Cup runneth under: How to improve Aussie horses’ chances

John Macdonald Roar Rookie

By John Macdonald, John Macdonald is a Roar Rookie

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    Corey Brown rides Rekindling to victory at the 2017 Melbourne Cup. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

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    Another year, another running of the $6 million International Benefit, also known as the Melbourne Cup.

    Another year when Australasian-bred horses struggle to make the barrier, let alone figure in the placings.

    You don’t need five fingers to count the locals, and it ain’t going to change.

    The Australian breeding industry aint going to change. It is far easier for local trainers to find bargain imports who can stay; bargains which are of Group-Three or listed standard overseas.

    The Cup winners are now the better-standard visitors such as Rekindling, Protectionist, Dunaden and Americain.

    Since Shocking won in 2009, the sorry record of the locals reads Maluckyday and So You Think, second and third respectively in 2010, Who Shot the Barman, third in 2014, and a 100-1 winner in Prince of Penzance in 2015.

    Once time-honoured races like the Brisbane and Perth Cups and The Metropolitan have been reduced in distance, and the Metrop and Sydney Cup are full of imports who were also-rans in the northern hemisphere.

    Winx apart, Australasia would struggle to find a small field of genuine Group-One gallopers beyond 1600m.

    The most damning commentary on the state of Australian racing is that the Magic Millions carnival can stage an 1800m race and call it the Stayers’ Cup.

    There is no solution – the breeding industry dictates there can’t be – but there is a consolation available.

    The Sydney trumps could atone for the most appalling innovation in the history of Australian sport, The Subterranean AKA The Everest.

    The trumps are boasting the 1200m Randwick scamper is the world’s richest turf race; $10 million this year, $13 million next year and who knows, $15 million, $20 million, to infinity and beyond.

    Fortunately, there is a consolation available if the trumps wish to atone for their great sin.

    For years The Subterranean would have attracted the same field for $2 million, why not keep the 70-second scamper to $10 million?

    Ask potential starters to pony up, say, $6 million, the same prize as the International Benefit, and have a race to supersede the Magic Millions Stayers Cup.

    Imports would be banned; it would be Australasian-bred horses only.

    It couldn’t be 3200m like the erstwhile Melbourne Cup; the locals might get the staggers at the 2000m.

    Restore it to The Metropolitan’s original distance of 2600m. That compromise should allow the locals to be nursed around, and who knows, they might even train on to make it to Flemington.

    What to call it?

    Well, there’s already The Everest, AKA The Subterranean.

    You could call it the Mt Kosciusko, or better still, The Dinky Di.

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • November 12th 2017 @ 7:37am
      Not so super said | November 12th 2017 @ 7:37am | ! Report

      Subterranean- yeah leave the comedy to someone else

    • November 12th 2017 @ 8:21am
      no one in particular said | November 12th 2017 @ 8:21am | ! Report

      “the breeding industry dictates there can’t be”

      Stop failing at humour and learn the basics of supply and demand

      • November 12th 2017 @ 12:37pm
        no one in particular said | November 12th 2017 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

        oh, and those “trumps” (no idea what this means), at the same time as bringing in the “Subterranean”, re-introduced the St Leger, run over 2600m and worth $500,000

    • November 12th 2017 @ 8:50am
      Robert WilloughbyP95U said | November 12th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      Why the bitterness towards NSW racing? The Melbourne Cup we have today is what the authorities in Victoria wanted. They changed the race from a true handicap to what we have today and send people around the world working hard to get people to bring their hurdles out here to compete in it. How much does it all cost them I wonder? The Melbourne Cup of today does not resemble in anyway the Cup Phar Lap won. Of course the general public around the country are losing interest in it but hey they can boast they have an “international race”. None of this has anything to do with Racing NSW who are simply putting all their money into races for the sort of horses Australians want to own.

    • November 12th 2017 @ 9:03am
      Greg Irvine said | November 12th 2017 @ 9:03am | ! Report

      The “Magic Millions Stayers Cup” is in fact now called the “Magic Millions Trophy” is run over 2200 metres – the most suitable distance at the Gold Coast track. This race, like the day, has developed as analysis was placed on horses available for the race.

    • November 12th 2017 @ 11:16am
      Haradasun said | November 12th 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

      Yeah that’s pretty cringeworthy. The everest was great for racing, in case you didnt notice, there were more attendees there than there have been for years.

      Love to see ballot exceptions for sydney cup and better programming in the sydney autumn that leads up to bmw and sydney cup ‘grand finals’.

      There are already plenty of g1s over a mile on the calendar when you look into it so the incentive is there. Its the lack of lesser races that is the issue.

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