Melbourne Cup: Bart has final say on eve of favourite race

By Mike Dillon

Bart Cummings. Photo / File
Bart Cummings. Photo / File

What would a Melbourne Cup be without a Bart Cummings one-liner.

Bart goes into today's Cup with two outsiders: $50 chance Sanagas and $100 longshot Precedence, part-owned by Sir Patrick Hogan.

Yesterday you couldn't detect any disappointment that the ever loquacious one didn't have a favoured runner.

"Someone has to win it and it may as well be me. I've done it before, you know."

Yeah Bart, but c'mon, only 12 times.

• Three horses have won the Melbourne Cup at 100 to 1.

The Pearl (1871), Wotan (1936) and Old Rowley (1940).

Greg Miles will today call his 32nd Melbourne Cup, equalling Ken Howard's number.

Only Joe Brown (33) and Bill Collins (34) have called more.

• Five international jockeys will ride in this afternoon's big race.

Irishman Colm O'Donoghue will partner Jakkalberry, Frankie Dettori will ride the Godolphin runner Cavalryman, despite recently severing his stable contract.

English horseman Ryan Moore will be having his first Australian ride when he jumps aboard well-fancied Mount Athos.

Dermot Weld has imported Irish jockey Patrick Smullen for Galileo's Choice and Frenchman Olivier Doleuze is engaged for Tac de Boistron.

•Sir Patrick Hogan believes it's time to look closer to home for staying influence around Melbourne Cups.

And he should know.

It's 37 years since Sir Patrick imported the mighty Sir Tristram, whose sire son Zabeel is breaking records and has four runners in today's Cup, more than any other stallion.

Maluckyday, Lights Of Heaven, Precedence and Zabeelionaire represent Zabeel.

"These European horses are getting too expensive," said Sir Patrick yesterday.

•Mount Athos might start shorter on course than his $6 quote of yesterday.

He carries the name of one of Greece's most famous landmarks and Melbourne has a huge Greek population.

•Melbourne Cup longshot Unusual Suspect has a New Zealand connection.

The American-bred stallion is by United States stallion Unusual Heat from a New Zealand mare Penpont, who was by Crested Wave.

•Racing has never been a game where you can burn your bridges.

Luca Cumani said yesterday he will use Frankie Dettori now he has severed his contact with Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin.

Which is interesting because Cumani sacked Dettori as his stable rider years ago for negotiating a Hong Kong contract behind his back.

- NZ Herald

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