THE Melbourne Cup Carnival is officially over and punters and patrons alike are left to lick their wounds after a hectic four day extravaganza.
It was a historic carnival for a number of reasons, and the headline act of the four days did not disappoint after Joesph O’Brien became the youngest-ever trainer to take out the cup.
There were plenty of discussion points across the four days, including Gai Waterhouse’s dominance, the demise of the on-course bookies and Redzel’s stunning performance on the final day.
Here’s the five biggest talking points of the unforgettable 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Rekindling re-writes history to win the Melbourne Cup
The race that stops a nation was the headline act of the carnival, and the centrepiece event did not disappoint.
Joeseph O’Brien became the youngest trainer in Melbourne Cup history to take out the main event, preparing three-year-old Rekindling to an incredible win.
O’Brien became just the second Irish trainer to win the Melbourne Cup, and Rekndling’s victory was the first time since Vintage Crop that a Melbourne Cup winner was triumphant without having a prior run in Australia.
It was without a doubt the biggest talking point of the carnival.
Waterhouse and Bott dominate the cup carnival
Setting up a base at Flemington paid huge dividends for the Waterhouse and Bott training duo.
It was the first time Gai Waterhouse was the leading trainer of the Cup carnival, and the stable was the only yard to record at least one victory across all four days of the carnival.
The highlight was Pinot, which overcame a tardy beginning to take out the VRC Oaks, Gai’s first-ever Oaks crown.
We think this is only the beginning of the Waterhouse and Bott team’s dominance during the Melbourne spring.
Redzel makes it six in a row
What a way to round out the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Superstar sprinter Redzel recorded a strong win in the Darley Classic and the large contingent of owners on course made their presence felt.
The owners proclaimed their horse is the best sprinter in the world, and it was hard to argue after recording back-to-back wins in million dollar features.
He’s probably the best sprinter in the world, Redzel. Just so consistent.
— Trent Masenhelder (@tmase04) November 11, 2017
Does Redzel now have to go and compete in Hong Kong or England to prove that point? We’re not sure, but we are certain that the gelding is without question the best sprinter in Australia at the very least.
Carnival numbers better than expected
On-going construction works were meant to have a huge impact on crowd numbers across the Melbourne Cup Carnival, but the patrons still flooded through the gates across the four days.
The renovations to the stand – which are set to be completed by late July of 2018 – were always going to impact the numbers, but the racing club only had 9,000 less patrons on this time last year.
Official attendance for Emirates Stakes Day is 68,873. Last year 70,351.
4 day total is 310,608. Last year was 318,854.
— Shane Anderson (@Globalgallop) November 11, 2017
The sport of kings is thriving in Melbourne, and we expect record numbers to be on-course for next year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival.
On course bookies predict their demise
Are the on course bookmakers about to become a distant memory?
We spoke to the bookies on course at Flemington, and they had a grim prediction for the future of their profession.
Online bookmakers have dominated the scene, and the in-person betting has been diminishing every year since betting has become easier via smartphones.
Is person-to-person betting about to become a relic of the past? We think it might, which would be a great shame.