Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Cup Fever That Grips a Nation; Top Tips from Being Part ofMelbourne's Huge Carnival

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Cup Fever That Grips a Nation; Top Tips from Being Part ofMelbourne's Huge Carnival

Article excerpt

THE Melbourne Cup is today run for the 156th time and interest and excitement for the event continues to be strong across the country.

In Melbourne, the mood is as buoyant as ever with many visitors to the city enjoying the atmosphere around restaurants, bars, public transport, and at the linked events such as the Melbourne Cup Parade yesterday and the Call of the Card at Crown Casino last night.

A superb day of racing in perfect conditions on Saturday's Derby Day kicked off the Flemington Carnival.

After today's Cup meeting, it is on to Oaks Day on Thursday and Stakes Day on Saturday. The win of Prized Icon giving four generations of Cummings derby winners was the clear highlight of the day.

In the big race today, it appears that the international runners are not at the level of previous years. The highest rated of them is Big Orange, who placed fifth in the Cup last year and is being asked to carry extra weight this year.

Bondi Beach is again in the Cup for his second Australian race although he finished well back last year and his European form has not been so strong this season.

Easy Caulfield Cup winner Jameka is a strong chance and is in form.

Hartnell has taken all before him this Spring apart from the mercurial Winx.

Despite two somewhat disappointing runs over two miles in last year's Sydney and Melbourne Cups, Hartnell is my pick on his scintillating Spring form with four kilograms under weight for age and meeting Jameka better on weights after proving far too good at Flemington in the Turnbull Stakes. Importantly, he has also won over two miles at Royal Ascot.

The lightly weighted danger would have to be Almandin, a former German horse who defeated Protectionist in Germany in 2014 just prior to that galloper easily winning the Melbourne Cup of that year.

Almandin was immediately purchased by Lloyd Williams to race in Australia. …

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