Heat 'em to beat 'em
Eight of the 10 prizemoney cheques for the 2017 Melbourne Cup went to European-trained horses.
Even those who’ve championed a truly international Cup may worry that one day ordinary Australians may give up on the race.
Well, fear not. After watching Qewy struggle with the heat on Stakes day in his burgeoning winter coat, I think there is a way we can fairly, albeit sneakily, improve our horses’ chances.
First, put the start of our racing season back to September 1 to coincide with our breeding season.
Putting the major eastern-states races back three weeks will see a Melbourne Cup run on the last Tuesday in November, on average about seven degrees warmer.
European-trained horses will have been up longer and will almost have their winter coats by then.
On a scarier note, putting spring back three weeks would allow European A-graders to get here after the Prix de I’Arc de Triomphe.
Their second tier is proving hard enough to beat.
Sabotaging Europeans’ Cup prospects aside, owning the near-vacant sporting space between footy finals and the Gabba Test is a financial no-brainer.
Less competition and increased media coverage means more bums on seats and higher punting turnover.
It will also allow fashionista racegoers a chance to show some skin without freezing.
Melbourne’s autumn carnival would be cooler if postponed three weeks, and surely Sydney’s couldn’t be any wetter than it already is.
Tweed Heads (NSW)