The Melbourne Cup is often referred to as “The Race That Stops a Nation” because people all over Australia pause to watch 24 thoroughbreds race 3200 meters (1.99 miles) around the Fleimington racetrack. Whether watching the 2011 Melbourne Cup live online(see the link below), at the track (where more than 100,000 people attend) or on television it’s undeniable that the cup is the world’s most popular 2 mile race.
This year hype surrounding the race is even greater as 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain is a favorite to carry the race for a second consecutive year despite carrying a 58kg handicap, up 3 kilos from last year. Americain is coming off an impressive Moonee Valley Cup on October 22, a key form guide ahead of the Melbourne Cup. If Americain wins it will be only the fifth time a horse has won the cup in consecutive years.
Speaking to AFP about his own horses chance of winning legendary Australian trainer Bart Cummings said his own thoroughbreds Precedence and Illo will be chasing Americain:
“He’s (Americain) well weighted and he’s a big strong thing, 16 hands,” Cummings said. “The weight won’t stop him, so he’s the one to beat, I’d say.”
In the meantime some Australians have been complaining that their national race is dominated by non-regional thoroughbreds while their own field of regional horses is lacking in quality. Australia’s biggest hope is Brisbane Cup winner Tullamore who has been in good form of late. Tullamore finished second to Americain during the Moonee Valley Cup and will carry just 52kg during the Melbourne cup?
You can catch the 2011 Melbourne Cup Live online below (regional restrictions apply to the live feed):