Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yay! and Neigh!

Being the first Tuesday of November, it's time for the Melbourne Cup! I was just remarking on this to a work colleague the other day, only to be interrupted by them talking about something else for the rest of the day.

In Australia, the Melbourne Cup is the most famous race in the world, but it's only a national holiday here in the state of Victoria. However, it's fitting that the Cup should take place in the city of Melbourne - that city being the national capital in Victoria. It should be noted, nevertheless, that in other Australian states - Sydney, for instance - Canberra is considered the national capital. This should in no way diminish the excitement the Cup causes amongst those likely to be excited by the Cup.

As Caz observes, being a horse race, the winner of the Cup is typically a horse; and, as Kathy notes, it is usually the horse which crosses the line first. But in gambling, nothing is certain, especially certainties, and so every year a good deal of excitement is generated around Australia as the race is televised through radio and newspapers and other televisual mediums.

There are many different names for this event around Australia. Here is a thorough, but by no means comprehensive, list (or, to put it another way, a comprehensive, but thoroughly undetailed, catalogue) of names:

- The Cup
- The Melbourne Cup
- The Race
- The Horse Race
- The horse thing

Of course, before concluding this brief peroration on the cup, the question must be asked: why do Australians like racing horses around an oval? The answer to this is complete and difficult, but it probably has something to do with them wanting to see who wins. And that is as good enough a reason as any that I'm going to give you tonight.


Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

It's also called "The Race that Stops the Nation". The Nation in question being that of the 550 bus, which was so enthralled by the subject of equine husbandry that it left me high and dry at the bus stop.

TimT said...

If, however, we legislated in parliament to end the Melbourne Cup, we would be known as the Nation That Stopped the Race.

But these are seditious thoughts!

Caz said...

In China recently, a massive crime ring, including one of the best and most dastardly cricket training criminals, was arrested for cricket fights.

Yes, crickets. Not cocks.

Why do the Chinese like to make little crickets angry then throw them in a ring together to fight it out to the death?

Maria said...

The Chinese like to make crickets mad.

The Australians like to go mad over cricket.

I don't think either make a whole lot of sense, but I wouldn't say one makes more sense than the other.

nailpolishblues said...

I think it's the race that stops Victoria - and the really important people from having to do any work for a good half hour. Oh, do I sound bitter?

TimT said...

At least almost all of us got the day off work over here. That's as good a reason for a race as any, I find.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Mad crickets must be batty.

TimT said...

If cats have baby kittens, do bats have baby bitterns?

Anonymous said...

Baby Bittens are also known as Baby vampires.

- Maria

TimT said...

Of course! Also, baby mats are mittens.

Caz said...

So, that would make a baby face washer, what?

Caz said...

Nails - for a good half hour?

Oh, sweetie: we really do get the entire day off work. Ah bliss.

Now, suck that lemon.

Almost worth migrating down our way, 'ey?

Optically Challenged Frederick said...

I've heard it referred to as "The Festival of the Whip", which suggests another aspect of its allure

Anonymous said...


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