Friday, November 5, 2010

I won the Melbourne Cup

Well, it wasn't a draw (sigh), but I was slightly mollified when I won.

Yes, I won.  (I'm going to repeat that phrase a lot, because I never win.  Seriously. Ask my family and any one who has ever seen me compete in anything.)

Anyway, half an hour before the 'race that stops that stops a nation' started (and I won), I drew three horses' names out of a hat (theoretically), and so did the rest of my family, plus cousins, plus Uncle B and Aunty J.  My brother pulled out the sure favourite So You Think, so I did think that he would win for sure.

We all contributed $2 to the pool, and our sweep was done.  (Why is it called a sweep anyway?)
The sweeping took under 5 minutes so we spent the rest of the time embellishing the faces of the jockeys in the newspaper with black pens (yes, this was an immature thing to do, but it was a public holiday...)

The last time I watched the Melbourne Cup was when Makybe Diva won for the third time back in...wait, let me google it...2005! Wow, five years ago.  Okay, so I don't watch it much.

BUT, I do love watching horses on film.  Yes, don't you love those dramatic horse-races, with the intense music, and super slow-motion just before the hero horse wins by a nose... they're all the same, but I love 'em anyway.

Seabiscuit (2003) - Based on a true story. Little horse unexpectedly wins big races.  Set around the Great Depression.  Made me cry.

Here's the end quote by Seabiscuit's jockey which sums it up:
"You know everyone thinks that we found this broken down horse and fixed him, but we didn't, he fixed us, everyone of us, and I guess in a way we kinda fixed eachother too."

It's not a children's film (be warned), but very deep and triumphant.

Dreamer (2005) - Inspired by a true story.  Injured horse saved by girl, wins race.  Am I giving away too many spoilers?  It's predictable anyway, right?

Definitely more light and fluffy than Seabiscuit.  Dakota Fanning stars as the girl who saves the horse. Her name is Cale...isn't that deliciously original?

I love the song 'Dreamer' which plays during the credits.  It was written and sung by Bethany Dillon (who, if you don't know, is a Christian singer/song writer who has prodeuced some awesome music)

I am a dreamer, Take me higher. Open the sky up, start a fire. I believe, even if it's just a dreammmmm.  (Good thing you can't actually hear my singing.)

Phar Lap (1983)

Now, here's a classic - and it's Australian!! (Well, the horse was a Kiwi, but we can at least claim the movie)

It stars Tom Burlinson from the Man From Snowy River, and is another tear-jerker.  But for a good reason!  Phar Lap's story has a sad ending in real life (I won't give it away this time)

It also makes you want to cheer as Phar Lap thunders down the home stretch, and the commentator is going nuts in his super-Aussie accent which no one can understand... Yes, a classic.

Phar Lap was amazing.  I've seen his heart at the National Museum in Canberra.  It looked foul, but it was very big.  I would suggest you skip the heart and just go look at his skin in the Melbourne Museum.  Much nicer.
Anyway, back to 2010.

The race started at 3:00pm and we were all yelling for our three horses.  Race horses have such cool names by the way.  Hmmm.  I just tried to google the names of this years' horses, but our internet protection keeps blocking it as 'Gambling'.  That's really annoying, because I'm not even trying to gamble.

Back to last Tuesday. I was getting slightly distracted like I did just now, when all of a sudden, Americain shot up from the pack and overtook So You Think by a mile (or so).
*Long Pause*
"Who had Americain?"
*Longer Pause*
"Oh. Me!! I won!! Yes!!"
*Starts to dance around the room*

And then the phone rang.  It was someone from Adelaide, and I wanted to tell them that I had just won the Melbourne Cup, but I don't think they even knew it was on. So much for the 'race that stops a nation'.

He is a very beautiful horse.  Good job, mate! You ran well.
I won [five dollars fifty] the Melbourne Cup, and now I'm going to celebrate my win [with an ice cream - because that's all you can buy with five dollars fifty].

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