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MY CALL: THE EVEREST v THE MELBOURNE CUP IS AN ARGUMENT THAT SHOULD NOT EVEN TAKE PLACE

By David Fowler | Tuesday, October 15, 2019

David Fowler is the principal thoroughbred caller for Radio TAB. David, who is a keen form student and punter, has enjoyed a lifetime involvement in the racing media. His personal blog, ‘My Call’, appears exclusively on HRO.

The recently evolving argument of The Everest versus the Melbourne Cup is spurious.

Surprisingly, today’s (Tuesday) The Australian front page carries a splash with trainer Tony McEvoy claiming The Everest “is our biggest race. It’s our race.”

While he doesn’t directly assert The Everest has usurped the Melbourne Cup, it is strongly inferred, primarily because of the Cup’s internationalisation.

The lost “Australian-ess” of the Cup is a valid argument but it should not be confused with this “a is better than b” conversation.

McEvoy is a disciple of the late Colin Hayes. Highly successful, but I was bemused by his comments.

They rank alongside Peter V’landy’s suggestion that the Melbourne Cup should be shifted from the first Tuesday in November to a later date in the month.

It was more likely tongue-in-cheek and was swiftly dismissed by almost everyone.

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There should not even be an argument that involves comparing the stature of these two races.

The Everest has been an outstanding innovation and is still evolving after two runnings.

The Melbourne Cup is a national icon, treasure or however you want to describe it, first won by Archer in 1861.

The Cup and its presence extends well beyond a party crowd (yes a large one) that will be at Royal Randwick this Saturday.

It might be hard for the racing industry to comprehend but the majority of Australians have little to no interest in the 24/7 racing that exists in this country.

But come Cup eve or Cup day, most are involved in a sweep and/or a Cup lunch with Cup parties are sprinkled right across the nation.

And another salient message to those inside racing’s beltway, these people don’t give two hoots of who is in or not in the race.

They simply know there will be 24 runners galloping over two miles.

So, this hyped-up comparison is a “beat-up”. A spurious argument if there ever was one.

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That aside, it can’t be ignored that Sydney’s Spring Carnival has definitely had an impact on Melbourne’s version this year if media space or airplay is any yardstick.

And bringing the conversation back to the converted, surely there is more appetite for discussion and debate around The Everest rather than the Caulfield Cup.

I have written here previously the Caulfield Cup is one race that has steadily lost its mojo in recent years. A little less “sexy” for each renewal.

And it’s faltering reputation this year has to go head to head with a $14million powerhouse sprinting field.

What is beyond argument is two fantastic race-cards will be offered that many other race clubs around will gleefully leverage off.

We are spoilt by choice but debating the Melbourne Cup’s authority or national significance is nonsensical.

And to use The Everest as the alternative is an even madder notion.

Full article

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David Fowler
David Fowler
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best