˙ɹǝpu∩ uʍop ɯoɹɟ ƃolq ƃuᴉʇʇǝq ʇsɹᴉɟ ʎɯ oʇ ǝɯoɔlǝM
Oops. Sorted that ….
Ben caused much merriment amongst the presenters on SENTrack before the big race. He admitted to being clueless on the form and the runners. Never change Ben !! If you missed it click below…
🇦🇺 | BEN’S ON THE AIRWAVES!@BenStarSports joined @SEN_track for pre #MelbourneCup betting chat with @PfitznerMiles, @ghall27, @CaptainTaggs and @thaylock
🎙️ CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN 🎙️
— Star Sports Bookmakers (@StarSports_Bet) November 6, 2023
🇦🇺 CATCH ALL THE BUILD UP TO STAR SPORTS AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURE IN THE OZ BLOG – CLICK HERE
Ah the Melbourne Cup, I’m not there with Star Sports, Ben and team today, gutted. But, I can picture it, I have been, there’s some authenticity.
It was a Monday afternoon in November 2000, I was sat in the living room of the house I was lodging in Sydney watching the TV. The news came on and it was full of the Melbourne Cup taking place tomorrow, they also mentioned that Champion Pommy trainer Martin Pipe had been in Australia for a week with his change Far Cry.
A week?! Bloody hell, Pipey must really fancy it if he’d left Pond House for a week, and besides, I only had a month left of my visa, the Melbourne Cup was on tomorrow, what was I doing sat in Sydney?
I called the railway station and asked if I could get to Melbourne overnight. The guy told me that if I could get to the station within the hour, they’d get me there. And get me there they did. I spent the journey as far as Wagga Wagga in the company of a guy who’d just got out of jail but was keen to share his beer.
The train sped through the night, I was at Flemington by breakfast time.
People were there and partying at 9am, dressed to the nines, the whole racecourse was buzzing all day. Before I left the UK the day after the Cheltenham Gold Cup I’d promised Bristol bookmaker John Tovey who was planning the trip with his wife Hazel, that if I made it, I’d meet him in the bar nearest the bookies. I had no idea there were bars, and bookies everywhere.
I never did find John and Hazel, but they were there. But what an atmosphere I backed Far Cry to win enough to pay for the entire trip, he was going well the commentator said, but sadly it was not to be. The Brew won the race, which that year was sponsored by Fosters, ‘Must have been a good thing mate’ people were telling me, I suppose it must have been. The racing was over and reality dawned, I hadn’t factored in where I was going to stay but was offered a sofa and even an early morning lift to the station for my return journey by a group of friendly locals, lovely people the Aussies.
That was 23 years ago now. I wonder where the Star Sports pitch is today, I bet it’s near a bar…..
The Star Sports team on course today were Ben Keith. at the helm of course, Eric, Jack, Steph, Steven & Kellvin. I wonder which one was going to be the Antipodean Lofty, I’d have to ask.
Certainly not grumpy in the office was Jordan who had copped the night shift too. He got in touch before midnight to tell us, ‘It’s been pretty busy in the office to be fair. Our split-second offer and extra places have been proving popular with punters. Vauban is the worst result in the book as expected and the Antepost book too, we laid fair bets at 6/1 and 5/1 back in August.’
Star Sports were running their Split Second offer on the big race which acts as insurance if your horse finishes second ….
Watching the coverage on the TV it took me three advert breaks with no adverts to realise that the black screen was part of that and not my aging TV switching itself off. I’m easily baffled at near midnight, but it was a relief. The Network 10 coverage was excellent though, especially those drone shots directly over the runners.
The first race, a group three for two-year-olds didn’t see any huge bets but there were $100 and $50 wagers a plenty. They stayed in the hods, are they hods in Australia, anyway, the good guys kept the readies when 10.8 chance Dublin Down won the opener for Tony and Calvin McEvoy under Zac Purton chinning his shorter priced stablemate Blue Stratum close home.
Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.
Simon Nott is author of: Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring
available on Kindle CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS