Five of the great Cup moments
FORMER Victorian tipster, inveterate punter and long-time journalist Stephen Lloyd picks his top five Melbourne Cup moments.
KIWI was out of contention - with 800m to go in the 1983 Cup he was second last, 25-30 lengths off the lead. As they straightened for home with 400m to go he was only just tacking on to the leaders with a wall of horses in front of him, and a young Jimmy Cassidy opting to roll the dice and thread a path.
What followed was seemingly impossible, with Cassidy throwing caution to the wind and weaving his way through runners before swamping the leaders with 50m to go. In a 3200m staying test, Kiwi's acceleration in the straight was remarkable - he got home like a high-class sprinter - and Cassidy's bravery won plenty of admirers too.
THERE were a couple of great feel-good factors about this win. For jockey Wayne Harris it was the pinnacle of a career that almost ended early.
Rated by Bart Cummings as the best young jockey he had seen, Harris was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 22 and told he would never ride again.
Trying to re-establish himself in 1994, he picked up the ride on Jeune after other riders knocked it back because of a doubt over the import's ability to run out the 3200m.
Harris produced a ripper ride, providing Jeune with cover behind the leaders and hardly going around a horse before breaking clear with about 300m to go and holding a two-length advantage to the line.
The other highlight was purely personal. Having tipped him on top in Melbourne's Herald Sun, yours truly had a sizeable collect on Jeune at 20-1.
Makybe Diva, 2005
AS THE mighty mare hit the front with about 250m to go, chasing her third Melbourne Cup in a row, it seemed like the Members' Old Grandstand at Flemington was alive.
The crowd rose, the cheers were deafening and there was electricity in the air - I'm sure that grandstand moved. As she crossed the line there was a collective celebration from those who backed her and those who didn't - this was history and the crowd knew it. If I'd had a hat, I'd have tossed it in the air.
WHO can explain the genius of Bart Cummings? And how could I and so many others have ignored the "Bart factor" in letting Viewed go around at $41 without having a nibble.
No matter - there would have been few punters who lost money on the race but couldn't appreciate the magnificence of Bart's 12th Melbourne Cup win. The Cups King, as usual, seemed to be the only one not caught up in emotion of the result after Viewed hung on to get home by the narrowest of margins.
"It's nice to a win a race like this," Cummings told Channel Seven. "I thought it was all over in the last 50 yards, then I thought I wasn't sure. It just happens to be a nice win. I do make a habit of winning this race someone told me, and it's a good habit to get into, I said."
Prince Of Penzance, 2015
THERE'S a movie in this one. The first female to ride a Melbourne Cup winner, Michelle Payne got up at 100-1 on Prince Of Penzance - beating a star-studded field littered with expensive imports to deliver knockabout Victorian trainer Darren Weir the biggest win of his career. It only got better as Payne was interviewed as she rode back to weigh in.
It was a dream come true, she said, before firing a salvo at the "chauvinistic sport" and telling the doubters to "get stuffed".
Waiting for her to come back to the scale was her brother Stevie, who suffers from Down syndrome but was employed by Weir and was Prince Of Penzance's strapper. As sister and brother embraced, was there a dry eye in the place?