It's springtime in Australia and that means one thing: horse racing is ready to take centre stage in a country that treats major horse racing events with all the pageantry that should be afforded "The Sport of Kings." With the Caulfield Cup and WS Cox Plate both slated for early to mid October, the country's full attention will then turn to the 2015 edition of the Melbourne Cup, which is scheduled at 3pm, Tuesday 3rd November at Flemington Racecourse.
About the Race
Affectionately referred to as "the race that stops a nation," the Melbourne Cup is the premiere race in the world for true stayers. The race is contested at 3200 meters (2 miles) on turf for three-year-olds and upward for a purse of over A$6,000,000 under handicap conditions with weights assigned based on each horse's race record and most recent performances.
A Tribute to Bart Cummings
The 2015 edition of the Melbourne Cup figures to be bittersweet after the recent passing of Australia's most prominent trainer Bart Cummings. The "king" of the Melbourne Cup passed away on August 30 at the young age of 87-years old. Aside from all his other amazing accomplishments in the sport, the Cup had a special place in his heart. He ran a total of 89 horses in the race and came away with a record 12 victories. His last win in the race came in 2008 when Viewed cross the line first, showing the grand master could still get the job done. There will be a strange feeling in the air without his presence, but his influence on the race will still be felt through the other trainers he brought up through the years.
With a little less than four weeks until the big race, the field is finally starting to take shape. There looks to be a great mix of veteran horses and the youngsters taking a first shot at glory. Horses from "down under" will be joined by horses from places such as Ireland, England, France, Germany and perhaps other part of Asia.
Representing the old men of racing figures to be 10-year old Precedence, a horse who was in fact trained by Cummings until his passing. Now the horse is in the hands of none other than grandson James Cummings. Next up will be another 10-year old in Red Cadeaux. This will be the horse's fifth time coming in from England for the race with an amazing three seconds and a third to show for his prior efforts.
Of the local contingency, Let's Make Adeal, a mare trained by Nigel Blackiston, earned an automatic bid by winning the inaugural running of the The Bart Cummings - Group 3. In an exciting bit of news, it looks like Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien could be bringing as many as four horses with top credentials for this year's race. Topping the list is veteran stayer Kingfisher, a recent second in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup at just over 4,000 meters. He is scheduled to be joined by a trio of three-year old colts, including Order Of St George, Field Of Athenry and Bondi Beach. Order of St. George is coming off a solid victory in the Irish St. Leger-G1.
As punters scramble to secure free bets in Australia, it might be fun if these free bets were used to wager on a full slate of Group 1 races during October and November. In order to get your free bets in Australia, you should check with some of the top online race books and inquire about free bets being offered.