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text 2017-11-07 04:27
Aaannnddd They're Off!


There's been a bit of drama today leading up to the Melbourne Cup with a jockey injured in an earlier race leaving Thomas Hobson without a jockey until the very last minute.


They're running as I type this and it's anybody's race; the odds have been fluctuating like mad the last hour or so, with favourites coming and going and coming back again... no clear strong leaders, leaving it an open race... 


They're on the finishing stretch now and 200 meters to go and ...... it's close !!!!




Congratulations to Darth Pony and Person of Interest for picking the winning horse!!


1st place:  Rekindling

2nd place: Johannes Vermeer

3rd place:  Max Dynamite

Stone Motherless (last):  Gallante


I'll tally up all the players points now and update the post with everybody's final "winnings".


UPDATED - Final tallies are as follows (if your name isn't here, your horses didn't win.  But at least they didn't come dead last either!  ;-)


Obsidian Blue: 1 point for Max Dynamite

Darth Pony: 3 points for Rekindling

Person of Interest: 3 points for Rekindling

Themis-Athena:  2 points for Johannes Vermeer

Lillelara:  3 points - 2 points for Johannes Vermeer and 1 point for Max Dynamite

Char's Horror Corner:  1 point for Max Dynamite


Congratulations to all the winners!  See ya next year!

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text 2017-11-07 00:40
Still 3.5 hours till race time ...

Just in case there's anyone else who'd like a chance on the horses, there's still 3.5 hours to get in with your picks.


Full details in this post.




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text 2017-11-06 00:18
Surprise, Surprise Bonus #1 - Melbourne Cup Day, the Race that Stops a Nation!


Results are in!


The Melbourne Cup is Australia's most prestigious annual thoroughbred horse race, held since 1861. It's a public holiday in the state of Victoria, but the race captures the nation's imagination; wherever they are, people stop what they’re doing to watch or listen to the race. Most people who don't already get the holiday take a day off work to celebrate, and sick leave is said to increase on the day.  Cup Day barbecues are de rigour, with the obligatory snags (sausages), beer and DIY sweeps (see below).

It's one of the most popular spectator events in Australia, with an average attendance of 90k+. Dressing up in formal race day wear is the standard and 'Fashions On The Field' is a major event, with substantial prizes awarded for best-dressed man and woman. The requirement for elegant hats, and fascinators has almost single-handedly kept Melbourne's milliners in business.



Roses are an important component of Cup Day. Flemington racecourse has around 12,000 rosebushes, with over 200 varieties tended by a team of up to 12 gardeners.


It is commonly billed as The race that stops a nation, so lets all stop a moment and pretend we're Aussies - this bonus is our version of the DIY Sweeps that no Cup Day party would dare do without (did I mention it's the biggest gambling day in Australia? - it's their version of Black Friday!).  


Below are the horses running tomorrow in the Melbourne Cup.  Pick your favourites to win, and share your picks in the comments below.  If your picks place:

1st:  3 bonus points.  

2nd: 2 bonus points 

3rd: 1 bonus point.

Stone Motherless (Last): 1 point.  


All three of your picks place (1st/2nd/3rd): Trifecta6 bonus points. 

If 2 of your horses come in 1st and 2nd: Quinella! 5 bonus points!


So come on all you punters out there - choose your ponies and try not to pick any camels or duffers.  And watch out for the coat-tuggers; remember, the only good tip is be good to your mother!  ;)    (Aussie racing slang translated.)



Melbourne Cup Field  (Australian if not stated)

1. Hartnell   (GB)

2. Almandin   (GER)

3. Humidor    (NZ) 

4. Tiberian    (FR) 

5. Marmelo    (GB)

6. Red Cardinal    (IRE)

7. Johannes Vermeer (IRE)

8.  Bondi Beach    (IRE)

9. Max Dynamite    (FR)

10. Ventura Storm    (IRE)

11. Who Shot Thebarman    (NZ)

12. Wicklow Brave    (GB) 

13. Big Duke   (IRE)

14. US Army Ranger   (IRE)

15. Boom Time

16. Gallante    (IRE)

17. Libran    (IRE)

18. Nakeeta   (GB)

19. Single Gaze

20. Wall Of Fire   (IRE)

21. Thomas Hobson (GB)

22. Rekindling    (GB)

23. Amelie's Star

24. Cismontane (NZ)


(Who Shot the Barman was scratched after the final field was released)


So, how will you pick your horses?  Give us your picks below and let us know how those ponies caught your eye.  Results will be posted as soon after the race as MbD can get online.


(Alternative to playing the ponies:  If punting isn't your style, read anything about horses or horse racing for 1 bonus point.  This is an either/or alternative and can't be used in conjunction with the main bonus.)



But once a year at Flemington

A horse race stops us all

And we hold our breaths and listen

To the commentator’s call

For never has there been a race

That holds such fascination

Than the race they run at Flemington,

The Race that stops the nation


(complete poem behind spoiler)


We Aussies are a funny lot,

The things we hold so dear –

Like Rosewall, Hoad, the Opera House,

A glass of Fosters beer

Let’s not forget the Great White Shark,

And Lillee – in full flight,

The Wallabies, the Kangaroos,

The Harbour Bridge at Night,

Of course it’s something special

When we say the name of ‘DON’,

Our Bradman was the best they’ve seen;

His legend carries on



On a Tuesday in November,

The first one to be sure,

As the winner flashes past the post,

You’ll hear the thousands roar.

For never has there been a race

To catch imagination

Than the race that’s run at Flemington

The race that stops the nation!

It’s called “the Cup” – the Melbourne Cup. Beginning naturally

When a horse called Archer walked

Into a place in history.

And since that year of ’61,

We find no explanation

As to why it is this two mile race

is the one that stops the nation


For down the years it’s history,

How losers come and go –

And horses who with bursting hearts

Can make the legends grow

The memories of champions

Will always linger on –

Immortalised forever by

The race at Flemington!

Some names are so familiar

It’s easy to recall – Like Rising Fast and Kiwi, and The greatest one of all for Phar Lap is synonymous

With all that’s brave and bold –

And little men can treasure all

The stories that are told.


When Phar Lap graced the turf, and won,

We Aussies felt elation –

We loved  him, – so in death, he then

Was mourned by all the nation.

A century has been, and gone,

And still the horses run,

To the cheers and acclamation

Down the straight at Flemington


Now o’er the seas, on moors and downs

Hooves pound in expectation,

Through early morning mists that veil

Their great determination.

The best will come to challenge

The antipodean horse

In the gruelling race of two miles –

On the famous Melbourne course.

The ‘Might and Power’ of thundering hooves

Defines a champion –

Whose courage and tenacity

Is shown to all the nation!

And once a year, that single race

Creates the situation –

Where we share all the nostalgia of

The race that stops the nation

(spoiler show)



Poem ‘The Race that Stops a Nation’ © Vivienne McCredie 1986, 2005-2014


(Standard disclaimer:  this is not gambling.)

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