150th Melbourne Cup celebrations set to begin

The Victoria Racing Club begins its celebration of the 150th Melbourne Cup on July 28, with the release of The Story of the Melbourne Cup: Australia’s Greatest Race, a book commemorating the race that stops the nation.Edited by Stephen Howell of the Slattery Media Group, the book promises to “celebrate the remarkable history of a wonderful horse race – one of the world’s most famous and enduring tests of a thoroughbred.”

“This is a story of the risk takers and planners who have made a race into a cultural phenomenon; toffs and battlers; the genius trainers Cummings, de Mestre and Freedman; the marvellous riding skills of Lewis, White and Boss; the obsessives, the families, and the flukes; the dominance of the Kiwis and the sudden surge of northern invaders; and how the Melbourne Cup has evolved through boom times, wars and depression. The concept of a handicap race as a nation’s greatest event is unique to Australia and the Melbourne Cup. It represents so much about its host nation – a chance for all no matter the circumstances of birth or opportunity,” the Slattery Media Group says.

Sure to be one of the most popular additions to the book is the “24 Runners in the Greatest Cup Never Run.”

Current Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter has selected his ultimate field of Melbourne Cup winners, with his judgement sure to be scrutinised and analysed by racing followers.

The release of the book is the first in a number of events the VRC has planned to celebrate the sesquicentenary of the Melbourne Cup.

A DVD, also entitled The Story of the Melbourne Cup: Australia’s Greatest Race, will be released on August 1.

On August 13, a symposium will be held at the National Museum in Canberra, with a commemorative coin series launched at the symposium.

In late September, Flemington’s new Visitor Centre, Walk of Fame, Guided Walking Tours and Heritage Trail will be unveiled.

The Story of the Melbourne Cup: Australia’s Greatest Race will be available at all good bookstores from mid August.

Written by Andrew Hawkins

15 Jul 2010



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