To the surprise of no one, the parties, etc., aren't for me. Today is the running of the Melbourne Cup -- the Australian equivalent of the Super Bowl. Strangely in a cricket and Aussie-Rules football-crazed land, it's a horse race first run in 1861 that's the biggest sporting event.
All the news, sports and even music radio stations were buzzing about the cup this morning. Temporary betting stations have popped up all around the country -- including across the street from my Perth Hotel, which won't let me check in until 2 p.m. local time (9 p.m. Pacific Time).
So, "when in Rome ... " I just put down $10 for Septimius to place at 8-3 (he was given 8-1 to win). I figured that's a nice, conservative bet. Probably the last horse racing bet I'll ever make now that Bay Meadows has closed. Mad Rush is the current favorite.
Update, 2:11 p.m. (Perth time): Septimus raced well, staying in second place for most of the 3,200-meter race. Then, as he hit the final straightaway, I'll let the Sydney Morning Herald explain:
Given every chance to dictate race terms, Septimus was carried into the home straight and briefly led before fading badly, along with Alessandra Volta and Honolulu.
Oh well. At least the betting slip can be a souvenir.