullins and O’Brien, Mullins coming second last year in Melbourne this will be a really epic race, in terms of competition and winnings. Can the Irish Maestro pull this out the bag. We’ll have to see. You can bet on the Melbourne Cup over here, with good odds at all the bookmakers such as Ladbrokes, Bet 365, Paddy Power and Skybet.
Definitely, one to watch.