The Melbourne Cup, the most prestigious horse races in Australia, was won by Vow and Declare. Craig Williams, who was the jockey, had his first win, after 17 unsuccessful attempts. The Australian-bred horse won over 24 rivals.
Not only for Craig was this event and win special and long-awaited, but for Australians as well. As Vow and Declare trained by Danny O’Brien brought a victory to the country in the 3200 meters race, that had had a foreigner winner for a decade already. The prize for the winner is $3million, which was distributed among Danny and Craig, though the total price including the money, trophies and all of the accessories appeared to be around $5.5 million.
“I was lucky enough to sit on Vow And Declare. A credit to Danny O’Brien,” Williams commented on the win. “It was a privilege to ride him today. We had a difficult barrier draw. The instructions, we trusted him. We know what we can do.”
“Great to be associated with a great horse like this horse … I’m so grateful to be given the opportunity.”
The Game Has Been Played
Melbourne Cup, that is always held on the first Tuesday of November is one of the world’s most revered races as well as the highlight of the week-long event, including carnival, racing, fashion shows, food and culture representation. Not only race is important for the country in terms of winning but it is the sporting event that receives the most betting during the year, and a lot of people spend a lot of money on betting.
This year the race ended with the dramatic show, resulting in a change in order after the initial photo finish. A protest lodged against Master of Reality jockey Frankie Dettori alleged that he blocked fourth-place Il Paradiso in the final 200 meters. Stewards upheld the protest, meaning Master of Reality was pushed down to the fourth place, with third-place finisher Prince of Arran promoted to second and Il Paradiso taking third.
Italian Dettori, 48, who was banned for eight race days in Victoria, has never won the Melbourne Cup in an otherwise glittering career.
“I feel like crying,” told Italian Dettori, who was banned for eight races in Victoria, and has never won the Melbourne Cup, despite his marvelous career.
Flemington, which has hosted the famous race ever since 1861, welcomed about 81,000 guests for Melbourne Cup day, which has been declared as a public holiday in the state of Victoria. More than 2.5 million were expected to tune in on TV across the country.
The event is extremely interesting in terms of financial matters and economics for Victoria’s state. It contributed a record $309 million in gross economic benefit to the state last year. According to a study commissioned by the organizer, $47.9 million out of the total benefit was on retail spending, including all of the shows and events.
It Can Not Be That Smooth
While everything seems to be pretty okay and goes smoothly, the concerns about the violation of animal rights have been raised. The case was with the last-place horse Rastopovich, who came in last and lame and therefore was transported to a veterinary clinic with a cracked pelvis. Despite the fact that the horse is in stable condition, for now, the Nine News together with the ABC opened up about the harsh treatment of animals, which is no way acceptable for the event.
Because of the mentioned case, the general welfare of the horses came under fresh scrutiny on the annual carnival. Generally topic of animal treatment is very sensitive, especially in sports. There are specific training rules that have to be followed in order to train an animal, though cruelty in no way is acceptable in any sport. You could even argue some of horse racing’s enduring appeal lies in its whiff of the underworld — “colorful racing identities”, crusty trainers and hard-bitten jockeys all providing old-school intrigue in a now mostly beige professional sporting landscape.
Though people with the approach of “racing people” have the horse’s best interest always pop up suddenly, it is truly disturbing. At some points and in some cases, the statement can be very much true, though it does not mean that it has anything to do with the cruelty and improper treatment of the animal. “The do-gooders only turn up to protest. We’re the ones looking after these horses all the time.” – the comment was made by one of the horse racers.
The Final Response
The final response to the whole scandal was made by Racing Victoria pledging $17 million welfare plan to care for Victorian bread that includes a re-homing program, as well as improve traceability of horses and making responsible breeding efforts. The event is very important for the state financially as well as socially, has to take care of the main tool and main attraction of the festival. This is another argument if taking care of animals and not violating their right to welfare was not enough.