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When it comes to great international horse races, the likes of England’s Grand National, France’s Arc de Triomphe and the American Triple Crown all spring to mind and although these will always conjure up many memories, one should not forget the Melbourne Cup either.
Serving as the pinnacle of the Australian racing scene, the Melbourne Cup has been held on 160 separate occasions and with the next edition set to take place in November of this year, anticipation is building for the annual event is building once again.
Last year it was Joseph O’Brien who earned the accolade of winning trainer and with Jye McNeil leading Twilight Payment to victory, there would have been an interesting discussion to follow thereafter.
That’s because Joseph managed to outwit his father Aidan in the battle of the O’Brien trained entrants and with the senior of the two having to make do with Tiger Moth in second place, their family dynasty was once again ruling the roost.
Of course, there was far greater sadness for Aidan O’Brien last year, as another of his entrants had to be euthanised after the race and after suffering a fractured fetlock, there was no other decision than to put Anthony Van Dyck to sleep.
A decision that once again highlights just how much is at stake during a race of this nature and although the pursuit of glory is one that sees jockeys and trainers search for that extra edge, it sometimes comes at a rather large cost.
However, those who were hoping for another considerable amount of the older O’Brien trained entries for the class of 2021 will be rather disappointed and the reason for that, is because of Aidan’s decision not to make the trip to Australia.
Then again, you could argue that the Australian government have made the decision for him and with stringent border protocols currently in place, entry into the country is a much more difficult prospect than it was before.
To the point where those involved must weigh up the amount of upheaval and disruption that would be required to enter the country, against the thrill of entering and potentially winning such a historic sporting event.
While these protocols have also meant that a number of major trainers or stables have also decided not to enter this year’s Melbourne Cup and joining County Wexford’s prodigal son on the list of no-shows, is the international arm of Godolphin.
Known the world over, Godolphin have a litany of famous horses and jockeys within their stables and although there was hope that the 2018 Cup winner Charlie Appelby would take part in this year’s race, those hopes have now been dashed.
That’s because in a recent interview, the managing director of Goldophin’s Australian operations, Vin Cox, went on record to say that only horses already based within Australia would be representing them this year.
Which means a slew of big names within the world of horse racing, will have to make do with waking in the early hours to watch the great race back home and with just 16 international entrants this year, the Melbourne Cup has a much more domesticated feel to it.
While even with a downturn in international entrants, the total figure for this year stands at 174 – the same figure as the year before and this certainly suggests, that the allure of the Melbourne Cup has not faded.
Even if the field is slightly lacking in the usual levels of quality, there will still be a considerable amount of interest from those looking to place a bet or two and for those who are unsure on which sportsbook to choose, checking a twinspires review can be considered rather sage advice.
Because once those punters in question have made their choice in terms of which sportsbook to use for the big race, things get rather simple from there on in. All they need to do, is place their bets and sit back as the action unfolds.
Action that has seen an incredible amount of drama over the Melbourne Cup’s lengthy and illustrious history and with the 2021 edition just three months away, the question is who will write another chapter of this incredible racing story?
Allison is the Publisher of Eclipse Magazine. She loves going to the Races and is learning to bet (despite being officially the worst bettor in the History of the Universe), there’s a lot more to learn…