Was that a tear in the eye of the Old Grey Fox after masterminding his 12th Melbourne Cup win? Looking closely behind those sunglasses, there were the unmistakable signs of welling emo
Was that a tear in the eye of the Old Grey Fox after masterminding his 12th Melbourne Cup win? Looking closely behind those sunglasses, there were the unmistakable signs of welling emotion – quivering lip and tears being brushed away – and why wouldn’t there be? It’s not every day an 80-year-old trains the winner of Australia’s greatest race. Not wanting to appear a sentimental old fool, Bart put the sniffle down to hayfever. “Not really, it just happens to be a nice win, that’s all,” he said when asked if he felt emotional.
There were many others at Flemington who felt like crying, too: Luca Cumani, who finished second in the Cup for the second straight year, this time by a nostril; Aidan O’Brien, whose three starters, including the much-vaunted ‘world’s best stayer’ Septimus, filled positions 18, 20 and 21 respectively; the plethora of punters seduced by stories about the Irish master and his stable of stars who were left with empty pockets; and the long queues of desperates waiting interminably for the ‘conveniences’.
And then there was your correspondent, dutifully going about his business, looking for a few gems to bring devoted Crikey sportsbloggers. In a conversation before the race with Dato Tan Chin Nam, introduced via a mutual friend, the Malaysian entrepreneur was anxious to spruik the abilities of his Cummings-trained five-year-old stallion. ”Viewed is a very good horse, very good horse. We are confident.”
The pitch fell on deaf ears. I nodded distractedly, thinking about the Flexi Box Trifecta I was going to put on with the O’Brien trio, Bauer, Profound Beauty, Master O’Reilly and one or two others. It proved to be a complete bust, of course. I had been tipped the winner by its owner, a bloke who had won three Cups before, and who was in league with the Master Trainer himself, and completely ignored it. In fact, I had nine horses in a various range of exotics – none of them called Viewed – and the only minor collect came via Cumani’s Bauer in second place. It was all I deserved.
There’ll be plenty of hard-luck sories to top that. Make me feel better and tell me some of them.