Monday, 6 November 2006

The Cup runneth under

A very quiet day at work with only a few academics and one admin officer in our building. The postgrads outnumbered staff by about two to one.

Not much to report. I tried to catch up on the latest journal articles but the intranet had slowed down so much it was almost moving backwards. Just as well we supersized the network, ain't it?

We've all been trying to avoid the Melbourne Cup fuss but are failing. Really, when you get a day off work, it's a bit churlish to ignore the reason behind the holiday. I'm not sure what's running but I'll no doubt be familiar with the field by the time they're in the mounting paddock tomorrow afternoon. Right now I'm with the ABC newsreader who, when pressed to pick a horse, asked if there were any with funny names.

Here are snippets that caught my attention.

Favourite Tawqeet had a small mishap today. 'The silly bugger trod on himself,' trainer David Hayes said on Channel 9 News tonight. Now that's my sort of horse.

And you know the Spring racing carnival is underway when jockey Frankie Dettori gets his well-groomed mug on television. I remember him talking on the ABC's now defunct sports program The Fat about the special ambience of the Melbourne Cup. (It was a long time ago and I'm paraphrasing here.)

They were all yelling 'Frankie, Frankie, we love you' when I left the mounting yard. When I came back they yelled 'Piss off, Frankie, you wanker'.

And there was an inflatable doll on a stick, apparently. But he didn't go into details.

What are my tips for the Cup? Well, I haven't looked at the form guide, so I know nothing about performance or their colours. (After all, livery is always a good reason for picking a horse.) So based on nothing at all except the names, I'm going for Yeats and Delta Blues.

Not that I'm going to put any dosh on them. The last time I picked a winner was in 1983 when Kiwi came in at 10/1, if I recall correctly. Don't trust my judgement.

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